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How to Get Visa for Traveling to Iran (2019 Guide)

How to Get Visa for Traveling to Iran (2019 Guide)

In a little bit more than ten years, the number of tourists in Iran jumped from 300.000 visitors to six million last year. By 2025, Iran's goal is to attract 20 million visitors! With this boom in tourism, authorities are doing their best to facilitate and fasten the visa procedure. That's why getting a visa to travel to Iran has become really easy for most foreign citizens. Here's everything you need to know to get yours:

Specificities and requirements for a Tourist visa

The Tourist visa is granted for a length of thirty days in most of the cases, sometimes fourteen.

It is required to have at least six months validity on your passport to apply. The Tourist visa can, in theory, be extended twice at the Police Offices of Foreign Aliens of most big cities in Iran.

Insurance is mandatory to travel to Iran. You can either subscribe one before in your country or directly at the airport if you require the Visa on arrival (VOA). Notes that the insurance of your Mastercard or Visa credit card can sometimes cover you. In that case, you simply need to print the insurance notice, mentioning your dates of travel and clearly stating Iran as your destination.

The Visa on arrival (VOA) procedure

Most countries can currently benefit from VOA, which makes the visa application really simple. Only ten countries are excluded from this procedure (see exceptions to VOA below).

While it's not mandatory, it is highly recommended to first submit an application online, on the dedicated website of the Foreign minister of Iran (http://e_visa.mfa.ir/en ). Since it's more probable that your request is rejected if you do so personally, you'd better ask an official travel company to do it for you (request your Visa authorization code here). It is advised to apply a few weeks in advance, even if it's still possible two days prior to arrival. For the application, you simply need a digital copy of the first page of your passport, a digital personal photo, and the contacts of your first night's stay. Following the application, you will receive an e-visa authorization number.

Currently, most of Iran's main airports deliver VOA, among which of course, Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). Once at the airport, you simply have to submit your documents along with your e-visa authorization number to the airport's visa desk. The procedure can take from fifteen minutes to one hour, depending on the airport and the flight.

Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA) sample
Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA) sample

Here are all the airports in Iran deliver Visa on Arrival:

  • Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran (IKA)
  • Mehrabad International Airport, Tehran (TEH)
  • Shahid Dastghaib Airport, Shiraz (SYZ)
  • Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport, Mashhad (MHD)
  • Shahid Madani Airport, Tabriz (TBZ)
  • Shahid Beheshti Airport, Isfahan (ISF)
  • Kish International Airport, Kish (KIH)
  • Bandar Abbas Airport, Bandar Abbas (BND)
  • Shahid Sadooghi Airport, Yazd (AZD)

You'll have to pay the visa fees, which depend on your nationality. Most of the time the cost is about 75 euros, up to 150 euros, and must be paid in dollars or euros in cash. After these simple formalities, you're free to pass through the customs and start enjoying your trip to Iran!

Note that if you intend to extend your stay in Iran, it is recommended to apply for a Tourist visa at the embassy rather than opting for the VOA. This latter can be harder to extend and the extension often limited to fourteen more days.

On information purposes, here are the VOA’s fees for the 80 nationalities who can pretend to it (subject to modifications):

 

COUNTRY

FEES (in Euros)

COUNTRY

FEES (in Euros)

Algeria

30

Angola

85

Argentina

70

Armenia

20

Australia

145

Austria

75

Bahrain

20

Bangladesh

40

Belgium

75

Brazil

80

Bulgaria

75

Cameron

60

Chile

120

China

100

Croatia

50

Cyprus

75

Czech Republic

75

Denmark

75

Dominican

70

Eritrea

40

Estonia

75

Ethiopia

25

Finland

75

France

75

Gabon

75

Germany

75

Ghana

75

Greece

75

Hong Kong

80

Hungary

75

India

90

Indonesia

45

Iraq

50

Ireland

75

Island

75

Italy

75

Ivory Coast

60

Japan

60

Kenya

60

Kuwait

60

Lithuania

75

Magnolia

70

Mexico

45

Morocco

30

Morris

60

Mozambique

40

Netherlands

75

New Zealand

150

Nigeria

55

Norway

75

Oman

75

Palestine

45

Philippine

55

Poland

75

Portugal

75

Qatar

75

Romania

75

Russia

70

Saudi Arabia

30

Senegal

50

Serbia

85

Sri Lanka

40

Singapore

75

Slovenia

75

Slovakia

75

South Africa

80

South Korea

50

Spain

75

Sudan

60

Sweden

75

Switzerland

75

Tanzania

60

Thailand

75

Tunisia

45

Uganda

100

Ukraine

80

United Arab Emirates

100

Uzbekistan

70

Venezuela

45

Yemen

40

 

No stamp on your passport any longer when travelling to Iran

Since mid-2018, travellers' passports are not stamped any longer. It means that once you've left Iran, there will be no trace of this travel on your passport. This measure aims to facilitate people to travel to Iran, by avoiding the potential restrictions from a third country.

Exceptions to VOA

VOA is issued for tourism purpose only and thus, to ordinary passports.

Even though, there are some limitations to obtain a VOA, among which:

- Travellers whose visa for Iran have been rejected previously.

- Journalists, diplomatic and official passports,... who have to apply for a specific visa.

- Holders of a passport containing an Israeli stamp or visa.

- Other restrictions might affect citizens from Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Those nationalities are recommended to apply for a Tourist visa at the embassy.

Map of Visa policy of Iran for countries
Map of Visa policy of Iran for countries

Procedure to apply at the embassy

If you have to apply to the Iranian embassy of your country, please carefully check the requirements according to your nationality.

The Tourist visa delivered at the embassy is valid for three months, and the authorized length of stay in Iran is the same as the VOA, namely one month. The delays to obtain a visa depend on each embassy but is usually about two weeks.

United States, United Kingdom and Canada: Conditions to travel to Iran

It is mandatory for American citizens, as well as Canadian and British, to be accompanied by an authorized guide during their trip to Iran. Thus, to obtain a visa, citizens from those countries must contact an official tour agency or an official private tour guide to get through the visa procedure.

Israeli citizens willing to travel to Iran

Citizens holding an Israeli passport are currently not allowed to enter Iran.

The case of dual Iranian nationality

Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, so foreign citizens whose mother, father or husband are Iranians, are themselves considered as Iranian. Hence, they must enter the country with their Iranian passport.

Visa-free countries 

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, and China

According to several agreements between Iran and other countries, some nationalities can enter Iran to travel without any visa. The stay varies from fifteen days to three months. It applies to the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, and China.

It's also possible for every citizen to enter one of the Iranian free trade zones (Such as Kish Island, Chabahar, Maku, etc.) without a visa, for a maximum stay of two weeks.

Read this article to know more about Visa-free countries and Iranian free trade zones. 

No part of this content including texts, photos, and itinerary may be republished or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission and referring to TasteIran.
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