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Iraqi Kurdistan - Travel and visas
All visitors to Kurdistan will require a visa, usually obtained on arrival at the land border or at the airport. Some nationalities, however, require a visa prior to arrival in Kurdistan. Check with your local Kurdistan Regional Office before you travel.
Most foreign visitors will travel to Kurdistan either by land from Turkey through the one border, Habur, which is currently open but subject to closure without warning, or by air to Erbil or Suleimaniyah. Most flights operating from Europe and the Middle East fly directly to Kurdistan without going via Baghdad. Note: Border closures and flight suspensions can happen at short notice during the current conflict, so although this information is accurate at the time of going to press, it is as well to check before you set off.
Kurdistan is not a big region and the roads are improving rapidly. Although journeys to more rural areas will still take some time, it is best to look at the time spent travelling as part of the experience. Admire the scenery and the views. The Ministry of Constructionhas prioritised the improvement of roads between the main cities. Estimated travelling times by car between the major cities are: Erbil–Suleimaniyah (170km) 2½ hours; Erbil–Dohuk (245km) 3 hours and Dohuk–Suleimaniyah (340km) 5 hours.