How to renew your Kurdistan Region residence permit

Please note that penalty fees won't be applied in case you delay the renewal of your process until the 1st of June 2020. Starting from 1st of June 2020 you will need to have your permit renewed otherwise you will face a 20,000 IQD penalty for each day delayed.

To employers: you have until the 15th of May 2020, to file your tax payment and renew your company papers in order to be eligible to apply for residency permits for your employees. However, it's highly likely that this deadline will be extended.

Are you eligible?

You need to renew or replace your residence permit if:

  1. Your residence permit card is about to be expired which is shown on the card.
  2. Your card has been damaged, stolen, or lost.
  3. You have changed sponsors (employer).
  4. There's incorrect information on your card.
  5. You have moved between cities (e.g. Erbil to Sulaymaniyah)

Documents to prepare

You will need the following documents before you start your application

  1. A valid passport with at least 6 months left before expiry date.
  2. Your previous residence card permit.
  3. 2 Passport sized photos.
  4. Up-to-date company papers from your sponsor.
  5. Support letter directed from your sponsor to the directory of residency (city name you're applying to).
  6. Necessary funds to renew, including penalty fees in case your card has already expired (we'll discuss fees after).

How to apply

  1. Blood test: After preparing all documents, you need to perform a blood test. You can do this by visiting the residency office and go to the department responsible for blood tests. They will take your picture, and send your details to Erbil's Central Laboratory for blood tests. You then have to visit Erbil's Central Laboratory to perform your blood test to ensure you don't have any viruses which disqualify you from applying for a residence permit in the Kurdistan Region. The results will be sent back to the residency office in 48 hours. They are located opposite Jalil Khayat's Mosque on 60M road in Erbil. You can do the same by visiting the related authorities either in Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, or Garmyan. Operating hours of Erbil Central Laboratory is 8:30am until 12:00pm and reopens 3pm till 5pm. A blood test costs 31,500 IQD (approx. 26 USD).
  2. Papers from employer: your employer needs to provide you with the following papers: Employment letter, Employment contract, Form 37, and Information form.
  3. Residency permit fee: pay a fee of 175,000 IQD (approx. 145 USD)
  4. Check social security and sponsor status: ensure that you've paid your social security fees, which your employer is responsible for. If you change sponsors then you need to take additional measures in order to switch sponsors.
  5. PoA: if a representative or lawyer intends to assist you in this process then you should provide them a valid power of attorney issued by a government notary. The PoA needs to include the necessary powers in order to visit the residency office and to sign on some documents on your behalf which is required in the process. Government fees apply for PoA.
  6. Final works in residency office: You then visit a few rooms to handover the documents in the residency office and will be asked to provide your fingerprint.

Need more help?

If you still feel confused or think that you need more help then it's best to seek advice from a professional. We are the first registered and largest law firm in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Let us do all the work for you to ensure that your application goes smoothly and gets finished as soon as possible with no trouble. Contact us by e-mail: or give us a call: +964 750 424 7777. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to get our latest updates and to view free legal information.


Q/ How long does it take to renew my Kurdistan Region residence permit?

A/ It should take no more than a week.

Q/ How much does it cost to renew a Kurdistan Region residence permit?

A/ 175,000 IQD for the permit, 31,500 IQD for a blood test, and your lawyer/representative fees.

Q/ How much should I pay my lawyer or representative for a Kurdistan Region residence permit renewal?

A/ It's worth to note that each case is different and has different fees. However, prices can be up to 700-900 USD depending on the application status.

Q/ What are the penalty fees for the delay of renewing your Kurdistan Region residence permit?

A/ As soon as your permit expires, you would have to pay 20,000 IQD each day. (approx. 16 USD)

Q/ Are holidays and weekends included for paying penalty fees? As in do those days count as well?

A/ Unfortunately due to our experience we've noticed that for some holidays penalty fees count and some don't. They're very unpredictable.

Q/ Where is Erbil Residency office located?

A/ They're located in Erbil on the 100M road next to the directory of passports which is opposite of Empire World. 

Q/ Do I have to apply for a new Kurdistan Region permit if I change sponsors or cities even before it expires?

A/ No, you can wait until your permit expires, however you need to ensure that your previous sponsor would be willing to provide you with the documents by the expiry date.