Iran is the land of diversity, it has gotten a little from everything of nature and culture. To the conclusion, such a diverse country with four-season natural attractions besides its reputable history and the most hospitable society takes most of the travellers under its spell. That is why many tourists decide to extend their stay while visiting Iran. Among planning another journey to Iran and extend the actual trip, the second one is more feasible, economic and less time-consuming. So here are listed necessary tips for extending your Iran visa.
In general, you can get your tourist visa extended by its primitive duration twice. It means a 30 days’ visa in the maximum situation can be extended to 90 days. You should note that if you have a visa on arrival (VOA) you can extend your visa for 30 additional days. But if you obtain your visa at an Iranian embassy with permission to stay for 30 days, it seems much easier to extend your visa twice.
Visa extension is possible in major cities in Iran including Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, Mashhad, Kerman and also in some islands such as Qeshm. You have to find a Police Office of Foreign Aliens or Immigration and Passport Police Head Office and apply for your visa extension.
The ease of obtaining a visa extension depends on which city you are going to request it. Experiences have been said that Shiraz is a little easier as the office has good access to Banks where you need to make payments. Besides, it's close to the city centre and police officers are more easygoing in tourist-friendly cities. So it’s recommended to plan your itinerary and note to have your hotel name and address you are lodging in as you can extend your visa in cities which are more familiar with tourists.
Here is “Police Office of Foreign Aliens” address for some major cities:
- Shahr Ara Street, the Immigration & Passport Police Head Office In Tehran, Phone: +98 21 6693 5058
- Jahad Sq., towards Vali-e-Asr Avenue, Migration Police Department (for "visa on arrival" extension), Phone: +98 21 2182 9157
Zaer Blv. Shahid Lavasani St, Administration of Immigrants, Phone: +98 25 3772 3838
Roudaki St., near Azadi Sq. the Immigration & Passport Police Head Office in Isfahan, Phone: +98 31 3218 4547
Yazd Khorramshah Bahonar Blvd، Vali-e'-Asr, Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs, Phone: +98 35 1724 4055
Moddarres Blvd, near Vali-e-Asr Sq. Shiraz Immigration and Passport Police, Phone: +98 71 3725 0028
Namaz Blvd. Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants, Phone: +98 51 3822 5280
Since you should prepare yourself for multiple steps, it’s best to arrive during the opening time. So your process can be completed on the same day. Normally working hour is 8 am. To 2 pm.
1. Do not mention any residential property in Iran in which you have stayed because it is a national security matter in Iran.
2. If your occupation is any of sensitive positions such as journalist, human rights associate or supports feminism and social activist may cause some difficulty to the process of your visa extension.
Since the renewed visa is issued from the day you apply for it, the best time to extend a tourist visa is the last days before its expiration. If you apply one week before expiration, for a 30 days’ extension, the officer gives you 30 days from the application date. So you will miss one week here.
Also, it’s not possible to extend a visa when you have visa duration left. The best time to apply is 3 days before your visa expiration.
Here is a list of the necessary documents you need for applying to visa extension:
Either you can go directly to a bank near the immigration office to make the payment or easily pay by debit card in place. In case you don’t have a debit card to pay you can easily request for TasteIran tourist card and charge it with your preferable amount and with any major currency just before you proceed visa extension and make your payment without any inconvenience.
• Photos should be real, not copies. And ladies should have a hijab(headscarf) in their submitted photos. In some offices, there is a copy office and also an in-house photo service. But you’d better have your documents and photos ready to speed up the procedure.
• Only a few offices have payment facilities inside. Otherwise, don’t be surprised to go outside and find a Melli Bank for the payment. Usually, there are some cabs outside the office waiting to help you with this process. Otherwise, you can go by yourself and get help from locals.
Prepare your documents and find “Police Office of Foreign Affairs”. You should let your gadgets including phone and camera at the entrance safe box. Ask for a visa application form and fill it. It’s really important to prepare a good reason for the extension. After filling the form, you will be directed toward a “Melli Bank” or payment room. The payment form is not translated to English, but don’t worry, just ask bank staff to help you. You have to pay about 400/000 Rials in cash. Once you make the payment, a receipt will be given to you. You should bring back it to the “Police Office of Foreign Affairs” and finish your application.
After giving all the documents, take your passport and wait for a stamp. The whole process will take 2 to 5 hours.
Usually applying for the second extension you may be invited to an informal interview to explain the reason -why you want to extend your visa. It’s a usual interview that always happens for visas by immigrant polices. After explaining why you want to extend your visa you might be asked about -how many more days you demand to extend the visa and -what’s your plan for these days. Besides, you’ll be asked about -your habitation. Also, you might be asked about -your job situation and -the whole purpose of your trip.
You’d better mention the hotels you have stayed so far to convince officers. And it’s very helpful to talk about places you have a plan to visit and other hotels that you are going to stay in. It might not be good to mention you’re going to stay or have stayed, in a residential property in Iran.
If you don’t speak Farsi, you’ll be directed to an officer who speaks English and can write your explanations in Persian. Then you’ll have to go back to the officer who makes the decision.
• Personal experiences from tourists say that Tabriz is the most difficult place to extend your visa and the probability to be rejected is relatively high. And the easiest city for the visa extension is Shiraz. BothIsfahan and Tehran have been recorded good experiences.
• On applying day, ladies should try their best in dressing modestly. Which means, not peeking much hair out of headscarf. Officers are strict about it.
• It’s important not to have a sensitive or political job for the visa extension.
• If you have an itinerary to explain about other cities you would like to visit, it can be very helpful. Besides, talking about wonderful historical and natural sites that you have already visited would help to satisfy the officers.
• If many days from your original visa are left, don’t apply for an extension. As mentioned, you will miss your left days. Or in case you have many days left, you might be asked to come back near your visa expiration time.