NEW DELHI: The Iranian government on Tuesday announced the conditions for visa-free travel to the country by Indian citizens, saying travellers will be allowed to enter only by air and stay for a maximum of 15 days.
Iran approved a new visa-waiver programme for 33 countries, including India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico, in December. Iranian culture minister Ezzatollah Zarghami had said the move is aimed at boosting tourism and neutralising “Iranophobia campaigns”.
The Iranian government has abolished visas for Indian citizens from February 4 subject to four conditions, the Iranian embassy said in a statement. Indians with ordinary passports will be allowed to enter Iran without a visa once every six months, with a maximum stay of 15 days which cannot be extended.
The visa abolition specifically applies to Indian nationals who enter Iran by air. It also applies only to Indians going to Iran for tourism.
Indian nationals who wish to stay for a longer period, make multiple entries within six months or require other types of visas must obtain necessary visas from Iranian missions in India, the statement said.
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.
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.
31,000 Indians visited Iran in the first six months of 2023, marking 25% growth compared to the same period in 2022.
Most foreign travellers visit Iran for tourism, trade, medical treatment and pilgrimage, Shojai said.