Iran agrees to extend visa validity for Indian nationals

July 27, 2019 - 18:22

TEHRAN – Iran has agreed to extend visa validity for Indian visitors to 90 days from 30, The Economic Times reported on Saturday.

Tehran-New Delhi ties have received a boost in recent weeks with the Islamic Republic offering one-year multiple-entry visas to Indians with the aim of deepening bilateral trade and people-to-people contact.

It comes despite India’s decision to stop import of oil from its old ally and reduce the budget for Chabahar Port expansion under the shadow of U.S.-led sanctions, the report said.

The two nations are also negotiating a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to strengthen cooperation in legal matters involving their citizens. An Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Civil and Commercial Matters is currently being negotiated with Iran, minister of state for external affairs V. Muraleedharan told Indian Parliament on Thursday.

The proposed agreement was discussed during the India-Iran Joint Consular Committee Meeting (JCCM), held in New Delhi on May 14, with a view to its expeditious conclusion, the minister said.

In June, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a decree on facilitating foreign tourist arrivals in the country, saying that visa-stamping waivers should be extended to all airports across the country.

As of last November, Iran started issuing electronic visas -- without any entry or exit stamps -- for those traveling to the country, in a bid to facilitate tourist inflow and to cope with sanctions recently reimposed by the U.S.

Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals in the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), which shows a 52.5 percent increase year on year. The ultimate goal of the Islamic Republic is to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025.

AFM/MG

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