The opening of the centre marks the first time that Iraqis in Kurdistan are able to apply for a UK visa from Erbil and further strengthens UK-Iraq relations.
In his speech at the opening of the new centre Lord Marland said:
"The new Visa Application Centre in Erbil reflects a further strengthening of the relationship between the UK and Iraq.
The ability to travel between countries is key to any prosperous relationship. In the past, If Iraqis in Kurdistan wanted to visit the UK for business, tourism or to simply meet with friends and family they had to travel to Baghdad or outside the region to obtain a visa.’’
Lord Marland was visiting Kurdistan as part of a programme that included attending the Erbil International Trade Fair.
All applications for a UK visa must be made online through the UK Visas website UK Visas Website Applicants must then make an appointment at the Erbil Visa Application Centre which is operated by Gulf Bridge at Visa Info Services
Applicants must pay an application fee of $375 per person in addition to the visa fee which varies depending on the type of visa being applied for. Visas currently take around 15 working days to be processed.
Further guidance on the visa application process is available on the UKBA website. UKBA