Iran’s media reported on Wednesday that the country has started to issue 30-day visas for tourists from 58 countries upon arrival in its airports.
The Persian-language newspaper Donya-ye Eqtesad reported that the move is in line with a plan that was approved by the government two months ago. The visas can be extended by 15 more days, the report added. Foreign tourists could previously get 14-day visas at Iran’s airports and their visas could not be extended.
The plan mostly benefits tourists from Europe. Eligible countries are Azerbaijan, Albania, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Armenia, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Cyprus, Belarus, Bulgaria, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Croatia, Luxembourg, Poland, Georgia, Norway, the Netherlands, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Greece.
Next are tourists from Asian and Pacific countries including Uzbekistan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Bahrain, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, South Korea, North Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Vietnam, and India.
Citizens from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico can also apply for 30-day visas upon arrival in Iran. Donya-ye Eqtesad added that the instant visa is obtainable for tourists from the above-mentioned countries and it does not apply to those who hold official passports as well as businessmen and journalists.
It also said that there is no restriction for foreign tourists to obtain a visa upon their arrival at Iranian airports several times within a year. However, citizens of the USA, Somali, the UK, Canada, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan cannot obtain visa upon their arrival in airports and they need to obtain visa from Iranian consular services in their countries, the report concluded.
Iran has revoked visa requirements for nationals of 7 countries as part of its plans to boost tourism industry in the country. The citizens of Turkey, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bolivia, Egypt and Syria can travel to Iran and stay in the country without visa from 15 to 90 days under the new visa requirement regulations
Other reports say Iran wants reciprocal visa waiver programs with 28 countries as part of its bid to boost inbound tourism. The instant visa program is part of a wider plan by the Iranian government to boost revenues through attracting tourists. Officials say the country plans to attract 20 million foreign tourists in order to generate up to $30 billion in revenues a year by 2025.