I want to go

If you want to go abroad, we can help you make an informed decision.

There is so much information out there on living and working abroad and how to get there. Surely, you know someone who lives outside of Iraq. Who possibly undertook a difficult journey to get there? Who possibly has troubles abroad and someone who has been returned back? The Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) is here for you, to advise you and your family while taking a decision on leaving Iraq. 

We help Iraqis make informed decisions when considering going abroad. We provide guidance on a number of issues including:

  • the processes and procedures involved in going abroad,
  • employment opportunities abroad,
  • education opportunities for Iraqis abroad,
  • your rights and duties as a migrant in destination countries,
  • socio-cultural norms and labour laws of destination countries,
  • verification of overseas employment contracts,
  • the role of various Iraqi institutions in the migration process,
  • how to protect yourself and where to seek help abroad, if needed,
  • information on national skills development and vocational training programmes,
  • safe and successful return back to Iraq.

We have dedicated staff at the Migrant Resource Centre who can answer these questions.

You can discuss your plans and the MRC counsellors will provide you with all the information you need – in a personal session at the MRC or via phone, Whatsapp, Viber or Skype.


Our counselling is free-of-charge and strictly confidential.

We will tailor the information to your needs!

Come and see or call us to find out more at the MRC in Baghdad

you go!

MRCs provide free of cost sessions to all intending and outgoing migrants (workers, professionals, students, families, young men and women). We put a lot of emphasis on the right and credible information about safe migration whether it is for employment, settlement or education. The orientation sessions highlight the benefits of regular migration and exposes the hazards and consequences associated with irregular migration.

These sessions help you in making an informed decision.

We hold sessions for students at technical and vocational institutions, colleges and professional universities. These classes cover safe migration, the current migration trends and risks and consequences of migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

MRC counsellors visit technical institutions, colleges, universities and communities to hold awareness sessions on a regular basis.

Please contact us if you want us to visit your school, your community, your village to raise awareness on migration.

5 Things to Consider Before Migrating

Considering migrating to another country? Before you pack your bags, let’s discuss what you need to know before you go.

1. Immigration

Some countries offer immigration policies for Iraqis, others don’t. Before moving to another country, make sure you are going to be allowed and welcomed in the country – meaning do you need a visa to visit, work, study or stay with a family member? What is the country’s immigration policy? 

2. Risks

When moving to a new country, there are a myriad of risks to consider, including economic, social and personal security and health risks:

  • Economic risks: will you be allowed to work in your destination country? Do you have a valid work visa? If you do not have a valid work visa before entering a country, you will not be allowed to work and will not be able to provide for yourself or your family.
  • Social risks: you will leave behind your family and friends, your social network, which provides you with support in Iraq. If you do not know the language of your destination country or learn about the customs, there is a risk that you will not be able to integrate into your new host society.
  • Personal risk: if you move to another country without a valid visa, you risk your personal safety. Smugglers or facilitators promise to bring you safely to another country, if you just pay them enough. However, they do not tell you about being stuck in tiny spaces for days without being able to breath, they do not tell you about the fears you live while being smuggled to another country.
  • Health risks: travelling through irregular means (smuggler, facilitator, entering without visa) has serious health risks. You can injure yourself during the trip and will not have access to medical treatment. If you enter a country without visa, you do not have access to health insurance or medical treatment. People who travel through irregular means also often suffer from mental health problems because of mistreatment they have experienced or because they cannot work and support their family.

3. Cost of Living

People often migrate to another country because of the hope for a higher income. However, an important consideration is the costs of living in your destination country. With the salary promised by your future employer, will you be able to rent an apartment, pay for food and clothing and support your family? Costs of living is often higher than in Iraq, which you should assess before leaving for another country. 

4. Language

Do you know the language of your destination country? Is there a possibility to take a language course before you leave Iraq? Will you be allowed to take language courses in your country of destination? Not knowing the language makes live abroad very difficult: you cannot read the lease of your apartment, go shopping, go to school or get a job or simply engage in a conversation to make new friends. Consider learning basic vocabulary in each of vital areas of your day-to-day life and get to know people who can speak your language and can help you.

5. Import Taxes, Shipping Costs

Will you also move your belongings overseas? What will you take with you and what will you leave behind? This will vary from country to country and it is a good idea to discuss these issues with an immigration lawyer, the counsellors at the Migrant Resource Centre or a person who has experience. Consider collecting as much information from official sources as possible.

Some countries allow foreigners to bring in their possessions tax-free. There are others that limit what you can bring by placing tax on imports. Remember to check duty rates too and acquire an accurate bill of lading along with a customs freight forwarder.

Legal migration can provide you with many opportunities, but you need to be properly prepared and do thorough research. A well-thought out plan is going to be better for your health, happiness, and personal satisfaction. Sure, adjustments are going to have to be made wherever you settle down, but with the right advanced planning, you will be better able to handle these challenges.


Are you planning to leave Iraq? Maybe for work, your education or to join your family abroad? If you do, please follow the below points in order to stay safe!

1. Be Informed

Before deciding to migrate, find out as much as you can about the place where you want to go, living and working conditions there, if you already have a job offer about the work you will do, about other people who will go with you. Talk to your friends and family, local authorities, NGOs and to the Migrant Resource Centre.

2. Migrate legally

Travelling without visa and other legal documents is a bad decision. Migrate only if you have all the documents you need for this travel, including your visa and work permit. Irregular migration puts you under many risks, for instance exploitation for work without pay.

3. If you are offered or promised a job abroad, know the Recruiter

Do not trust everyone. Find out as much as you can about the recruitment agency that is assisting you in finding work abroad. What is their reputation? Do they have a license for their work? Are they asking you to lie about your age or to work without a contract?

4. Sign a Contract before you set-off to work to another country

Contracts are important! Ask to have a contract signed with the recruitment agency. When you find work, ask to have a contract signed with your employer. Without a contract, your work is not legal.

5. Protect Your Documents

Keep your personal documents safe. Make photocopies of your passport, visa, work contract etc. Keep the originals in a safe place and keep photocopies with you. Do not give your documents to other people and do not let anyone else keep them.

6. In Emergencies

Be prepared. Always carry with you a list of important telephone numbers including local police, ambulance, fire department, your friends and family, your embassy or consulate department, NGOs, trade unions, migrants associations and of the Migrant Resource Centre.

7. Keep in touch with other people

Keep regular contact with your friends and family back in your home country. Let them know that you are well and safe. Befriend and interact with other migrants. This way you can help and support one another.

8. Protect yourself

If you have problems, talk with trusted persons. Seek help from NGOs or authorities for advice and protection, for example your embassy in the host country.


Our counselling is free-of-charge and strictly confidential.

We will tailor the information to your needs!

Come and see or call us to find out more at the MRC in Baghdad


Travelling without a visa or work permit or other legal documents or crossing the borders in an irregular way is a bad decision. If you do not have all the legal documents you need for travelling abroad, you are putting yourself under big risk. If you cross borders without having a visa for the country you are entering, you are breaking the law.

Be careful!

There are criminal groups or intermediaries/agents operating and taking advantage of people who decide to travel illegally. If you seek help from such intermediaries or agents who sell information, services and documents to go abroad, you may not only go into debt on very harsh conditions,but very often you are also not told the truth and may end up in violent or exploitative situations.

Criminal groups or intermediaries may also promise a job or another good opportunity abroad. If this looks too good to be true, then it is not true. Migrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to trafficking in persons, a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sexual exploitation.

Be vigilant!

Criminal groups can charge you a lot of money for your travel and may also put you under life threatening risks during the journey abroad. You may also not arrive at the agreed destination.

Other situations that can put you at risk

Even if you travel legally to another country but then overstay your visa or work permit, this makes you an irregular migrant. Remember that you will always be in a vulnerable situation without proper documentation or legal permit to stay in a foreign country.

Without legal permits, the authorities of the foreign country will expel you and return you to Iraq.

Some general information on what irregular migration, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants mean:

Irregular Migration

No universal definition
✓ Irregular migration – Movement of persons that takes place outside the laws, regulations, or international agreements governing the entry into or exit from the State of origin, transit or destination.
✓ Sending country/Country of Origin, the irregularity is seen in cases in which a person crosses an international boundary without a valid passport or travel document or does not fulfil the administrative requirements for leaving the country.
✓ Destination country: it is entry, stay or work in a country without the necessary authorisation or documents required under immigration regulations.

People who... Through (means)
Have entered the country illegally Avoid migration inspection
Have entered a country on false documents Use of forged documents or visa
Have broken visa conditions Overstaying or working without permit
Are not in possession of their papers Missing/stolen/lost/taken passport
Have failed to leave after a negative asylum decision Staying after negative asylum decision by host country
Are born into Irregularity Being born to an irregular migrant
Were smuggled into a country Entering a state illegally
Are victims of human trafficking Trafficked into the country

Human Trafficking

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;

The Act (What is done)

Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons

The Means (How it is done)

Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim

The Purpose (Why it is done)

For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

Criminalisation of Human Trafficking

Iraq’s 2012 anti-trafficking law criminalized labor and some forms of sex trafficking. Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, the anti-trafficking law required a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute a child sex trafficking offense and therefore did not criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking. The anti-trafficking law prescribed penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 million Iraqi dinar ($8,790) for trafficking offenses involving adult male victims, and up to life imprisonment and a fine of 15 million to 25 million Iraqi dinar ($13,180 to $21,970) if the offense involved an adult female or child victim.

Element Smuggling of Migrants Trafficking in Persons
Type of Crime Against the State Violation of human rights of person
Why do we fight it To protect State Sovereignty To protect rights of individuals
Relationship between parties involved Commercial relationship b/w smuggler and migrant ends after reaching destination Exploitative relationship b/w Trafficker and Victim. Exploitation Continues for Profit.
Rationale Organized Movement of Persons for Profit Organized recruitment/transport and continuous exploitation of the victim.
Illegal border crossing Illegal border crossing is key element – Transnationality  Border crossing (legal or illegal) not required/part of the definition i.e. THB can be within a country as well.
Consent Migrant consents to illegal border crossing Either no consent or initial consent is made irrelevant due to force, deception, coercion at any stage.



MRC provides information and counseling to intended migrants on safe migration and raise awareness on irregular migration and the related serious risks, in order to empower potential migrants and encourage them to make informed choices.


Counseling is one of the core services offered at the MRC. Clients can benefit from one-to-one consultations at our premises, but they can also choose to consult our Counsellors over the phone (hotline 800 50 555), Skype (MRC IRQ) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Our counseling is free-of-cost and strictly confidential.

We provide guidance on a number of issues including:

  • the processes and procedures involved in all stages of migration cycle,
  • employment or education opportunities abroad,
  • rights and duties of migrants in destination countries,
  • socio-cultural norms and labour laws of destination countries,
  • verification of overseas employment promoters, government fees and the role of various institutions in the migration cycle.

Providing intending migrants with an opportunity to consult our Counsellors will not only enable them to make an informed decision, but also help us in achieving our objectives of raising awareness of Iraqi people on the issues of safe, legal and regular migration, irregular migration and its consequences, migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Pre-departure Briefings

Pre-departure briefings are important for protection of migrants and migrant workers. These briefings provide basic information to departing migrants to ease their transition into the country of destination and empower them with necessary and useful information to maximize the benefit of their overseas employment experience.

During pre-departure orientation we provide detailed information on:

  • migrant workers’ rights and duties,
  • safety and health at workplace,
  • general working and living conditions in the destination country,
  • key challenges one might encounter and coping strategies,
  • a detailed list of all important contacts in case of emergency.

Orientation Sessions for Intending Migrants and Students

MRCs provide free of cost orientation to intending migrants (workers, professionals, family members and students). We emphasise on informing people about safe migration whether it is for employment, settlement or education. The orientation sessions highlight the benefits of regular migration and exposes the hazards and consequences associated with irregular migration. These sessions are designed to help migrants in not only making an informed decision but also ensure the migration process is smooth and comfortable. We provide these orientation sessions in our office in Baghdad.

MRCs recognise the importance of technical and vocational training institutions in promoting skilled migration. We have designed free of cost orientation classes for students at technical and vocational institutions, colleges and professional universities. These classes cover safe migration, current migration trends and social and economic benefits of migration. MRC counsellors visit technical institutions, colleges and universities to hold awareness session on a regular basis.

Referral Facilitation

MRC has established a referral system with Government and private institutions to facilitate the migration process based on individual needs. MRC Counsellors can assess the needs of intending migrants and refer them to relevant institutions to get necessary documentation, certifications, verification of advertised jobs by overseas employment promoters and register their grievances, if any.

International scholarships for Iraq

Information material


What is an MRC?

MRC is an information centre which provides services directly to migrants to facilitate and promote their recourse to legal, orderly and safe migration.

Who can contact us?

Intending migrants, migrant workers, returnees, Iraqis living abroad, students and family members of migrants can contact us.

Which services does the MRC provide?

Counselling to walk-in/ telephone clients

The MRC provides guidance on a number of issues ranging from the processes and procedures involved in all stages of the migration cycle, rights and duties of migrants in destination countries, socio-cultural norms (and laws) of destination countries. Providing intending migrants with an opportunity to consult the MRC counsellors will enable them to make an informed decision.

Orientation sessions on safe and informed migration with students

The MRC provides free of cost orientation to intending migrants by educating people about safe migration whether it is for employment, settlement or education. These sessions highlight the benefits of regular migration and expose the hazards associated with irregular migration. They can also target the most vulnerable groups such as refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Referral and Support

There are often times when a client has a query or concern which goes beyond the ambit and scope of the MRC. These concerns, while relevant to the subject-matter in general, may be dealt with by government services or other organisations established primarily for those concerns.

Outreach through (social) media

To enhance the outreach to broader mass of Iraqis, (social) media products shall be developed, such as: MRC website: www.mrciraq.iq, Facebook site, Twitter account.


Through the outreach activities, MRCs naturally collect information and data on migration in Iraq. In addition, the MRCs can conduct small surveys to better analyse and understand migration trends in Iraq.

Cooperation with Stakeholders

Seeking cooperation with stakeholders, including ministries, government departments and institutions, NGOs, concerned embassies, media and academia and many more is a core element of the MRC outreach work. This element of the outreach work is essential to ensure the sustainability of awareness raising and community outreach of the MRC. Partnerships shall be sought with government entities providing services to the Iraqi people in various stages of migration, NGOs with a community outreach (and migration) agenda, embassies to gather knowledge on legal migration opportunities, identify fraudulent agents/advertisements abroad, academia – to grow the knowledge base on migration, etc.

Briefings to the journalists / outreach through media

The media and journalists play a crucial role in shaping people’s mind on migration issues. Media can raise awareness on the issues of migration, irregular migration, migrant smuggling, human trafficking and the consequences and hazards related to irregular migration.

Outreach (stalls) at exhibitions/ educational events

Exhibitions and educational events provide a good opportunity for visibility, distribution of IEC material and showcase MRC services to youth. Furthermore the MRC can organise exhibits and promotional events to inform the public of the services that are provided by the MRC.

Who is working for the MRC?

The MRC team comprises of professionals who have vast experience in the field of migration, counselling and community engagement. The team is led by MRC Coordinator and supported by MRC counsellors. The MRC team is part of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA) and supported by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The MRC is funded by the European Union and Norway through project (Improving Migration management in the Silk Routes countries” and “Establishing an MRC and raising awareness on migration in Iraq”

What is the objective of the MRC?

1. Information: To increase the accessibility of the potential migrants, labour migrant and their families, to general and specific information on migration, as well as for incoming foreign workers.

2. Awareness raising: To raise awareness on the issues of safe migration and consequences and hazards of irregular migration - among students, foreign workers, media, community leaders, IDPs, etc. through orientation sessions, workshops and outreach campaigns.

3. Capacity Building: Collaborate with relevant government departments to improve services available to potential migrants and foreign workers

4. Advice: Become a one stop shop for potential migrants as well as foreign workers by providing basic, reliable information at all stages of migration cycle

Can the MRC secure a job abroad?

No, MRC cannot secure a job abroad for you. MRC is a resource centre for migrants for information and guidance. The MRC is not a job placement centre or recruitment agency.

Can the MRC get me a visa?

No, MRC cannot provide visa facilitation. However, we can guide you through necessary steps to get a visa and provide information on visa requirements of different countries.

Are you charging for your services?

No, all of our services are completely free of cost.

Can the MRC conduct orientation sessions for students?

Yes, MRC conducts orientation sessions for students from vocational and technical institutes, colleges and universities. MRC counsellors visit technical institutes, colleges and universities to hold awareness session on regular basis.

What opportunities / avenues are available for students who want to pursue further education abroad?

These links maybe useful:

How can the MRC help me in migrating abroad?

The MRC can provide you with information that will be useful for you to make an informed decision about migrating.

Who else
can help?

Migration related Reports and Publications:

Migration Flows from Iraq to Europe: Reasons behind Migration

Iraq – CMFS: Migration Drivers and Reasons for Migration to Europe (2017)

ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers – Results and Methodology

The twin challenges of child labour and youth employment in the Arab States : an overview

Health of refugees and migrants

Human Trafficking and modern day slavery

Trafficking in Persons Report – Iraq 2020

Financial Flows from Human Trafficking, July 2018

Towards an Iraqi Diaspora engagement policy brief:

Skills Development Initiative - Decent Work for Domestic Workers

Who else can Help?


Migrant Resource Centre (MRC)

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs - Baghdad AL-Waziriya
Directorate of Labour and Vocational Training
Iraq- Baghdad
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrc.iq
Hotline – 800 50 555

Google Map:

Google map