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For a stay exceeding 15 days[1] in Kurdistan even nationals of some visa free countries need residency permission. The short-term requirements are mentioned by the Kurdistan Regional Government and include:

Evidence that the applicant has undertaken a blood test according to the procedures of the residence office. A form to obtain a blood test appointment can be collected from the residence office as part of the application process. The blood test result can usually be obtained within 2-3 days.

Given eg that Wikitravel has “… a compulsory blood test to check for Hep C and HIV (although this does not seem to be the case anymore).” which site best reflects or what is the current situation regarding the blood test requirements?

Evidence of the current ‘de facto’ situation conflicts with stated official guidance. I seek an answer that disambiguates the situation rather than merely repeats one or other of the conflicting versions. I have quoted what I believe is the Government’s official (public) stance and also Wikitravel which indicates what is published is not what actually happens. In this case I am much more interested in current practice than in theory. One instance (a friend who late in 2014 did not need a blood test for a visit of one month) is sufficient further to call in to question the reliability of the stated official stance but not enough to establish with any degree of certainty whether I would need a test or not. (My friend is of the same, British, nationality though happens to have been born in Kurdistan).

For that I would appreciate either more up-to-date (ie probably different) official information (obviously with the source disclosed) or details (with provenance) of current practice. A single example (as I have already) does not illustrate the general rule I seek.

However there is no urgency at present. The trip I was expecting seems to have been either called off or deferred. Given the situation with ISIL I am not surprised though the nearest I have heard by way of a reason is, strangely, “Because of the situation in Yemen”.


[1] According to gov.uk, now 30 days:

Entry requirements section - immigration officials at airports in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq routinely allow travellers to get a visa on arrival; these visas are only valid for 30 days

(Updated 26 July 2016 - ie today)

  • 1
    well cabinet.gov.krd says to use erbilresidency.com which you link to. That site says the blood test is required for a residency permit (longer than 15 days.) Not sure why you would trust a wiki over two governmental websites. – CGCampbell Jan 29 '15 at 20:47
  • I'm going to leave this bounty up for a few days, in the hope that it attracs somebody with personal experience. – CMaster Jun 2 '16 at 7:54
11
+250

Yes, it is still required. In addition the the official government source that you provided in your question, the following link should also verify this.

U.S. Government Travel Site (Last updated: Jan 28, 2016)

Blood Test: All visitors and new residents to Iraq, with the exception of those travelling on a tourist visa, must have a blood test for HIV and hepatitis within 10 days of arrival or face a USD $125 fine. The test must then be repeated every 90 days while in Iraq. Guidance on where to go for the blood test is available at the airport upon arrival. In the Kurdistan Region, travelers only need to have this blood test if staying for more than 15 days.

If I find any more info (not that you should need more proof), I will be sure to update this answer.

Gov.uk Foreign travel advice site

All visitors to Iraq, with the exception of those travelling on a tourist visa, must have a blood test for HIV and hepatitis within 10 days of arrival. The test must then be repeated every 90 days while you’re in Iraq. Guidance on where to go for the blood test is available at the airport when you arrive. In the Kurdistan Region, you only need to have this blood test if you’re staying for more than 15 days.

InterNations: Moving to Erbil (seems to be a less-official expat community site)

All visitors to Kurdistan who are staying more than 15 days needs either short or long-term permissions for residency and they are required to have a blood test taken to test for HIV and hepatitis. Information on where to go to receive the test can be found on arrival at the airport.

Kurdistan24 News Website (non explicit, reference to number of tests carried out in last 3 years, obviously implying they are still carried out) (Last updated: Dec 2, 2015)

Rekawt Hama Rasheed, the KRG Minister of Health, stated before that annually, 100,000 precautionary tests have been conducted from 2007 until 2012 while the ministry has dramatically increased this proportion to 200–300 thousand annual tests in the past three years, noting that the test is mostly done for the foreign people entering the Kurdistan Region.

Note: This question and answer only applies for the "temporary"/"short term" and "long term" residency visas, not for tourist visas.

  • 3
    Awesome job finding an authoritative reference. – JoErNanO Jun 1 '16 at 8:18
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    Note that the question asks: " In this case I am much more interested in current practice than in theory" - can you find any travel blogs or similar about people to have recently spent a "long stay" in Kurdistan. Even no mention of a blood test would add something. – CMaster Jun 1 '16 at 8:22
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    I know, @CMaster, but everyone I could find who blogged/wrote about traveling to Kurdistan in the past year have been for the 'tourist' type visa, which does not need a blood test. – Joel Damien Jun 1 '16 at 8:42

protected by Gagravarr Jul 8 '15 at 12:58

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