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In the Central and Southern Governorates of Iraq:
Refugees and asylum-seekers can acquire a work permit from the Iraq Ministry of Interior and work legally in Iraq if they are:
- Age 15 years and above, and
- Hold a valid residency permit, which includes a mandatory blood test and security clearance
Per Article 95, adolescent labour (ages 15-18 years) is prohibited during evening hours and in sub-terrain, subaquatic, or high or circumscribed areas. An adolescent’s physical fitness must be proved by a designated physician. A valid work permit entitles you to the same rights as Iraqi nationals, including the minimum wage.
Informal employment and businesses are against the law in Iraq. Engagement in informal employment puts you at risk of loss of rights, unfair pay, detention by Iraqi authorities, and deportation from Iraq.
For Palestinian refugees:
- If your family arrived in Iraq in 1948: you have the right to work in both the public and private sectors.
- If your family arrived in 1967 or after: you have the right to work in the private sector only.
In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI)
- If you Iraq entered without a visa: you are permitted to work within KR-I as a refugee or asylum-seeker if you hold a KR-I residency permit (which includes a mandatory blood test and security clearance) and are age 15 years and above. You do not need to separately obtain a work permit.
- If you entered Iraq with a visa: If you entered Iraq with a visa: You need to obtain a work residency permit card from the Residency Directorate (which includes a mandatory blood test and security clearance). Your employer should sponsor you at the Residency Directorate and register you as an employee with the Social Insurance Directorate.