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its summer 2018, this year world cup is in Russia, the russian government decided to let all football fan to visit without visa, if you buy any match ticket!

i did lots of research to see if holder of Iraqi passport are eligible for this opportunity too! i emailed the russian consulate in erbil and they give me green light!

then i checked for tickets, but all sold out on the official website! so i checked for second hand tickets, got lots of options but i was so hesitate didnt know if its a scam or not! so after lots of research i ended up in a trustworthy one! well some how hahha

then i got a ticket, but it was mentioning a random russian name! i mailed the ticket to a good russian of mine and he handed it to another good russian of mine, then she mailed the hard copy to my home town! 

i got it a day before my supposed flight, i was really lucky! 

by the ticket i applied for the FAN ID which we could use as an entry permit to russia, so i print it out and i flew! a friend of mine who good a similar ticket and flew before me he said that he didnt face any problem at the airport.

when i arrived in moscow, i was so scared that i would get denied entry because there is another name on my match ticket! but the immigration officer didnt look at the match ticket just checked my FAN ID and said welcome to russia!

i looked at the stamp, it was mentioning that its eligable for russia and belarus! i was so happy!

the multi entry visa for holder of the FAN ID was eligible till the end of the year, so i used it many times hahah for exploring surrounding countries! there are many stories i faced with this, hopefully one day i will write about all those experiences hahha


well russian visa is a long process and require an invitation letter, so visiting during the world cup was the best thing i could wish for, especially it was free visa, well just the match ticket price!


so iraqi citizens can apply for russian visa in both their embassy in baghdad and their consulate in erbil but you have to get an invitation letter sponsorship and accommodation for the exact days of your stay!

official web site of the Russian consulate in erbil, visa section:

official web site of the Russian embassy in baghdad, visa section:

UPDATE August 2023

Russia has introduced an e-visa system, eliminating the need for sponsors or invitation letters. Enjoy a single-entry visa valid for 60 days, with a 16-day stay duration, all for a $52 fee.


Unfortunately, Iraq is not on the the eligible list, but hopefully in the near future we will have a chance.


List of eligible countries:

Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Myanmar, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Vatican, and Vietnam!


Official website:

Consulate of Russia in Erbil:

consular section tel: 009647507206521

email:    /

location: Dashti Hawler, Pirmam street, Kelekin section № 1/5, sub-section № 85

Embassy of Russia in Baghdad:

Consular section: + 964 7 901105471


address: Al Mansour, Al Mutanabi Qu., Sector 605 – Street 5 – House 4

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