People, Travel

Visa Facilitation Talks in Bern

Visa Facilitation Talks in BernVisa Facilitation Talks in Bern

Iran and Switzerland are mulling the possibility of easing the issuance of visas to academia, businesses and investors of both countries in an effort to expand bilateral ties.

During talks in Bern, the director of consular affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Ali Chegini and Urs von Arb, the vice director of international cooperation at the Federal Refugee Office, discussed ways to strengthen diplomatic ties and emphasized the importance of relaxing visa regulations for citizens of both states, Mehr News Agency reported.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Iran’s law enforcement forces and  officials who handle the affairs of Iranian expatriates.

The two sides called for stronger ties and agreed that facilitating travel between the two states would be a strong first step.

Chegini pointed to the friendly relations between Tehran and Bern and said the two states’ tourism industry would also benefit from strong two-way diplomatic ties.

He said in addition to businesses and academia, tourists should also benefit from easy visa procedures.

Iran’s new airport visa regulations aimed at facilitating foreign arrivals went into effect last month, allowing foreign travelers to receive month-long visas at international airports.

Currently, travelers from across the world, except for 10 countries, can obtain visas on arrival at airports.

Colombia, Somalia, Britain, Canada, USA, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been excluded from the list.

A working group, comprising members from security and police forces, Foreign Ministry and Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, is tasked with discussing visa waivers and reviewing future policy. Officials, however, have repeatedly said that the country will issue visa waivers only to nationals of countries that reciprocate the move.