Visa-Free Travel for Indians in Iran

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Presently, citizens of certain European countries enjoy visa-free access, while others can obtain e-visas with a validity and multiple entry options.

Iran on Tuesday announced visa-free travel for Indians and citizens of several other nations for a maximum stay of 15 days. Iran’s decision follows a similar visa waiver implemented by Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. To subscribe please click and access our live channel.

The conditions for visa-free travel to the country by Indian citizens, will be allowed to enter only by air and stay for a maximum of 15 days. Iranian culture minister Ezzatollah Zarghami had said the move is aimed at boosting tourism and neutralising “Iranophobia campaigns”.

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Announcing the latest development, Iranian embassy said, “The visa-free entry has been rolled out for Indian citizens from February 4 subject to four conditions”.

What are the Conditions?

  • Individuals holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter the country without a visa once every six months.
  • It is important to note that the 15 days cannot be extended.
  • The visa abolition only applies to individuals entering the Islamic Republic of Iran territory for tourism purposes.
  • Indians wanting to stay longer, make multiple entries within six months, or require other types of visas must obtain necessary visas from Iranian missions in India.

Other Visa-Free Nations in Iran

Earlier, Iran had lifted visa requirements for the citizens of Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Oman, China, Armenia, Lebanon, and Syria. The 32 other countries included Russia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Mauritania, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Seychelles, Indonesia, Darussalam, Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brazil, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and Belarus.

According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran’s foreign tourist arrivals during 2022 rose 315% from a year earlier. Data showed some 4.1 million tourists came to Iran in 2022, up from 990,000 in 2021. 31,000 Indians visited Iran in the first six months of 2023, marking 25% growth compared to the same period in 2022.

Moslem Shojai, who heads the Iranian tourism ministry’s foreign tourism marketing and development office, said in December that there had been a “notable growth” in travellers from India in 2023. Most foreign travellers visit Iran for tourism, trade, medical treatment and pilgrimage, Shojai said.

Visa-Free Entry for Indians

At present, 27 countries provide visa-free entry to the citizens of India. These include Kenya, Indonesia, Barbados, Bhutan, Dominica, Haiti, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam have also recently waived visa requirements for the citizens of India. In December 2023, Thailand had announced a visa exemption for Indian citizens, from November 10, 2023 to May 10, 2024.

In October 2023, Sri Lanka lifted visa requirements for the Indian nationals under a pilot project, with the exemption to continue till March 31, 2024.

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