Iran consulate in Herat issues 200,000 visas to Afghan nationals

The Iranian Consulate in the western province of Herat in Afghanistan said it issued 200,000 visas to Afghan citizens this past solar year (starting from 21st March 2022).

Mohammad Seddiqifar, the Consul General of Iran in Herat, said “in the first 11 months of this year, 200,000 visas have been issued to Afghan citizens in different sectors.”

He noted that Iran has always tried to provide Afghan citizens with facilities to travel legally to Iran.

“Iran’s consulates and embassies in Afghanistan have provided services to the people of Afghanistan in the past half century, despite many twists and turns [the country experienced] and provided the basis for travel and tourism to Iran for the citizens of Afghanistan,” he added.

The Iranian consulate is one of the oldest political representations in the western part of Afghanistan, which has been in Herat for nearly 90 years.

The number of applicants at the embassy and consulates, who want to leave Afghanistan, has “significantly” increased following the takeover of the Taliban. Current political and economic crises have forced many people to migrate to neighboring countries including Iran and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, poverty and unemployment have also led to the increase of migrants to Iran.

Najibullah, a resident of the Jaghori district of Ghazni province who immigrated to Iran due to hardship and unemployment, said: “I am fed up with unemployment. I was forced to travel to Iran to seek a job to support my family and I have no other choice.”

Abdur Rahman, a resident of Herat province, also stated that he wanted to travel to Iran due to financial problems.

“I studied for 12 years, but now I have to go to Iran because I have no money. I urge the Taliban to rebuild Afghanistan and use the country’s mineral resources. Investments should be made in the country and job opportunities should be created for the people,” he added.

A number of economic experts, meanwhile, said that the unemployment rate increases on a daily basis, and for this reason more people decide to migrate either to find a job or seek asylum abroad.

According to experts, the Taliban caretaker government must provide people with employment, start extracting minerals and attract foreign investors so that the migration of people stops.

Economic experts also warned that the Afghan economy is on the verge of collapse, which would also lead to further migration.

Iran is one of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and shares a 950-kilometer stretch border. The two countries also speak the same language, Persian. It is said that at least half of the population of Afghanistan has traveled to Iran once in their life for various reasons.