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?
1- Visa-free countries
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.
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.
2- 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 from nearest Iran embassy. 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 marine travelers can obtain a visa on arrival.
To make the Iran visa on arrival procedure even easier, safer and faster, you can apply online for Iran visa authorization code at least 3 to 10 days before your arrival.
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 agency receive the visa authorisation 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.
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.
3- Nationalities that need to apply for Iran 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 and pick up Iran visa paper from Iran embassy in their own country.
- Particulary, Citizens of Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Yemen should apply for the visa authorization code in advance and once they recievce their visa authorization code, then they can attend to the nearest Iran embassy personally with required documents to pick up their visa paper.
- Citizens of Afghanestan and Bangeladesh are not eligible for applying online Iran visa authorisation code (Iran E visa). They need to attend in nearest Iran embassy in their own country with required documents and apply for Iran visa there. if the citizens of these two countries, hold another country citizenship (dual citizenship) or hold travel documents for another country, in this case they are eligible to apply for the visa authorization code.
All documents you need to provide and show in embassy is: a passport with a minimum of 6-months of validity, a copy of the passport, two passport size photos, visa application form (to be filled at the embassy), and visa authorization code.
4- Iran visa for American, Britons, and Canadian
According to Iran visa policy, the cases of obtaining a visa for citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada are different from other nationalities. As a citizen of these three countries, you can travel to Iran only as a member of tour with a specified itinerary and tour-guide. you need to book this tour through an Iranian travel agency licensed by the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
First of all, you should apply for Iran visa authorisation code here. Once you submit your request and paid for visa processing fee, our customer service team will contact you regarding your tour package and other required documents. Bear in mind that the whole visa procedure may take 1 to 2 months.
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.
Remember that as a citizen of UK, US and Canada a tour-guide from the authorised travel companies should accompany you during your trip to Iran.
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.
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.
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. We suggest to those tourists who visited Israel previously, to apply Iran visa authorization code in advance through one of the Iranian travel agencies to ensure the result before heading to Iran.
- 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?
Then you can apply again through a registered travel agency after ten days. You can apply for a visa through our website on Exotigo in no time and at a low cost.
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!