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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

Strict Enforcement of Immigration Procedures and Other Authorizations

January 11, 2012

The U.S. Embassy wishes to inform U.S. citizens living and working in Iraq that the Government of Iraq is strictly enforcing immigration and customs procedures, to include visas and stamps for entry and exit, vehicle registration, and authorizations for weapons, convoys, logistics, and other matters.  Rules and procedures may be subject to frequent revisions, and previous permissions may be deemed invalid.  The Embassy highly recommends that all U.S. citizens living and working in Iraq carefully review their immigration status and other permits to operate in Iraq and not attempt movements about the country in the absence of valid, current permits and paperwork.  The U.S. Embassy is aware of cases where discrepancies in permits or paperwork have resulted in legal action, including detention, by Iraqi police and other entities.  Detentions often last 24-96 hours or more.  The Embassy’s ability to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens are arrested or otherwise detained throughout Iraq is limited, including in and around Baghdad.  Please refer to the current Travel Warning for further information about limitations, as well as information about the security situation.

U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at their destination.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens may contact the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, via e-mail to BaghdadACS@state.gov.  In the event of a U.S. citizen emergency please contact:  0770-443-1286 (from Iraq) or 011-964-770-443-1286 (from the United States).

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad. 

Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.  In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).