What's Involved Getting Iran Visas on Arrival
The biggest problem for travelers is often worrying about getting the Iran visa in the first place. We are regularly asked: What are the processes getting the Iran visas on arrival? So even this process seems daunting enough despite the governments' efforts to encourage travelers to come to Iran. The Iran visa requirements are actually pretty straight forward, so here's an easy guide getting tourist visas on arrival to Iran.
Where to Get Iran Visas on Arrival (VOA)?
According to the decree of the Council of Ministers, in late 2015 it was decided that the Passport and Visa Department at major Iranian international airports can issue 30 day visas on arrival to certain nationalities. However VOA's are not issued at land border crossings.
These airports include:
- Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA).
- Tehran Mehrabad Airport (IATA: THR)
- Mashhad Airport (IATA: MHD)
- Shiraz Airport (IATA: SYZ)
- Tabriz Airport (IATA: TBZ)
Who Can Get Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA)?
Iran visas on arrival are available for ordinary citizens of the following nationalities for tourism purposes only. The VOA's may be obtained with or without prior Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) approval, however you might find an extra 2 to 3 hour airport delay (depending on incoming flights) in addition to a 25€ fee added to the visa costs and charges, if you arrive without the MFA approval.
Armenia - Australia - Albania - Germany - Austria - Uzbekistan - Spain - Slovenia - Slovak - United Arab Emirates - Indonesia - Ukraine - Italy - Ireland - Bahrain - Brazil - Brunei - Belarus - Belgium - Bulgaria - Bosnia-Herzegovina - Portugal - Peru - Tajikistan - Thailand - Turkmenistan - China - Denmark - Russian Federation - Romania - Japan - Singapore - Sweden - Switzerland - Syria - Saudi Arabia - Oman - France - Palestine - Cyprus - Kyrgyzstan - Qatar - Croatia - South Korea - North Korea - Colombia - Cuba - Kuwait - Georgia - Lebanon - Luxembourg - Poland - Malaysia - Hungary - Mongolia - Mexico - Norway - New Zealand - Venezuela - Vietnam - Netherlands - Yugoslavia - Greece.
Limitations to Iran Visas on Arrival
The visa on arrival is only available for the sole purpose of tourism where possessing originally issued documents of those authorized countries.
Passport-holders coming to Iran for purposes relating to pilgrimage, diplomacy, journalism, logistics, study, and business are encouraged to apply for separate visa types at one of the Iranian consulates. Also when relating to security concerns such as close connections to the media industry, the State of Israel, and tourists with security or defense backgrounds, should also apply for consular visas. For this reason there is a 5% chance you may be refused.
Do you have doubts? Then we recommended applying for a consular visa at least a month before arrival.
Getting Iran Visas on Arrival: What to Bring?
It's recommended to bring records of your trip details: this often includes the details of at least one Iran hotel booking, local travel agency, Iranian family member, or local friend. The airport immigration will make a few phone calls to validate your local contact.
There are generally 6 Steps:
1) Iran Health Insurance Cover, either bring a printed copy of your health insurance, or get one at the airport for around €15. The Passport and Visa Department will need it.
2) Submit the Form. The details will look something like this Visa Application Form, including the contact details for your address and telephone number in Iran (hotel booking, friend/ family, or travel agency).
3) Receive Visa Approval and visa payment details. This may take a few hours
5) Receive the Visa Stamp (Full Page).
6) Pass through Immigration Control (Entry Stamp). Patiently answer any questions
Copies of your passport and a few passport sized photos are generally not required. Nor is the MFA authorization code. However it's always best to bring additional copies of your documents as you never know when you'll need them. the whole process can take between 2-4 hours depending on the airport and terminal passenger flux.
Length of Stay for Iran Visas
The nominal length of stay is 30 days. However your Iranian visa can also be extended in major Iranian cities such as Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran if you don’t mind waiting in line. Generally two 2 consecutive extensions are allowed, but the process often takes the better part of a day.
Multiple entries can also be requested, however based upon where you want to go the MFA decides. However the visa charge for a double entry is twice that of a single.
Who Needs a Consular Iran Visa?
High risk nationals of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan need a consular visa to travel to Iran. Applicants must meet the Iran visa requirements of the MFA by lodging a visa application to the nominated Iranian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
What Else Should I Consider?
Visa Free Travel to Free Trade Zones
Iranian visas aren't required for Kish and Qeshm Island, where you can stay for 14 days without a visa. This includes British, Canadian, and U.S. Nationals. The visa free travel applies to the economic free trade zones of Qeshm Island and Kish Island in the Persian Gulf.
If planning to enter other parts of the country through a free trade zone, tourists can visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (immigration mission) on each island to receive permission. Permissions are also required for vehicle transfers and bulky goods to the mainland.
Traveling with Children
Under Iranian law, a female parent traveling with her children must have the (usually verbal) permission of the father to take them out of Iran. This is assumed to be the case by Iranian immigration authorities unless the father has petitioned the court, and/or the court has ruled to prevent the children traveling. For further information contact the Iranian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
Iran Land Border Crossings
Travelers are permitted to enter Iran at registered land border crossings, however Iran visas must be arranged prior through one of the Iranian consular missions abroad. Otherwise obtaining Iran visas on arrival is permitted at major international airport and sea port terminals. Tour guides are able to meet Canadian, British, and American at the land border crossings also.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travelers arriving in Iran from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Israeli Nationals and Previous Travels to Israel
The Iran regulations permit visa assessment to all nationals, except Israeli Palestine. If your passport contains an Israeli stamp or stamps from other countries’ border crossing points with Israel, you may be refused entry to Iran. Generally the latter only applies if you have traveled to Israel within the previous 6 months. For further information contact the Iranian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
Iran doesn’t recognize dual nationality. The Iranian authorities will deny that foreign governments have any legitimate responsibility for Iranians with dual citizenship. If you are regarded as an Iranian national under Iranian law, you will be required to enter and leave Iran using Iranian travel documents. This may apply if your father is Iranian or if you're married to an Iranian man, even if you don’t consider yourself Iranian. However this is unless the Iranian government has recognized a formal renunciation or loss of Iranian citizenship. Dual nationals may also be subject to harsher legal treatment than visitors with only a single foreign citizenship.
Passport and Visa Validity
Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date your Iran visa application is submitted. You will have 3 months to enter Iran once your Iran visa has been issued in your passport. However this is subject to your registered Iran tour itinerary, if you have one.
Emergency Travel Documents
Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Iran. ETDs are accepted for exit from Iran only; however, this only applies to mono nationals who must first acquire permission from the Iranian Bureau of Alien and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA). The Swedish Embassy can issue EU ETDs to British nationals.
Modarres Blv., Fazlabad
Tel: +98 711 7260030
Need to Know
For general up-to-date information getting an Iran Visa on Arrival see these websites.
U.S. Department of State CA: https://travel.state.gov/content/
Iran Visa Requirements (Iranian Consular Visas)
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