The Kurdistan Region has unveiled visa-free travel for citizens from 53 countries, according to Kurdish authorities

The Kurdistan Region has announced visa-free access for citizens of 53 countries across the globe, as disclosed by Kurdish authorities.

The majority of these visa exemptions are granted to European countries, followed by Asia, North America, and Oceania.

Under this updated policy, eligible travelers simply need to present their passports at any border entry point, where they will receive an electronic visa, granting them immediate entry into the region.

Specifically, the countries now exempt from visa requirements include:

Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Asia: Bahrain, China, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

North America: Canada and the United States.

Oceania: Australia and New Zealand.

Travelers from these 53 countries must ensure their passports remain valid for at least six months to enter the Kurdistan Region without a visa.

However, it’s important to note that while citizens of these countries enjoy visa-free travel to Kurdistan, the same privilege does not extend to citizens of Kurdistan when traveling to several of these countries.

Kurdish nationals hold Iraqi passports, which rank 193rd on the VisaGuide.World Passport Index. Consequently, Iraqi passport holders can travel visa-free to only 11 countries and require visas for 166 others.

The decision to implement visa-free travel aims to bolster tourism in the country, aligning with the KRG’s target to attract 20 million tourists by 2030.

Tourism in the Kurdistan Region has seen steady growth in recent years, with nearly five million tourists, including 25 percent international visitors, recorded by the end of May last year.

The ninth cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government is committed to revitalizing and expanding the tourism sector. In 2022, the region welcomed over six million visitors, indicating a substantial increase compared to previous years, with Erbil, Sulaimani, and Duhok emerging as the most popular provinces for tourists.

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