The Iranian government has approved a proposal by the country’s foreign ministry to waive visa fees for foreigners visiting neighboring Qatar for the World Cup tournament in late 2022.
Government Spokesman Ali Bahadori said on Wednesday that issuing free of charge visas for World Cup visitors will be in line with agreements reached with Qatar during a trip to Doha last month by Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi.
“This (Cabinet) bill can have an effective role in attracting and encouraging World Cup visitors to travel to Iran and to boost the country’s tourism industry,” said Bahadori in a tweet.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry had said earlier this week that the new visa scheme will apply to all World Cup visitors except nationals of the United States, Britain and Canada as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
The report said that visas issued under the scheme will be valid for two months and for 20-day stays and visitors will be able to apply for one, two or multiple entries.
Iran has been working closely with Qatar to help the country in its preparations to host the World Cup from November 21 to December 18.
Authorities say the southern Iranian island of Kish could be a major destination for World Cup visitors seeking to travel to Iran. The resort island, located 200 kilometers from the Qatari capital Doha, is a special zone with easier economic regulations compared to the mainland.
Qatar’s transportation minister Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti traveled to the island earlier this week to tour its facilities while holding talks with senior Iranian government officials that led to the signing of several bilateral agreements.