Do you put Iran with its breathtaking landmarks on your bucket list? So before packing for your travel to Iran, it is better to consider the process for getting your visa for Iran. According to the Iran visa policy, you need a visa to travel to Iran unless you are a citizen of one of 13 visa-exempt countries.
However, there are some general rules for getting an Iran visa; all visitors to Iran must hold a passport or travel document valid for six months at the time of departure. So check your passport expiry date before traveling to Iran!
If you are not a citizen of 13 visa exempt countries, you may be eligible for an Iran visa on arrival. Otherwise, you should get a visa to enter Iran and visit this beautiful country with mesmerizing history and civilization.
According to your nationality, you are in one of these categories mentioned below. So read on to know more about the process of getting a visa according to Iran visa policy:
Read also: How Can You Get Iran Visa?
According to the Iran visa policy, citizens of Armenia (90 days within 180 days), Azerbaijan (30 days), Bolivia (30 days), China (21 days), Egypt (20 days), Georgia (45 days), Lebanon (30 days), Macau (21 days), Malaysia (15 days), Oman (30 days), Syria (90 days within 180 days), Turkey (90 days), and Venezuela (15 days) can enter Iran without a visa.
The holders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport also can stay in Iran for 21 days without obtaining the visa.
Remember that reporters, journalists, photographers, and cameramen of any nationality other than Iranian require a visa. So in this case, you need a visa to enter Iran even if you are a citizen of visa-free countries.
Hence as a citizen of these visa-free countries, you only need a passport with six months of validity. However, if you have an Israeli stamp or even an exit stamp pf Egypt or Jordan and Israel borders in your passport you are not permitted to enter Iran.
Finally, to extend to stay in Iran, you should visit the Police Department of Alien Affairs in one of the Iranian cities and apply for it.
Iran visa on arrival (VOA)
According to the Iran visa policy, the citizens of countries other than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen can acquire their visa at the international airports in Iran.
In addition to these 15 countries, the Iranian nationals holding other nationality’ passports are not allowed to get Iran visa on arrival. Remember that an Iran visa on arrival is issued for tourist purposes only. For other purposes, the citizens of these countries should apply for the visa in advance.
Also, if you want to enter Iran from the land border, it is wise to get your Iran visa in advance. Since at Iran border with Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Armenia, and Turkey there is no office to issue Iran VOA.
You can have a visa on arrival in airports of 12 cities namely Bandar Abbas, Isfahan, Kish Island, Mashhad, Qeshm Island, Shiraz, Tabriz, Tehran, Urmia, Ahvaz, Kerman, and Lar. Shahid Rajaee Port in Bandar Aabbs is the place that marin travelers can obtain a visa on arrival.
However at least 48 hours before your arrival, you should apply for an electronic visa application. Have a hardcopy of the Grant Notice that you received in a grant email you. You should submit it to the visa at the arrival counter of the airport. Remember that you should pay the visa fee in euros through banking terminals. You can find more about the visa fee for different countries here.
Care about your travel insurance
You also need valid travel insurance for Iran for a visa on arrival just like other kinds of visas as well. 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. On 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.
Nationalities need a visa in advance
Citizens from 12 countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Yemen should apply for the visa in advance.
In these cases, you should apply for a visa at Iran’s embassy or consulate in your country. All you need a passport with a minimum of 6-months of validity, a copy of the passport, two photo size pictures (female travelers the picture should be with Hijab), visa application form (to be filled at the embassy), and visa application reference number, that you can get from the website of the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Iran visa for American, Britons, and Canadian
According to Iran visa policy, the cases of obtaining a visa for citizens of the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada are totally different. They should have a confirmed itinerary, which should be requested from a valid tour company.
As a citizen of these three countries, you should follow a defined process. First of all, you should choose an Iranian travel agency confirmed by the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you have Iranian nationality and have the nationality of these three countries, you can apply with your Iranian passport. Otherwise, you should meet all the process.
You should book your tour before arriving in Iran. We, at Exotigo, provides you with different kinds of tour packages. You can find your favorite tour and book it!
What is the process of obtaining visa?
You need a tour company in order to apply for a travel authorization number. So you should choose your tour and entry and exit date. In other words, the exact details about your sojourn in Iran are very important for you to get your visa.
Remember that as a citizen of the UK, the U.S. and Canada a guide from these travel companies should accompany you during your trip to Iran. In fact, the guide should know about the places you want to go to.
Next, you must send your documents to your selected travel company. It may take about six weeks for the company that the authorization code that is being received. The documents are the online visa application form, a copy of your passport, official photo, and your CV for the last ten years.
After getting your authorization code, you can take the application form to the embassy near you. You can also post the documents to the embassy as well. You should submit or mail your passport, authorization code, passport photo, visa fee, and return envelope to the embassy.
Finally, you can get your visa in two or three weeks. So it is better to apply for a visa about three months earlier. The visa is valid for 30 days, however, you can extend it for more than one month. Remember that as a citizen of these three countries, you can only extend your visa in Tehran.
But where is the Iran embassy in these three countries? Unfortunately, Iran has no embassy or interest section in Canada. So if you are in Canada or U.S. the best option for you is the Iranian interest section of the Pakistan embassy in Washington. In the United Kingdom, you can go to Iran embassy in London.
Apply online for an Iran visa
We, at Exotigo, are happy to assist you to get an Iran visa in no time. All things you should do is to fill in the online visa application form in five minutes. It usually takes no more than 3-5 working days, and we provide you with an authentication code by which, the visa is at your hand, and you can collect your visa at an Iranian embassy or an airport in no time.
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!
Does Iran have any visa-free zone?
Yes. Iran boasts some free trade zones near the borders. With a normal passport traveling as tourists can enter these zones without a visa with a maximum stay of two weeks, which is extendable:
- Arvand Free Zone (Khuzestan Province, southwestern Iran)
- Aras Free Zone (East Azarbaijan Province, northwestern Iran)
- Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone (Sistan & Baluchestan Province, southeastern Iran)
- Maku (West Azarbaijan Province, northwestern Iran)
- Anzali (Guilan Province, northern Iran)
Based on Iran visa policy, all travelers to Iran can stay on Kish Island or Qeshm Island of the Persian Gulf in southern Iran for 14 days or less without obtaining any visa. However, the case is different with Americans, Canadians, and Britons.
They should have an eligible escort guide waiting for them upon their arrival. The guide should announce the arrival of the passenger 48 hours before and hold the passenger’s hotel reservation letter.
Read also: Find Some Natural World Wonders in Iran
Can you extend your stay for longer in Iran?
Yes, you can. You should pay a visit to the Police Department of Alien Affairs in big Iranian cities like Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Qom, and Yazd to extend your visa. Few days before the expiry of your existing visa is the best time to take action. Depending on your plan, the visa can be extended from 30 to 60 days. You can extend your visa two times and stay in Iran for a total of 90 days.
Provide a good reason and detailed plan for your visa extension. Otherwise, it may be declined. The visa extension fee is around 345,000 rials. With an Iranian debit card, you can pay it at the department. Otherwise, you should go to the nearest bank in order to pay the fee. You can book your debit card online on Exotigo in no time as well!
Here you can find the address and contact information of the departments in different Iranian cities:
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, Shahr Ara Street
Phone: 021 6693 5058
Address: Isfahan Province, Isfahan, Rudaki Bypass
Phone: 031 3218 4547
Address: Fars Province, Shiraz, Mpdaress boulevard
Phone: 071 3725 0028
Address: Razavi Khorasan Province, Mashhad, District 9
Phone: 051 3822 5280
Address: Razavi Khorasan Province, Mashhad, District 9
Phone: 051 3822 5280
Address: Qom, Shahid Lavasani St
Phone: 025 3772 3838
Read also: A Complete Guide to Iran Currency
Where are embassies in Tehran?
If you have a problem with your passport or documents, you should get to your home land’s embassy in Tehran.
First of all, you should collect information about your embassies in Tehran. There are 120 embassies active in Tehran. Some countries have consulates in other cities of Iran as well. Good to know that Italy is the protecting power for the Interest Section of Canada.
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have Interest Sections and Switzerland is their protecting power. Egypt also has an Office of Protection of Interests in Iran. Finally, Taiwan has an Economic Office in Iran.
Read also: Tips for a Solo Traveler in Iran
These are all things you should know about an Iran visa. However, if you meet some problems for approval of your visa, you can read some tips here:
Cases which makes problem for Iran visa approval
- You are Israeli or have an Israeli stamp on your passport
Israeli citizens are the only nationality who are not allowed to enter Iran according to Iran’s visa policy. Besides, those who visited Israel previously cannot visit Iran due to Israeli passport stamps.
- You disregard visa rules
Don’t underestimate the rules about Iran visas. Otherwise, your visa will be automatically rejected. So read carefully about Iran visa requirements.
Be careful about the accuracy of the document you want to submit to the embassy. The letter of reference plays an important part in Iran’s visa approval. It should contain the exact contact information. The letter should also have a signature and should be stamped.
- You are a media person
Like many other countries, media people may face problems especially if you have Briton, American, or Canadian passports. Since Iran probably asks you to send your CV and even your pages on different social media.
Fortunately, almost all the visa applications for Iran visa are approved. However, there is always a possibility that your visa gets rejected in every country.
So what should you do if your Iran visa gets not approved?
In this case, you should visit the nearest embassy in person and provide cancellation for your visa request.
Then you can apply again through a registered tour company after ten days. You can apply for a visa through our website on Exotigo in no time and at a low cost.
You should request an update from Tehran for your application. Ask them to speed the process of reviewing the application.
If you apply for an Iran e-visa, then the case is different. Canceling the process maybe not possible and you are stuck. So you only can book a flight and try your chance for Iran VOA.
Last but not least
Knowing more about the Iran visa process and details help you to consider timing and costs before applying. Most of the time, visas are approved without any problem. However, we on Exotigo can pave the way for you with our professional knowledge and experiences. We support you during the process of obtaining the visa. So do not hesitate to apply for your visa on our website!