“Not Valid for Travel In Iraq”

While reading this sad story about an Indian contractor working for the US military injured in Iraq, I noticed that India has told its citizens not to work in Iraq since 2004, when three Indian contractors were kidnapped. But what can a country do prevent its citizens taking work in dangerous locations that pays better than jobs at home?

The Philippines knows how. Since 2004, it has put stamps in new passports saying they are not valid for travel to Iraq. This isn’t the first time the Philippines has pulled this: in the late 1980s and early 1990s, passports were stamped with limitations prohibiting travel to South Africa (because of apartheid) and Lebanon (because of the civil war).

Contracting firms in Iraq still employ Filipino workers — as long as they have old passports without the stamps.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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5 Responses to “Not Valid for Travel In Iraq”

  1. Joe says:

    That policy doesn’t make sense to me. How can the Filipino government control whether Iraqi passport inspectors will accept its nationals’ passports? Is this just some form of comity?

  2. von Kaufman-Turkestansky says:

    Actually, folks, endorsements and limitations of passports are practiced by many countries, including Canada and the USA. You may have noticed an “Endorsements and Limitations” page on your passport (or perhaps it’s labelled simply “Endorsements”. Anyway, if you are interested in the procedures in the USA (I couldn’t find the Canadian ones – I am not sure if they are available to the public): http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86781.pdf ..

    7 FAM 1394 GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS IN PASSPORTS7 FAM 1394.1 General Restrictions(TL:CON-49; 4-30-90)a. The applicable regulations (see 22 CFR 51.72) provide that unless specifically validated, U.S. passports shall cease to be valid for travel in, to, or through a country or area which the Secretary has determined is:(1) A country with which the United States is at war;(2) A country or area where armed hostilities are in progress; or(3) A country or area in which there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers.b. Any determination made under these paragraphs shall be published in the Federal Register along with a statement of the circumstances requiring this restriction.c. If the Secretary determines that U.S. passports are not valid for travel to a particular country, all posts will be advised immediately by a telegram which will include any specific action required.d. In certain circumstances, exceptions to passport restrictions are made by the Department (see 22 CFR 51.73).e. The criteria are as follows:(1) The applicant is a professional reporter, the purpose of whose trip is to obtain, and make available to the public, information about the restricted area; or(2) The applicant is a representative of the American Red Cross; or(3) The applicant establishes that the trip is justified by compelling humanitarian consideration; or(4) The applicant’s request is otherwise in the national interest.f. If the applicant abroad wishes to apply for passport validation for a country to which travel is restricted, include the applicant’s full name, date and place of birth, passport number, and detailed data concerning purpose for traveling. After determining eligibility for validation, the Department will advise the post of the decision and specify action required to inform the applicant.7 FAM 1394.2 Special Restrictions(TL:CON-18; 9-26-86)When invalidating a passport for travel in a country or countries for which the use of the passport is not generally restricted, place a restrictive endorsement in the passport. Use whichever of the following forms appropriate to the particular case.
    Page 10
    7 FAM 1394.2-1 Passport Not Valid for Travel to or in an Additional Country(TL:CON-18; 9-26-86)THIS PASSPORT IS NOT VALID FOR TRAVEL TO OR IN (COUNTRY).7 FAM 1394.2-2 Passport Valid Only for Travel in Specified Area or Country(TL:CON-18; 9-26-86)

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