Iran to start issuing work visas for Afghans

Photo credit: Getty images – Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli

TMP – 16/10/2017

Following a visit to Iran in September, the Minister for Refugees in Afghanistan, Alami Balkhi, has announced that the Iranian government has agreed to start issuing work visas and official documents to Afghan migrants in the country from September.

According to Iranian Interior Minister Abdul Rafique Rahmani, while 730,000 Afghan migrants left Iran last year, most of them have returned to the country. Rahmani said that while Iran maintains control over its borders, it has been relatively easy for Afghans to enter Iran.

According to the Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli, providing work visas to Afghans will help to combat human trafficking that is exploiting Afghan migrants, as there will now be an official channel through which to enter the country legally.

“We agreed that people who want to go to Iran should now apply for a legal visa. This way we can prevent human trafficking where people must pay money to human traffickers on the way or they are killed,” Rahmani said. “Undocumented migrants cause problems for Iran in terms of security and welfare and must be identified,” he added.

People who live without a valid visa in Iran are often vulnerable to smuggling, extortion and abuse. Currently, more than three million foreigners live in Iran, most of them Afghans.

The Iranian Interior Minister also said that he was aware of incidents of Afghans being mistreated in Europe but insisted that this “does not happen in our country”.

“They [Afghan migrants] speak Persian like our people, they are given the chance to work and live there,” the Minster said.