Tourism in Iran has blossomed in the recent years and the number of tourists who are eager to explore Iran, a land full of beauties, has increased. There are a variety of attractions in Iran that seduce tourists with any interest, from historical places, beautiful mosques and stunning palaces for architecture lovers, to ancient sites, monuments and museums for history lovers, holy shrines, Sufi monasteries, Armenian churches for those who see beauty in spirituality, lush, green forests and mountains and deserts for eco-tourists and nature lovers, and lots of other attractions that appeal to any visitor to this land.
Traveling to Iran, like all the other countries in the world, requires applying for a visa. Applying for and getting Iranian visa has been facilitated recently, for instance, by establishing Visa on Arrival (VOA) for 80 countries.
For more information about Iran visa rules read our article “How to Obtain Iran Tourist Visa (2019 Guide)”.
Yet, citizens of some countries can enter Iran without a visa. Read the following article, to know more about these countries.
Which Countries’ Citizens Can Visit Iran Without a Visa?
Currently, citizens of 11 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into Iran. The maximum allowed length of stay varies depending on the country from 15 days to 90 days. The last visa exemption in Iran was for Omani citizens, in October 2018.
Here are all the 11 Iran visa exempt countries with the maximum duration of their stay in Iran:
- Armenia: 90 days (within 180 days of each visit)
- Syria: 90 days (within 180 days, arriving straight from Damascus)
- Turkey: 90 days.
- Georgia: 45 days
- Azerbaijan: 30 days
- Bolivia: 30 days
- Serbia: 30 days
- Lebanon: 30 days
- Egypt: 20 days
- Malaysia: 15 days.
- Venezuela: 15 days.
Visa-Free Entry to Iran
Travelers from visa-exempt countries for Iran only need their valid passport to enter Iran. They even don’t need an insurance on their stay in Iran.
They can stay in Iran as long as they are allowed to, as mentioned in the previous section. But if they want to stay longer, they need to apply for visa at the Iranian embassy in their country, or, if they are eligible, they can apply for Visa on Arrival at the airport.
Israeli passport holders are totally banned from entry into Iran. Also, travelers with a travel document containing an Israeli visa, Israeli entrance stamp, or evidence of any other connection to the Israel will have many obstacles getting an Iran visa.
Iran Trade-Industrial Free Zones (TIFZ)
Even if you are not a citizen of one of the eleven visa-exempt countries, there are some areas within Iran that you can enter without having a visa. These areas are Trade-Industrial Free Zones, where imported goods can be stored or processed without being subject to import duty.
The government of Iran operates seven free trade zones and 16 special economic zones in the country. The Trade-Industrial Free Zones of the Islamic Republic of Iran are as follows:
- Qeshm Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Chabahar Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Aras Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Anzali Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Arvand Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Kish Trade-Industrial Free Zone
- Maku Trade-Industrial Free Zone
Among these free zones in Iran, Kish and Qeshm Islands, the two biggest and most popular islands in Iran, as well as Chabahar port are the most prominent ones.
Kish and Qeshm Islands, located in the Persian Gulf, are two stunning natural wonders that attract thousands of visitors each year. Kish Island is a modern place and is the fourth most popular tourist destination in southwest Asia. It has crystal clear waters and pristine sandy beaches. There are extraordinary canyons, raw landscapes of rock formations and some picturesque villages in Qeshm Island. These two destinations are popular among Iranians and foreigners; there are also plenty of modern shopping centers in these islands. The free zones are good places for shopping at cheaper prices than in the other parts of the country.
Nationals of almost all foreign countries are allowed to enter the Iranian soil without a visa and are eligible for a 14-day stay, with the possibility of an extension of stay. However, the citizens from some countries require a visa even for entering these areas; these countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, India, Iraq (except for Kish Island), Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Iran Tourist Visa
Citizens of other countries who are not eligible for visa-free entry to Iran and like to visit all cities in Iran, have to apply for a visa. They can apply for a tourist visa at the embassy or they can apply for e-visa online, but 80 nationalities can also apply for Visa on Arrival at the airport. The fees and duration of stay vary to some extent, according to the nationality. Getting Iran visa is not difficult at all!
There are some requirements for Canadian, British, and American citizens need to observe, for getting Iran visa. They need an official guide to help them in their application process for Iran visa.
For more information on Iran Visa for citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, read Iranviva article “Iran Visa for visitors from the US, UK and Canada”.
Don’t hesitate to contact Iranviva Group that will help you during the process of visa application.