Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched an official e-visa web portal for travellers visiting Iran, making it easier for tourists to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
Citizens of over 180 countries are eligible to use the service. The United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Jordan, Somalia, Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are excluded. On the other hand, citizens of Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, Armenia, Venezuela, Egypt and Malaysia can travel to Iran without the obligation to apply for a visa.
On Sunday, Urmia Airport joined the airports in Shiraz, Mashhad, Tehran-IKA and Isfahan to start issuing e-visas. An e-visa office was also inaugurated at Urmia Airport, available for travellers who wish to obtain an e-visa in place within 3 minutes, the airport reports. The airport manager hopes that the easier visa process will result in a surge of international flights to the West Azerbaijani city. The airport is already experiencing a growth in passenger numbers and negotiations to construct a new international terminal have been held.
Iran previously solely offered traditional visa and visa on arrival for citizens of the eligible countries. Due to the recent influx of tourists combined with an inefficient system, it has not been unique for travellers to have waited for hours before obtaining a visa. Iran hopes to improve the efficiency by letting the traveller to essentially secure a visa at home. The website can be found here.
In July 2016, Iran extended the validity of visa on arrivals to 3 months.
Photo: Mahdi Marizad, Fars News Agency