Getting Iran Visa may seem as a time-consuming and complicated process with high risk of your visa being rejected. While it is true to some extent, but some of it is just stereotype. Reading this article, you can get a clear idea about the requirements, the ways and the steps you should take to get Iran tourist visa.
Currently, most nationalities require a visa to travel to Iran. Apart from Israelis, nationals of all countries can get an Iranian visa. Nationals from USA, England and Canada cannot independently visit Iran; they need to be accompanied with tour guide throughout their trip. Based on the purpose of travel, Iran issues different kinds of visas. With regard to leisure travel, two types of visas are issued:
Airport visa (on arrival)
Tourist VisaThis type of visa is issued for the people who want to have a leisure travel to Iran and it should be applied for before coming to Iran. Validity period of this visa is 30 days, and it should be requested by the traveler and approved by IMF (Iran Foreign Ministry). This type of visa can be extended for up to 90 days from the issue date.Airport VisaThe people who are going to have a leisure travel to Iran can also get their visas at the airport. However, validity period of this type of visa is only 30 days. This type of visa is extendable to 15 more days. You can obtain your visa from the airports of Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Imam Khomeini, and Kermanshah.Note that we do not recommend you to attempt for getting airport visa, because it is possible that you may not be able to get your visa for different reasons. This type of visa is only issued for tourists and does not include journalists and military personnel (during their missions), those whose entry visas have already been denied, and the Iranians who have Iran passport besides the passports of other countries.The airport visa cannot be given to the nationals of United States of America, England, Canada, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Nigeria.How to get Iran Visa?You can apply for Iranian visa in two ways: In first way, you will apply for the visa by yourself, and in second way, you will let a travel agent in Iran get your visa application process done. Of course, any Iranians can act as your host in Iran. But, first you have to find one.
Do it yourself
Applying yourself for Iran visa means you don’t need to pay travel agency fee. But keep in mind that this way it takes much longer to get you visa and the probability of rejection will be increased. Also, some consulates do not process visa application without prior visa authorization number or code. It means you have to go through an agency to get your visa. If you are unbelievably lucky, you may get you your visa within a few days. Otherwise, you have to wait several weeks (say 6 weeks) to get your visa.
- Fill out Visa application form downloadable from your home country Iran embassy/consulate or here.
- Send the completed form together with other necessary documents including your passport, two passport images, travel itinerary, proof of your travel insurance, and bank statement.
- Your documents will be sent to IMF in Tehran to be approved.
- Contact the embassy/consulate to know if your visa is approved.
- Pay visa fee which, depending on the consulate, varies from 60 to 70 dollars.
- In some embassies/consulates you can ask to receive passport and visa by post. In this case, provide an envelope and postal fee as well.
Through an agency
We recommend you to choose the second way, because in this way, not only you can shorten the time of visa application (up to 2 weeks) but also you will not be suffered by troubles and problems caused by too much paperwork. If you want to apply for a visa through a travel agency, you should follow these steps.
- You should get the initial visa application form.
- Once you have completed the form, send it to the travel agency along with a high quality scanned image of your passport. For visa application, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
- After checking the application form and passport image, the travel agency sends your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Usually after 12 to 15 working days (if the visa application is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) your visa confirmation (authorization) number will be sent to travel agency.
- Then, the travel agency will send the number to you via email.
- Three days after the issuance of the confirmation (authorization) number, you can go to the Embassy or Consulate of Iran which you have mentioned it in the visa application form as the place you want to collect your visa from.
- Having your passport, two passport photographs and visa application fee, you can get your visa.
Note that you should complete a second form when you go to the Embassy or Consulate for visa application. You can get this form by going to the Embassy or Consulate or by downloading it from their websites. You should write your visa confirmation number on this form in the correct place.