From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Visa Free travel for Indians
Mains level : NA
- The recent announcement of visa-free travel to Iran for Indian passport holders has garnered significant attention, marking a significant milestone in bilateral travel facilitation.
Iran’s Visa-Free Regime for India
- Tourism Purposes: Indian citizens holding ordinary passports can avail of the visa-free travel privilege but must intend to visit Iran solely for tourism purposes.
- Mode of Entry: The relaxation applies exclusively to travelers entering Iran via air routes.
- Maximum Duration: Travelers under this scheme can stay in Iran for a maximum of 15 days during each visit.
- Re-entry Provisions: Re-entry into Iran is permissible after a gap of six months from the previous departure.
- Extended Stay or Multiple Entries: Individuals desiring prolonged stays, frequent visits within six months, or seeking alternative visa categories must obtain requisite visas from the Iranian diplomatic missions in India.
Visa Trends for Indians beyond Iran
- Current Visa-Free Countries: 27 countries now offer visa-free entry to Indian citizens, with recent additions including Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
- Global Outreach: Beyond immediate neighbors, countries like Barbados, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, and Nepal offer visa-free entry to Indian citizens, reflecting evolving global travel dynamics.
- Popular Destinations for Indian Citizens: The top five travel destinations are the UAE, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Thailand, with many visiting as part of the diaspora.