Traveling to Iran just got easy!

The Iranian government has just added China to the list of countries whose nationals can enter Iran without a visa. Late last year Iran also added Oman to this list.

In a constant bid to increase tourism in Iran, the government announced the visa-free entry for Chinese passport holders last month. The changes are due to come into effect by the end of July.

Vali Teymouri, Iran’s Deputy Director for Tourism Affairs has been quoted saying,

“We believe that the two countries have had common cultural and trade communications for a long time. So we should facilitate and improve mutual collaborations, especially in the tourism industry.”

Need help planning your trip? Visit 1stquest.com for hotel bookings and more!

Xi Jinping, the Chinese Paramount Leader meeting with Ali Khamenei

Xi Jinping, the Chinese Paramount Leader meeting with Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran (photo source: Official website of Ali Khamenei, Supreme leader of Iranhttp://english.khamenei.ir/photo/3211/China-s-President-met-with-Ayatollah-Khamenei).

Why visit Iran?

Iran stretches over 1,500 kilometers coast to coast from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, borders Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the West and Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the East. The central areas of Iran are mountainous and dry, the North cool climate forests and the South almost tropical in parts. Not only is Iran home to the oldest continuing civilization, but it also has amazing food, great architecture and friendly locals.

Iran attracts tourists for a number of reasons. Its Islamic architecture and history are second to none across the Middle East. For active travelers, world-class skiing, diving, trekking, and cycling are all on offer.

A trip to Iran won’t burn a hole in your pocket either. Budget travelers and backpackers can stay in hostels, catch inter-city buses and eat at traditional restaurants for around $20 a day.

If you’ve got a bit more to spend, luxury travel in Iran has never been more affordable than now.

Why is Iran welcoming more tourists?

In recent years the Iranian government has been taking steps to increase the number of tourists coming to Iran. Almost 8 million tourists visited Iran in 2018, which was a 52% increase from the previous year.

It is estimated that this latest policy change will increase the annual numbers of incoming Chinese visitors from around 50,000 to 1 million in the near future.

As economic and oil sanctions by the Trump administration cripple the Iranian economy, there has been an effort by the government and the Iranian people alike to look within to bolster their economy and create sustainable livelihoods. The local tourism industry is “unsanctionable” according to governmental experts.

In a further attempt to encourage tourists, an Iranian Cabinet spokesperson said:

“Unfortunately, the US seeks to frighten everybody who wishes to travel to IranPresident Rouhani issued an order according to which Iran will not put the stamp on the passports of the visiting foreign tourists.”

For more information see: Iran Stops Stamping Tourists’ Passport.

Persepolis, Fars, Iran

Persepolis, Fars, Iran. International tourists flock to Iran’s ancient sites.

 

Who can enter Iran without a visa?

As it now stands, passport holders from these countries can enter Iran without a visa:

  • Armenia
  • Boliva
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Egypt
  • China
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela

 

All other passport holders need to obtain a tourist visa to gain entry into Iran. you can get your Iran visa easily through 1stQuest.

How can you apply for an Iranian tourist visa?

All other nationals, not listed above, need to apply for a tourist visa before entering Iran.

Applying for an Iranian visa is not as hard as you might think!

Application fees vary by nationality and range between $20 and $170 USD. Some nationalities qualify for Iran visa on arrival, however, this is not recommended as rejection rates are higher than applications made in advance. British, Canadian and US citizens have to complete a more complicated application process but for all other passport holders, a simple form is basically all that is required. for more information about Iran visa requirements, check out this article: Iran visa requirements

Third-party providers can arrange applications for visa applicants. 1stQuest offers a simple, online service for obtaining Iranian Tourist Visa.

For more information, visit 1stquest.com or read:

Iran’s visa-free zones

Iran has numerous visa-free zone. Generally, most international visitors can stay in the visa-free zone for 14 days.

Some of these visa-free zones are beautiful vacation destinations. Both Kish and Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf are visa-free zones. Kish is a coral island with picturesque sandy white beaches and luxury resorts and is one of the Middle East’s most popular holiday spots.  Qeshm Island, also located in the Gulf, is equally as beautiful but in a more rugged way. Qeshm will charm any visitor with its great scuba diving, fishing, and mangrove forests.

Kish Island

The visa-free zone of Kish Island, Iran attracts more than 1 million tourists annually.

Need travel advice?

1stQuest is your one-stop-shop for planning your Iran trip. Offering visa and insurance services, Iran hotels, flight, transfer and bus bookings and discounts on packages, your travel plans just got easy!

Contact us today!

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