Saturday, 4 February 2017

IRAN: Iran Wants Free Visa With India, China, Russia, Azerbaijan

Having secured visa-free regimes with Armenia and Georgia, Iran is now seeking visa-simplification frameworks with India and China, as the country is increasingly realizing the importance of tourism following an international sanctions relief.

Iran is willing to commence visa-waiver discussions with China as it has already started the same talks with Russia, Azerbaijan, and India, ISNA quoted Ali Baqer Nemati-Zargaran, the director for promotion and marketing affairs at Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization as saying on Friday.

“For the time being, Azerbaijan offers visas on arrival to Iranian travelers while Iran has abolished the visa regime with Azerbaijani citizens,” Nemati-Zargaran explained.

The CHTHO fosters close collaboration with Foreign Ministry’s Consular Affairs Office which leads the visa waiver negotiations, he added.

In November, some sources reported that Iran and Russia have come to an agreement to waive visas for certain tour groups of 5 to 50 people for up to 15 days. The deal is expected to come into effect by 2017.

Based on the new agreement tour groups of 5 to 50 people heading to Russia from Iran or vice versa will be granted a visa-free stay of up to 15 days.

Earlier in July, Iran extended visa on arrival from 1 month to 3 months to open its doors for the return of foreign tourists following the landmark agreement nuclear deal, under which Iran is committed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for international sanctions relief.

Bases on statistics compiled by Passport Index, Iranian passport currently ranks 92 that is based on the freedom of travel it provides, in other words the number of countries the passport holder can travel to without applying for a visa.