Visas

As of January 1, 2020, all consular services are suspended at Embassy Baghdad. Immigrant visa petitions can be transferred from Baghdad to a different U.S. embassy or consulate.  Immigrant visa applicants and petitioners should contact NVC at https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry for additional instructions.  Consulate General Erbil is not accepting immigrant visa applications at this time.

Nonimmigrant visa applicants can apply at any U.S. embassy or consulate in another country or at the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil. For more information regarding applying for nonimmigrant visas, please visit travel.state.gov.

The Consular Section provides many services, including issuing visas. A visa allows you to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry. An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines your eligibility for admission into the United States.

What Types of Visas Are Available at the U.S. Consulate in Erbil?

  • Temporary Visitor (nonimmigrant) visas for tourism, business, work, or study.

How to Apply for a Visa

All applicants are required to upload a digital photo into the DS-160 application form; the image must meet our Photograph Requirements.  In addition, you must bring two visa photos to submit on the day of your interview.

Photograph Requirements

Your photo is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo. The DS-160 form will instruct you to upload your digital image as part of completing the online visa application form. Review the Digital Image Requirements, which also provide additional requirements if you are scanning an existing photo.

We recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.

Your photos or digital images must be:

  • In color
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
  • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
  • If you normally wear a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.

Effective November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant’s eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:

  • The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
  • There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
  • There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).

Review the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.

All visa applicants are required to complete the:

Online application form (DS-160)

Click the above link to begin the application process.  It is important to choose the correct visa category for which you wish to apply, and to select Erbil as the location where you wish to apply.  Remember to save your progress frequently.

Upon completion you must print out the application confirmation page.  This page will have a barcode and a unique number that identifies your application, you will need this number to schedule your appointment via the online appointment system.

Each member of a family must complete a separate application.  Minors are required to have a completed application.  Also, each member of the family has to make their own appointment.

*No appointment is scheduled for you when you complete your DS-160, you must still manually schedule an appointment (see Step 5: Make an Appointment)

Depending on the type of visa that you are applying for, certain documentation is required.

There are also documents that are not required, but recommended to support your visa application.

The consular officer will only consider documents brought along to the interview. Documents mailed or emailed to the U.S. Embassy in advance of the application will not be considered.

Required Documents

All applicants, regardless of visa class, must bring the following on the day of their interview:

  • Iraqi passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity
  • Bank of Baghdad visa application fee receipt
  • Two visa photos
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Self addressed and prepaid DHL airway bill

If you fail to bring all of these required items on the day of your interview appointment, the Consular Officer may have to cancel your appointment, and you would need to reschedule for another day when you have all the required items.

Recommended Documents

Supporting Documentation
During the interview, the Consular Officer may request additional documentation in support of your application. This may include, but is not limited to, documents supporting claims of employment, student status, place of residence, financial status, intended itinerary, purpose of travel, etc. It is suggested that applicants bring documentary evidence to the interview to support claims made on the application.  Such information may include:

Proof of Employment
A letter from your employer on original letterhead, stating how long you have been employed and in what capacity, what your basic monthly salary is, and how long you will be away from work is suggested. If you are traveling on business, your letter should detail the nature of your business, including U.S. companies or offices you will visit. If you are self-employed, it is advisable to bring proof of your business registration.

Proof of Finances
Applicants are advised to bring an itemized bank or investment statement going back at least two months reflecting that you have adequate funds to pay for their intended stay in the U.S. Students, for example, should be able to prove that they have adequate finances to pay for their entire program of study and living expenses. If you own property or real estate, you may bring evidence of this.

Please note that bank letters that state that you have sufficient funds or letters from family members promising to cover your expenses are not sufficient. Applicants are advised to bring bank statements that reflect their account balances.

Proof of Previous International Travel/U.S. visas
Please bring any old passports showing international travel and/or previous U.S. visas. If you were issued a U.S. visa that is still valid but is in a passport that has been lost or stolen, please bring a copy of the police report.

Proof of Travel Plans
If you have made arrangements for your trip to the United States, please bring an itinerary or travel plan. This should not include purchased plane tickets, as we strongly urge that you not purchase tickets or make irrevocable travel plans before obtaining a visa.

Proof of Relationship to Principal Applicant, if applying for a derivative visa
To qualify for a dependent visa, applicants must bring civil documents to prove relationship to the principal applicant, i.e. spouses: original marriage certificate, children: original birth certificate.

Students, Scholars, and Exchange Visitors
It is advisable to bring a letter from your current institution stating your level of study and detailing your program start date and anticipated end date. School transcripts showing your grades in your current program are also recommended.

Unemployed Spouses
Proof of your husband/wife’s employment is suggested.

Take your passport or a copy of your passport to any Bank of Baghdad bank branch office and explain that you want to pay a U.S. visa fee.

It is permissible for another person to make the payment for you, but they must take your passport or a copy of your passport with them.

Pay the appropriate fee.  You will be issued a receipt.

Visa Application Fees

Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member,
Student, Exchange Visit, Journalists Visas(B1/B2, B1, B2, C1, D, F1, F2, J1, J2, I)

US$160

Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, R)

US$190

Verify that your receipt for payment includes:

  • The visa applicant’s name as it appears in her or his passport
  • The visa applicant’s passport number
  • The payment must not be made more than 1 year before the visa interview

All visa application fees are paid to the Bank of Baghdad.  Visa fees will not be accepted at the Consulate on the day of your appointment.  If you do not have your visa fee receipt or you have not paid the visa application fee at the Bank of Baghdad, then you will not be accepted for an interview and you will be required to reschedule your appointment for later date.

All applicants are required to appear in person for an interview with a Consular Officer.  The only exception is for applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 79.

Applicants who are renewing a US visa are still required to appear in person for an interview.

On the day of your interview, you will need to bring all of the required documents to the interview.  You should arrive 20 minutes before your interview time in order to pass through security.

You are not allowed to bring any bags, electronic devices, mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets or ipods into the Consulate.

Only the applicant will be admitted to the Consulate for the interview.  Additional family members will be asked to wait outside.  Minor applicants or applicants who require assistance can be accompanied by one other person.

Only applicants who have a scheduled appointment will be admitted to the Consulate.  Therefore it is important to ensure that every applicant has a separate appointment.

Location of Consulate

The U.S. Consulate General in Erbil is located on Ashtar Street in Ankawa, Erbil next to the Ankawa Police Station.

All applicants are required to complete the online application and pay the visa fee to the Bank of Baghdad prior to their interview.  

All visa applicants must apply for visa appointments using their own email addresses and telephone numbers.  For security and fraud prevention purposes, the email addresses and phone numbers of travel agencies will not be accepted.  

If the application is not properly completed or the visa fee is not paid, you will not be accepted for an interview on the day of your appointment and you will have to reschedule your interview for a later date.