People, Travel

Iraqi Arrivals Rising

Iraqi Arrivals RisingIraqi Arrivals Rising

During the first 6 months of the current Iranian year (started March 21), 1.08 million visas were issued to Iraqi visitors. By the end of the year, 2 million Iraqis are estimated to enter Iran, where they often receive medical services, Mojtaba Karimi, the representative of consular affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs said.

Karimi shared the information with Cultural Heritage News (CHN) during the second regional special meeting of the Strategic Council on Health Tourism of western and southwestern provinces.

According to the statistics provided by the foreign ministry, nearly 1.1 million visas were issued to Iraqi visitors during the Iranian calendar year 2012. The figure rose to 1.76 million in the following year, started March 21, 2013.

He also said that electronic visas would be issued in the near future. Such visas were previously issued at Ahvaz airport, but were discontinued due to inadequate regulations. Soon a bill will be passed in this regard.

There are different types of visas including T type for medical services at affordable prices, and long-term M type for Iranian women married to foreign citizens, Karimi said. He emphasized the necessity of timely issuance of visa for ensuring admission of visitors to hospitals offering medical services, treatment, and the follow-up trip. To this end, close cooperation is needed between travel agencies as executive arms, and the strategic council on health tourism as patron and organizer.