Iran waives visas for Hongkongers

August 3, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian government has waived visa requirements for visitors from Hong Kong, a measure also adopted for Chinese passport holders earlier this year.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced that tourists from the country will no longer need visas to make trips to Iran, Mehr reported on Friday.

As China Radio International reported, Iran is implementing a visa-waiver program for Hong Kong's tourists who wish to stay up to 21 days in Iran.

Visa-free validity for Chinese visitors to Iran was extended from a previously announced 15 days to 21 days, deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri said in June, almost a month after the Iranian cabinet’s decision about putting no visa policy for Chinese tourists visiting Iran into practice.

The decisions are made to attract more foreign tourists to the country; however, it is a unilateral measure i.e. Iranian tourists visiting China or Hong Kong still need visas.

Iran has taken some similar steps to increase its revenues from tourism under U.S. sanctions, the report said.

In mid-June, President Hassan Rouhani issued an order to the interior minister, according to which Iran will not put stamps on the passports of the visiting foreigners.

Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei has said “under its economic terrorism plans, the U.S. is trying to frighten and stop foreign tourists from making trips to Iran.”

“Unfortunately, the U.S. is following its economic terrorism programs against Iran and seeks to frighten everybody who wishes to travel to Iran from future problems or being sanctioned,” he said, adding, “President Rouhani issued an order according to which Iran will not put stamp on the passports of the visiting foreign tourists.”

Iran is expected to attract one million Chinese in the near future through the visa waiver for Chinese tourists.

AFM/MG 

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