What are the documents for applying for a visa? How long is it valid? What is Iran E-visa? Can I get an Iran visa on arrival (VOA)? We answer all you need to know about the Iran visa policy in this article.
Having information about Iran visa policy and its process brings you peace of mind and saves your time and energy. Here is an ultimate guide to collecting the Iran visa.
Read also: Travel to Iran: Tips for First Travelers
Different types of Iran visa
Your purpose of the trip as well as other factors will determine what type of visa suits you best based on the laws and regulations of Iran. According to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you can apply for eleven types of visas named: tourists, business, pilgrimage, diplomatic services, education, temporary work, transit, media, investment, marital, and medical.
Let’s move on:
1- Which countries do not need to apply for Iran visa?
Based on mutual agreement, citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan (15 days), Bolivia (30 days), Turkey (90 days), Syria (90 days), Lebanon (30 days), Georgia (45 days), Armenia (90 days), Venezuela (15 days), Egypt (20 days), Oman (15 days), Malaysia (15 days), and China (21 days) are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Iran. So they can travel to Iran without applying for entry visa.
So if you don’t hold a passport from any of the above countries, you must apply for your Iran visa.
How can I get Iran visa?
Some countries are eligible for Iran visa on arrival (VOA), meaning they can easily apply and pick up their Iran visa when they arrive at one of Iran’s international airports. However, those who are not eligible for Iran VOA, need to apply for Iran visa in advance and pick up Iran visa paper in one of Iran embassies in their own countries.
2- Who is eligible for an Iran visa on arrival (VOA)?
All citizens can get Iran visa on arrival (VOA) except citizens of Canada, UK, U.S., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Scotland and Somalia.
Besides, Iranian nationals holding other nationality’s passports are not allowed to get Iran visa on arrival.
Remember that Iran visa on arrival is issued for tourist purposes only. So diplomatic passports and official passports cannot apply for this type of Iran visa.
Those countries that are eligible for Iran visa on arrival, can get their visa in two ways: The first way is to apply for Iran visa once they arrive in one of Iran international airports and the second way (recommended) is to apply for Iran visa authorization code in advance to ensure your visa status before travelling to Iran. Applying Iran visa authorization code in advance not only brings you peace of mind, but also save you so much time at the airport.
What is Iran Visa Authorization Code? The authorized travel agency will apply visa authorization code on behalf of you to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and once the agency receives the visa authorization code, will send it to you. now you can travel to Iran and pick up your Iran visa paper from one of Iran international airports.
In fact, having the Iran visa authorization code means your Iran visa is approved in principle and you need to pay the visa fee in euros through banking terminals and provide additional hard copy of documents at Iran airport to pick up your Iran visa paper.
What is the process of visa on arrival?
1- First way – apply for visa at Iran international airports: When you arrive in Iran, at any international airport of Iran, you have to fill up an application form and then you should pay your visa fee receipt at the cashier in dollars or euros in cash.
Then, you have to deliver your passport, application form, and receipt to the visa officer and wait for your turn. They will call your name and give your passport back to you with your visa in it or ask you some additional questions before handing your passport over. The whole process may take 20 Minutes to some hours.
2- Second way – apply for Iran visa authorization code in advance (recommended): you can apply for Iran visa authorization code in advance and once you receive the visa code, you can travel to Iran and pick up the visa paper at the airport. this way is much safer, faster and highly recommended.
Which airports in Iran issue VOA?
If you enter Iran from one of these airports you can get your visa on arrival:
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA), Mashhad International Airport (MHD), Shiraz International Airport (SYZ), Tabriz International Airport (TBZ), Isfahan International Airport (ISF) are some of airports where the VOA issue.
The others are Kish International Airport (KIH), Lar International Airport (LRR), Ahwaz International Airport (AWZ), Bandar Abbas International Airport (BND), Bushehr International Airport (BUZ), and Qeshm International Airport (GSM).
- Iran visa on arrival at seaports and land borders
If you want to cross seaports or land borders to enter Iran, the wise decision is not to rely on Iran VOA. If you plan to cross land border to enter Iran, it is recommended to apply for Iran visa in advance from one of the Iran embassies and after you picked up your Iran visa paper then head to Iran borders.
However, you can receive an Iran VOA visa in the southern part of Iran at Shahid Bahonar Harbor in Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province issues Iran VOA.
In the north of Iran, cyclists and tourists can receive Iran VOA in Astara, Iran-Azerbaijan border in northwestern Iran.
Which documents do I need for Iran VOA?
1. A valid passport with at least 6 months validity
2. Two passport photos to be attached to the Iran visa application form:
Although visa officers take the needed picture with a digital camera but having photos make the procedure faster and easier.
3.Visa fee in cash, to be paid to the airport’s Iran Visa & Passport Office
Iran VOA fee depends on your nationality. At the moment it’s somewhere between 75-150 euros. However, it may be slightly different. Here you can find the Iran visa fee for your nationality:
4. A confirmed return ticket/hotel voucher
It is not necessary but if you have a rigid plan, your return ticket is a good document. However, a lot of travelers do not have a definite plan and any return ticket and it is fine.
Sometimes, the officer may ask about the hotel reservation. It is a good idea to bring the hotel reservation or voucher you booked for the first days of your sojourn with you.
5. Travel/medical insurance
It is needed for any kind of Iran visa. The terms “Middle East” or “Asia” are not acceptable. Your insurance company should announce that the visa is valid for Iran. Although you can buy insurance at the airport from 14 to 34 euros or buy it in advance through a travel agency.
Here we offer you an easy way to buy your insurance in advance. At Exotigo, the process of buying insurance takes less than five minutes to apply and pay online. We’ll email you your policy within two business days. In this way, you don’t get caught with the wrong insurance anymore since we guarantee your policy’s validity in Iran.
3- How can apply for Iran visa if you are not eligible for Iran VOA?
- Visa for Americans, UK and Canadian citizens
As an American, British and Canadian citizen, you need to travel Iran under a tour from arrival to departure and hire an authorized tour guide to accompany you as per Iran visa policy.
Citizens from these three countries, need to hire an authorized travel agency, to take care of whole their Iran travel needs including Visa, Tour package and tour guide.
- Visa for Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, Somali, Sri Lanka and Scotland citizens
You need to apply for Iran visa authorization code in advance and once you receive your visa code, have to attend one Iran embassy in your own country with the required documents to pick up your Iran visa entry paper.
- Visa for Afghanestan and Bangeladesh citizens
For applying for Iran visa, you need to personally attend to Iran embassy in your own country with the required documents and apply for Iran entry visa. (you are not eligible to apply online for Iran authorization code)
For those Afghan and Bangladesh citizens who hold dual citizenship or travel documents for another country, they are eligible to apply online the Iran visa authorization code through one of Iran’s travel agencies and once they receive the visa authorization code, they can attend the Iran embassy in their own country with required documents to pick up their Iran visa paper.
Documents you need to provide to collect your Iran visa at an embassy:
1. Passport with a minimum of 6-months’ validity
2. A copy of passport
3. Two photo size pictures
4. Visa application form (to be filled at the embassy)
5. Visa application authorization code
How long is Iran visa valid for?
On the Iran visa sticker, you can find the visa validity. Most of the time it is valid for 30 days. However, if you do not travel Iran in that period, you should re-apply for a new visa.
How can I extend my visa?
Very easily. If you get a 1-month visa, you can extend it twice for 30 days. This means that you can travel to Iran for up to 90 days.
You can extend your visa at any Immigration Visa Office in any provincial capital. Yazd or Esfahan are very popular places to extend your visa among travelers.
General tips about Iran visa
Here we tried to gather some general tips regarding Iran visa. Later on, we will go through all mentioned information in detail for more clarification:
- If you have dual nationality you should announce it according to your travel documents and passport that you want to carry. Because If the nationality printed on the visa is incompatible with the nationality printed on the passport, the visa will be null.
- To apply for all kinds of Iran visa, your passport should have at least six months of validity, beyond your travel date. Otherwise, you cannot submit your visa application.
- Iran isn’t stamping passports anymore, except for nine countries that are not eligible for Iran VOA. Hence, for other countries, they give you a separate piece of paper. To extend the visa, you will get a full page stamp.
- Israeli citizens cannot enter Iran. If your previous nationality is Israeli, you cannot collect an Iran visa as well. Also, those travellers who visited Isreal before, are recommended to apply for Iran visa authorization code in advance to ensure their visa status.
Last but not the least
You can apply for an Iran visa at an embassy or if your country is eligible for VOA, collect it when you arrive in Iran. Reading the article, you see the process is not complicated and you can follow it very easily. We, at Exotigo, can assist you to collect your visa even more stress-free.
We are with you all along the process, and you can check your visa status 24/7 on our website. Our support team is open to any questions you have during the process. Plan for your trip to Iran, looking forward to seeing you soon!
Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. Our support team is ready to answer you!