Tehran, 20 October 2005 (CHN) -- Iran has provided some facilities to issue a 7-day visa just in an hour for the inbound tourists arriving in Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad in Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, and Tabriz' international airports.
With submission of a ticket which indicates the departure date from the country and a passport which is valid for 6 months to the representative of Iran's Foreign Ministry in the transit lounge of the airport, foreign visitors can receive a 7-day tourist visa, which can as well be extended once by referring to the Foreign Ministry of Iran.
"Representatives from the Foreign Ministry and Police Department will be present in the transit lounge of the airports and will issue Iran's visa in less than 15 minutes. Some cases need to be inquired about from Iran's Information Ministry, which will take no more than an hour," says Mirkhani, director general of the visa office of the Foreign Ministry of Iran.
According to Mirkhani, the project was not welcomed by tourists during the first month it was enacted, but little by little the number of applicants for this kind of visa has increased and now every day nearly 500 of this kind of visa is being issued.
Currently a travel agency is providing ticket and tours services in Mehrabad Airport of Tehran, open 24 hours a day. Therefore, those inbound tourists who could not arrange for their trips in advance could take advantage of the facilities provided.
Citizens of 68 countries who bear regular passports can use this service without priorly applying to the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in their homeland and get their visa on the spot in international airports of Iran. If for some reason, the visa could not be issued for some tourists, the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran is obliged by law to pay for their return to their countries.
The 7-day visa is however not issued for a limited number of countries, including Czech Republic and England in Europe, the US, Canada, Argentina, and for citizens of European and refugee-accepting countries who are originally from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria.
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