Iran currently issues visa on arrival at 10 airports to citizens of over 180 countries.

Iran, Russia Visa Waiver on Verge of Reality

The Iran-Russia visa requirement for group tours is expected to be eliminated in the near future, a senior official at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said.
"Final negotiations between tourism authorities of the two countries have been conducted over the plan and the agreement will most probably be signed in Russia in the near future," Leyla Ajdari, the interim director of Marketing and Promotion Office at ICHHTO, said.
She did not mention the date of the meeting.
Based on the plan, group tours from both countries consisting of maximum 15 travelers and organized by certified tour operators will not require visas to visit the other country.
"Although a one-sided visa waiver will better help develop tourism, as in the case of Azerbaijan that led to an influx of tourists, the Foreign Ministry's policies call for a mutual waiver scheme to garner respect for Iranian citizens," ISNA quoted the official as saying.
The first phase of the visa waiver plan, calling for mutual relaxation of visa procedures for people active in trade, science and tourism sectors, went into effect in February 2016.
Visa waiver for group tours was the second phase of the plan, following which the two states will move toward a total visa-free travel in the third and final phases of the scheme. Iran currently issues visa on arrival at 10 airports to citizens of over 180 countries.
According to Ajdari, Iran has mutually abolished the visa regime with Georgia and Armenia, and is "currently targeting Germany, Turkey and China".
"China is proposed with a visa waiver plan similar to that of Russia. Germany is also among key tourism markets for Iran. Although no specific plan has been proposed yet, visa plans with Germany will be pursued as part of collaborations with the European Union's Tourism Commission," she said.
Iran is taking proactive measures in line with the long-term goal of 20 million tourists by 2025. However, some officials believe the country is nowhere close to the point of reaching its full tourism potential and lagging far behind neighboring countries like Turkey.


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