Last update 15 April 2019Diplomatic missions
Level 4: Termination warning throughout the country (except in case of extreme necessity)
Select passport type
Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Republic of Iraq
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Baghdad
Telephone: +964 7809237587
Office hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9h00 to 14h00
Embassy of Iraq in Sofia
Address: 1113 Sofia, 21 “Anton Chekhov” str.
Telephone: +359 2 973 33 48, +359 2 973 38 85
Fax: +359 2 971 11 97
Office hours: 09h00 – 15h00
Iraqi Dinar (IQD)
1000 IRD = 1,29 BG Leva
Crime and security
The security situation in the country does not allow land travel throughout the country. Travelling by air between major cities in Iraq is more appropriate; however changes in flight schedules might occur, including cancellation. At present, the international airport in Baghdad is functioning normally, but if the situation in the area of the capital deteriorates or in case of attacks on it by local extremists, it may be closed.
The warning to avoid travel applies throughout the country, though in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region provinces travel is more secure. Due to the involvement of armed Iraqi Kurdistan formations in hostilities against members of the organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in the northern provinces of Iraq roads may be blocked by troops.
Before deciding to travel, you should inquire about current developments.
On the Iraqi-Turkish border military operations of the Turkish army against bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK are possible.
The Bulgarian Embassy advise Bulgarian citizens against any travel within Iraq. If the situation for a trip to Iraq is normalized, organized international bus transport may be used. It is recommended before travel to check for any changes in schedule or route. However, travel by air is preferable.
Requirements for the registration of foreign vehicles in Iraq
In connection with the increasing number of cases of Bulgarian citizens turning to the Embassy in Baghdad for assistance in tracing their missing or arrested relatives who travelled in their personal vehicles to Iraq, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to draw your attention to the following specifics of the system for registration of foreign vehicles in Iraq, including in Iraqi Kurdistan, which must be strictly observed:
- Iraqi law, including the law in Iraqi Kurdistan, requires that a person travelling to the region in his/her own vehicle should have the vehicle recorded by the local customs authorities in the owner's international passport.
- The travelling person's passport and the small registration card of the vehicle are left with the customs office as a guarantee that the car will not be sold on the territory of Iraq.
- The customs authorities issue a document containing the owner's and vehicle details. This document is of limited validity on the territory of Iraq and is valid for up to two months. After the two months run out, the owner is fined for each day of overstay.
- Leaving Iraq is only possible at the same border point where the person entered the country.
- Any attempt to leave the territory of Iraq at another border crossing, with or without the vehicle, results in the person/driver being arrested because he/she does not have a valid Bulgarian passport indicating the date and place of entry.
We have recent information of registered cases where Bulgarian citizens' lack of awareness of these rules has been used to the benefit of unscrupulous car dealers. Vehicles are purchased by car dealers on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, and a Bulgarian citizen is recorded as the owner, having already agreed, against a fee, to drive the vehicle to Iraq. The owner is given assistance to have a Bulgarian passport issued, obtain an entry visa for the country, and, in rare cases, a plane ticket or bus ticket to return to Bulgaria. Having delivered and transferred the vehicle to the actual owner in Iraq, the Bulgarian citizen is left without identity documents, without a car and, in most cases, without any money. In these circumstances, the Bulgarian citizen is arrested and faces a possible court trial.
List of chemical materials prohibited for import into the Republic of Iraq
The list of chemical materials prohibited for import into the Republic of Iraq can be found HERE.
Travel papers and visas
A passport valid at least for the duration of stay in the country is required. For more accurate information, please contact the Embassy of Iraq in Sofia.
Bulgarian citizens travelling to Iraq (holders of ordinary, business and diplomatic passports) need to obtain a visa from the Embassy of Iraq in Sofia.
The visa requirement also applies to visits to Iraqi Kurdistan. If staying in the area for up to 10 (ten) days, Kurdish authorities permit entry into the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan without a visa. For extension of stay, an application must be filed before the competent Kurdish authorities.
No vaccinations are required for entry.
Updates on any vaccination requirements can be obtained from the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Telephone +359 2 944 69 99 / 221
Please note that in your passport there must be at least one whole free page on which the entry visa for the country can be affixed. On the back of this page there must be no earlier visa except border control stamps.
Working in Iraq
The Iraqi Embassy in Sofia informed with a verbal note dated October 9, 2012 about recent Iraqi Government decision to facilitate the current visa procedure for the staff of the foreign companies working with Iraqi State institutions and companies. According to this decision, Bulgarian citizens who are part of companies working with Iraqi State institutions can receive directly without the necessity of work permit by the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, as it was the practice till now.
In connection with problems occurring in the summer of 2011 with Bulgarian workers employed by foreign companies operating in Iraq, mainly related to the non-payment of the agreed remuneration or payment of sums much lower than previously agreed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of the Republic of Bulgaria draws attention to the following:
- Bulgarian citizens wishing to sign work contracts for Iraq need a work visa;
- A work visa can be obtained from the Iraqi Embassy in Sofia, only on the basis of a contract signed with a local employer or foreign employer - contractor on sites in the country;
- There are currently no Bulgarian companies authorized to conclude contracts with Bulgarian nationals to work in Iraq. These can sign work contracts exclusively with foreign companies, contractors or subcontractors on projects in Iraq;
- Entry into Iraq could be accomplished with a common visa, including a tourist visa, but for employed foreign nationals, the employing company is required to carry out the formalities for obtaining work visas;
- Failure to comply with this requirement is punishable with fines for each day of stay after the expiry of the ordinary entry visa;
- Lack of a work visa creates serious problems when leaving the country. For foreign nationals working in Iraq, an exit visa is required. It is issued only when a work visa has been obtained.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends to all Bulgarian citizens who conclude employment contracts with employers from other countries to have perfect contract arrangements with them and monitor whether the employer fulfills local requirements.
The Bulgarian Embassy in Baghdad does not have a functioning consular section. Applications of foreign citizens for Bulgarian entry visas are not accepted and no activities related to civil status are performed, except in the case of death of Bulgarian citizens on the territory of Iraq.
Certification and Legalization
Iraq is not a signatory party under the Hague Convention of 1961 which requires legalization of the public documents/papers through “Apposlille” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of both countries, and there is no agreement for bilateral legal assistance signed between Bulgaria and Iraq. Therefore the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Baghdad certifies the seal of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The same is valid for the documents/papers issued in Bulgaria which have to bear the stamp of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to be certified by the Consular department at the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Sofia.
Thus processed, to be recognized by Bulgarian institutions documents issued in Iraq must be translated into Bulgarian by an authorized translation agency in Bulgaria, and such translation must be certified by the “Legalization and Certification” Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.