Iranian Passport Visa-Free Countries: How to Expand Your Horizons

Iranian Flag And Visa

Got an Iranian passport? If so, you can travel visa-free to 17 extraordinary countries, including Armenia, Qatar, Malaysia, and many more. All you need is a valid passport and a passport visa, free you’re set to explore.

But what if you’re craving more freedom of movement? Or the chance to work, live, or travel to a wider range of global destinations? Then you might want to think about getting a second passport.

You can unlock even more opportunities with Citizenship by Investment Programs like those in Turkey and Dominica. Keep reading to discover how you can broaden your horizons and embrace a world of richer cultural experiences, better living conditions for your family, and enhanced global access.

Introduction to Iranian Passport Visa-Free Countries

If you’re an Iranian passport holder, you’ll have the privilege of visa-free travel to 17 countries and territories.

These include:

  • Armenia
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • Georgia
  • Haiti
  • Malaysia
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Niue
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela

This means you can enter these countries without needing a prior visa or applying for a visa in advance.

All you’ll typically need to travel destinations is a valid passport, usually for six months beyond your departure date, and any necessary travel health insurance.

What does Visa-Free Mean?

Visa-free travel visa-free also lets you enter a country without obtaining a visa beforehand. This is thanks to agreements between countries that allow their citizens to travel without going through lengthy visa procedures. In most visa-free countries, you’ll need a valid passport to clear customs.

However, some countries might ask for additional documents, like proof of onward travel. Besides regular visas and visa-free travel, your passport might also give you access to expedited visa processing in countries where visa-free travel isn’t available. This could be a visa on arrival, where you apply for and receive a visa at a port of entry, an eVisa, or an electronic visa, which you can get online.

Benefits of Visa-Free Travel for Iranian Passport Holders

Visa-free travel has several benefits. It lets you travel to different countries without the hassle of going through the bureaucratic process of getting a visa. This can be especially beneficial if you’re a high-net-worth individual with a less desirable passport.

You can get a second passport from a country with better freedom of movement. This is often done through citizenship by investment programs. These programs can open up more work and play opportunities.

While visa-free travel simplifies the immigration process, it’s worth mentioning that applying for visas isn’t terribly difficult if you need to do so.

Overview of Iranian Passport Rank Globally

As of July 2023, the Iranian passport ranks 184th in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index. This ranking is based on passport visa-free countries and on the fact that Iranian citizens have visa-free, electronic visa on arrival or eVisa access to 45 countries and territories. This puts the Iranian passport 95th in terms of travel freedom, tied with passports from Eritrea and South Sudan.

It’s also worth mentioning in the above list that there are 20 countries that issue eVisas for Iranian passport holders. Additionally, there are 27 countries where Iranian citizens can get a visa on arrival. However, for the remaining 161 countries, Iranian passport holders need a valid visa to enter.

Man At Airport Travelling To Visa-Free Countries

Visa-on-Arrival Option for Iranian Passport Holders

For Iranian passport holders, the visa-on-arrival option is available in a number of countries, offering a more streamlined alternative to the conventional visa application process, which can be time-consuming and paperwork-intensive.

Understanding Visa-on-Arrival

A visa-on-arrival is a type of visa that you can obtain directly at your destination country’s entry point, such as an airport, a seaport, or a land border. It’s typically issued for short-term purposes like tourism, business meetings, family visits, and medical controls. The duration of a visa-on-arrival generally varies from 14 to 30 days, per travel destination country, with the exact length being dependent on the specific regulations of the country you’re visiting.

Visa-on-Arrival Countries for Iranian Passport

As an Iranian passport holder, you can obtain a visa-on-arrival for 27 countries, allowing you to plan your travel to these countries without the need for a pre-arranged visa.

These include:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Lebanon
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Zimbabwe

Guidelines for Getting A Visa-on-Arrival

To obtain a visa-on-arrival, a valid Iranian passport is necessary. You’ll also need to complete a visa application form, typically provided by the immigration officer at the entry point. A visa fee is also required, with the amount varying from entry requirements from country to country.

Additional visa requirements may include a detailed travel itinerary and proof of sufficient funds to cover your visit. Civil status documents like marriage papers or birth certificates might also be required.

It’s crucial to remember that the visa-on-arrival or visa waiver policy option is not available for Iran passports in all countries. For example, Iranian passport holders are not permitted to enter Libya. A visa application must be submitted beforehand for countries that do not offer a visa-on-arrival or visa-free entry to Iranian passport holders.

If you’re seeking to enhance your global mobility and business options, investment programs might be worth considering. These programs often necessitate a substantial financial investment in the host country, such as a business investment, real estate purchase, or a donation to a national development fund.

Participation in these programs can offer visa-free travel to a larger number of countries than an Iranian passport alone. However, these investment programs’ process and visa requirements vary by country. Therefore, consulting with a legal and financial advisor in the destination country is advisable before pursuing such programs.

Gaining Global Mobility as an Iranian Passport Holder

A growing number of affluent Iranian citizens are exploring Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs for enhanced global mobility.

Adapting to the evolving geopolitical landscape and COVID-19 pandemic complexities in free countries, these high-net-worth individuals are responding to the increased opportunity and safety a second passport offers.

For Iranian passport holders, expanding global access can be a game-changer – unlocking new business opportunities, cultural experiences, and greater freedom of movement. This enhanced international mobility can be achieved by obtaining a second passport, which is feasible in visa-free countries, or through participating in Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs. Iran’s citizens currently have two optimal routes to achieve this goal – The Dominican and Turkish CBI programs.

Best Citizenship Programs For Iranians

Both Turkey and Dominica are unique in that they remain the only two countries offering their citizenship programs to Iranian applicants. Each presents its distinct set of advantages, from expansive travel access to favorable investment atmospheres, paving the way for a myriad of possibilities for the discerning investor.

Turkish Citizenship by Investment For Iranians

The Turkish CBI program has become increasingly popular among Iranians, accounting for 22% of all applications it receives.

A minimum investment of $250,000 in Turkish real estate is required, representing a commitment that must be maintained for at least three years. However, the minimum investment threshold was increased to $400,000 in May 2022.

Providing direct access to both European and Asian markets through a one-time significant financial transaction, the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program enables visa-free entry to 125 countries and simplified access to the USA, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia. Further, it allows Iranians the opportunity to apply for American residency through the E-2 program.

Turkey’s CBI also provides the same rights as natural-born citizens, such as public health services, retirement benefits, unrestricted asset transferability, and voting rights. The bonus? There’s no necessity to renounce original citizenship or pay taxes unless one stays more than six months in Turkey.

Dominica Citizenship by Investment For Iranians

Then there’s Dominica – a favorite for Iranians due to its lower upfront capital requirement of $100,000 donated to the Economic Diversification Fund and broader visa-free access. This Caribbean nation presents a powerful passport with visa-free passage to over 140 countries and territories, including the UK, the Schengen Zone, and China.

For foreign nationals desiring real estate investment, an acquisition of at least $200,000 is necessary, retained for three years minimum, then eligible for resale under the CBI program after five years.

The absence of an interview, visiting, or residency requirement and the lifelong validity of the citizenship acquired via this investment is irrefutably attractive.

Dominica is friendly to foreign entrepreneurs, offering an attractive tax regime with a tax exemption on all foreign income, capital gains, gifts, wealth, and inheritance for non-residents; full citizenship is typically granted within four to six months.

Turkish and Dominica CBI programs stand out among others as ideal choices for potential Iranian investors seeking dual citizenship. Notably, some nations like St Lucia and Saint Kitts and Nevis do not accept CBI program applications from Iranian citizens.

Airplane Flying To Visa-Free Countries

Expanding Global Access for Iranians

In summary, an Iranian passport offers visa-free travel to a select number of countries, enhancing global mobility for its two passport holders. However, the versatility of this privilege can be vastly improved through investment programs in countries like Turkey and Dominica.

While requiring significant investment, these citizenship options open up a world of possibilities, enhancing both lifestyle and business opportunities. The path forward is in your hands; researching, planning, and then taking action can unlock a world of opportunities, ease travel and create a safety net for uncertain times.

Explore, invest, and seize the opportunities that a second passport offers!



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Rihab Saad

Managing Director
Next Generation Equity

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