IRAQ

IRAQ

IRAQ

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CONSULAR CLOSURES
THE EMBASSY OF AFGHANISTAN IN LONDON IS CLOSED:
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TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Erbil Citadel
Location: Erbil, Iraq
The Erbil Citadel, locally called Qalat is a tell or occupied mound, and the historical city centre of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The citadel has been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The earliest evidence for occupation of the citadel mound dates to the 5th millennium BC, and possibly earlier. It appears for the first time in historical sources in the Ebla tablets around 2,300 BC, and gained particular importance during the Neo-Assyrian period. During the Sassanian period and the Abbasid Caliphate, Erbil was an important centre for Christianity. During the 20th century, the urban structure was significantly modified, as a result of which a number of houses and public buildings were destroyed. In 2007, all inhabitants, except one family, were evicted from the citadel as part of a large restoration project. Since then, archaeological research and restoration works have been carried out at and around the tell by various international teams and in cooperation with local specialists. The government plans to have 50 families live in the citadel once it is renovated.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citadel_of_Erbil
Name: The Great Mosque of Kufa
Location: Kufa, Iraq
The Great Mosque of Kufa, located in Kūfa, Iraq, is one of the earliest and holiest surviving mosques in the world. The mosque, built in the 7th century, contains the remains of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl - first cousin of Imām Husayn ibn ‘Alī, his companion Hānī ibn ‘Urwa, and the revolutionary Mukhtār al-Thaqafī.

Sources attribute the construction of the Great Mosque of Kufa in the middle of the 7th century to the Caliph Omar. There is a legend that says the edifice was built on a temple constructed by Adam while another claims that Adam's bones were buried on the site, having been carried by Noah on board the Ark. The site was identified in Shia Islam as the place where Noah must build his Ark.

Architectural excavations revealed that the mosque, which dates from 670, was built on top of much older foundations. The area of the building measures approximately 11,000 square metres. The mosque contains nine sanctuaries and four traditional locations. As to its design, experts recognized similarities to the design of the palaces of pre-Islamic Persia. It has four minarets and is accessible through five gates.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Kufa
Name: National Museum of Iraq
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
The National Museum of Iraq is a museum located in Baghdad, Iraq. It contains precious relics from the Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Persian civilization. It was looted during and after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Despite international efforts, only some of the stolen artifacts were returned. After being closed for many years while being refurbished, and rarely open for public viewing, the museum was officially reopened in February 2015.

After World War I, archaeologists from Europe and the United States began several excavations throughout Iraq. In an effort to keep those findings from leaving Iraq, British traveller, intelligence agent, archaeologist, and author Gertrude Bell began collecting the artifacts in a government building in Baghdad in 1922. In 1926, the Iraqi government moved the collection to a new building and established the Baghdad Antiquities Museum, with Bell as its director. Bell died later that year; the new director was Sidney Smith.

In 1966, the collection was moved again. It is with this move that the name of the museum was changed to the National Museum of Iraq.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Iraq
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN IRAQ / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO IRAQ.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Arabic / Kurdish
Currency: Iraq Dinar (IQD)
Time zone: AST (Arabia Standard Time) (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +964
Local / up-to-date weather in Baghdad (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Iraq travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Iraq, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO IRAQ.

Iraqi currency is the Iraqi dinar, denoted by the symbol “د.ع” (ISO code: IQD). Banknotes are issued in 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000 dinars denominations. Coins, and banknotes in 250 and 500-dinar denominations are rarely used.

While the dinar is the official currency, you will also be able to spend euros (€) and US dollars (USD) in many places. Most people do not like to make change for large banknotes. Any defects in the bills (creases, ink stamps from banks, tears, etc.) will raise suspicion that you are a counterfeiter. Don’t bring old bills with you, either. Carry mostly small bills in the form of Iraqi dinars for daily spending cash.

Since the introduction of the new Iraqi dinar, its widespread acceptance and confidence has reduced the prominence of the US dollar, and many shopkeepers are now refusing to accept them. However, most people will still pay large hotel bills or rent payments using US dollars or euro due to the sheer volume of notes required to pay with dinars. The conversion rate fluctuates from day to day and from town to town.

Learn the security features of the new dinar and US dollar notes; the former Iraqi government was known to be making passable USD20, USD10, and USD5 bills, and these counterfeiters are apparently still in business.

In Kurdistan, public transport is rare although regular buses do link Zakho and Dohuk and cost about USD2. There are plans of a public bus network in Erbil, which is estimated to be launched after 2020. From Dohuk, shared taxis leave all day for Erbil and other cities. The road from Dohuk to Erbil goes south near Mosul, but does not leave Kurdish territory and is thus safe, although perhaps too close for comfort.

Shared taxis might be the safest way to travel in Iraqi Kurdistan, as the drivers are not interested in leaving the province either.

BY CAR:

Driving at night may be a safer alternative to daytime driving, but a few rules to follow:

  • Avoid city centres. Although most Iraqis are asleep by midnight, the few that are awake are almost certainly up to no good.
  • Watch for the military. If you are out late at night and effectively trying to blend in with the locals, you could be mistaken for a hostile/troublemaker. At checkpoints, you will also be treated as a suspect, and until they decide you are not a target, you must conduct yourself carefully.
  • If you do encounter the military, ensure your lights are on, turn on your hazards/flashers, slow or pull over to the side of the road and follow any and all instructions given. If a stop sign, green laser, or any other signal is directed at you or in your general direction it is advisable to follow it, better to err on the side of caution than get shot at.
  • For those travelling to Iraq and make friends along the way, be extremely cautious if they offer you a ride. When accepting the offer, make sure they are not leaving Iraqi Kurdistan province.

BY TRAIN:

Overnight trains links Baghdad with the southern city of Basra, there are both a slow train taking up to 12 hours for the full journey and an express one making the journey in 6-7 hours. There are also daily trains between Baghdad and Fallujah as well as irregular services to the holy city of Karbala, especially during religious festivals. Train travel is considered relatively safe, mainly due to the extensive security checks all passengers have to go through before boarding the train.

All trains are run by Iraqi Republic Railways. Tickets can only be bought at stations.

EAT:

  • Masgouf – Considered as the national dish of Iraq. It is an open cut freshwater fish roasted for hours after being marinated with olive oil, salt, curcuma and tamarind while keeping the skin on. Traditional garnishes for the masgouf include lime, chopped onions and tomatoes, and flatbread.
  • Tepsi Baytinijan Also very popular dish in Iraq. A baked casserole typically consisting of meatballs, aubergine, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and potatoes.

DRINK:

Alcohol is legal in Iraq and street vendors can usually get alcohol if you really need it, but again this is just asking to be identified as an outsider. Furthermore, while alcohol is legal many insurgent groups in Iraq have targeted alcohol vendors and users.

Sleep in the hot summer months can be difficult. Sleeping outside and near flowing water is the most comfortable setting one can find outside of air conditioning.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, there are plenty of hotels and although they are hard to find in any travel guide, anyone on the street will direct you to a nearby place. There’s no shortage in Zakho, Dohuk or Erbil. Rates run about USD15-25 per night for a single room with bathroom.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Iraq
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Erbil Citadel
Location: Erbil, Iraq
The Erbil Citadel, locally called Qalat is a tell or occupied mound, and the historical city centre of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The citadel has been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The earliest evidence for occupation of the citadel mound dates to the 5th millennium BC, and possibly earlier. It appears for the first time in historical sources in the Ebla tablets around 2,300 BC, and gained particular importance during the Neo-Assyrian period. During the Sassanian period and the Abbasid Caliphate, Erbil was an important centre for Christianity. During the 20th century, the urban structure was significantly modified, as a result of which a number of houses and public buildings were destroyed. In 2007, all inhabitants, except one family, were evicted from the citadel as part of a large restoration project. Since then, archaeological research and restoration works have been carried out at and around the tell by various international teams and in cooperation with local specialists. The government plans to have 50 families live in the citadel once it is renovated.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citadel_of_Erbil
Name: The Great Mosque of Kufa
Location: Kufa, Iraq
The Great Mosque of Kufa, located in Kūfa, Iraq, is one of the earliest and holiest surviving mosques in the world. The mosque, built in the 7th century, contains the remains of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl - first cousin of Imām Husayn ibn ‘Alī, his companion Hānī ibn ‘Urwa, and the revolutionary Mukhtār al-Thaqafī.

Sources attribute the construction of the Great Mosque of Kufa in the middle of the 7th century to the Caliph Omar. There is a legend that says the edifice was built on a temple constructed by Adam while another claims that Adam's bones were buried on the site, having been carried by Noah on board the Ark. The site was identified in Shia Islam as the place where Noah must build his Ark.

Architectural excavations revealed that the mosque, which dates from 670, was built on top of much older foundations. The area of the building measures approximately 11,000 square metres. The mosque contains nine sanctuaries and four traditional locations. As to its design, experts recognized similarities to the design of the palaces of pre-Islamic Persia. It has four minarets and is accessible through five gates.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Kufa
Name: National Museum of Iraq
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
The National Museum of Iraq is a museum located in Baghdad, Iraq. It contains precious relics from the Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Persian civilization. It was looted during and after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Despite international efforts, only some of the stolen artifacts were returned. After being closed for many years while being refurbished, and rarely open for public viewing, the museum was officially reopened in February 2015.

After World War I, archaeologists from Europe and the United States began several excavations throughout Iraq. In an effort to keep those findings from leaving Iraq, British traveller, intelligence agent, archaeologist, and author Gertrude Bell began collecting the artifacts in a government building in Baghdad in 1922. In 1926, the Iraqi government moved the collection to a new building and established the Baghdad Antiquities Museum, with Bell as its director. Bell died later that year; the new director was Sidney Smith.

In 1966, the collection was moved again. It is with this move that the name of the museum was changed to the National Museum of Iraq.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Iraq
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN IRAQ / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

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Washington DC: TBC

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Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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