IRANIAN VISA REQUIREMENTS
All visa applications are required to be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which take about five to seven business days, in Tehran. Iran’s visa conditions vary from country to country. Turkish passport holders can instantly obtain a three month tourist visa upon arrival at the airport, while Canadian and British passport holders must apply two weeks and American passport holders a month in advance. All foreign travellers to Iran must have a visa and valid passport before entering.
It is very important of all travellers to Iran to check with the Iranian embassy of the latest visa requirements regarding their citizenship before planning their trip.
Entry Visa (visa upon arrival)
Citizens of certain countries, visiting for tourism or pilgrimage, are granted a tourist visa upon arrival at the following airports:
– IKA: Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport
– THR: Tehran Mehrabad Airport
– MHD: Mashad Airport
– SYZ: Shiraz Airport
– TBZ: Tabriz Airport
– ISF: Isfahan Airport
Recipients of the entry visa must have at least six months validity remaining. The cost of this visa is approximately 55 Euros for the passport holder and an additional 10 Euros for any companions.
The entry visa (visa upon arrival) is not available to American, British and Canadian passport holders. Visitors other than tourists such as reporters, journalists, previously rejected visa applicants and Iranians with dual nationalities are also not able to obtain visa upon arrival and must apply for one beforehand.
TRANSIT IRANIAN VISA
The transit visa is a five-day non-extendable visa issued to those passing through Iran on connecting flights. The cost is almost at par with the tourist visa and regularly can take up to two weeks to process. One advantage of this visa is that you do not need an agency/person to sponsor you, although a letter of recommendation from your embassy may be required.
BUSINESS IRANIAN VISA
Business (commercial) visas are two week or one-month-extendable. They can be obtained through your business partner that is willing to sponsor your visit, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. If one does not have a stable business partner/connection, this type of visa is more difficult to apply for versus the tourist visa.
TOURIST IRANIAN VISA
In order for all non-Iranian citizens to visit Iran, a visa stamp is required in their passports. As with any other Iranian visas, a letter of invitation is required from the visitor’s invitee or host sponsor, which in this case would be a tour-operating or travel agency. Through their sponsors, visitors will be able to obtain a visa reference number that grants them the visa stamp. This process can be explained in three steps:
1) Step One
1. Completion and submission of the online application form (visa request form).
i. Image of passport (all pages) with at least six months validity remaining.
ii. A brief description/resume of yourself.
2) Step Two
1. The documents and information provided in step one in addition to some other documents provided by the sponsoring agent are then processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This step usually takes 7- 10 business days to complete.
3) Step Three
1. After the processing steps are complete, you will then receive a visa authorization number. Afterwards, proceed to a selected Iran Embassy to complete the final steps:
i. Fill out a visa collection form
ii. Provide two pieces of 1 x 1 inch pictures
iii. Provide original passport
AIRPORT IRANIAN VISA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a list of countries in which the nationals of are granted a two-week tourist visa, extendable for an additional two weeks, upon their arrival in Iran. The following documentation is required in order to obtain the visa:
1) Passport with a minimum of six months validity
2) Two pieces of 1 x 1 inch passport photographs
3) Confirmed return ticket
4) Completion of the application form (provided at the airport)
5) Payment of the visa fee (approximately €50)
Citizens of the following nations are eligible to apply for the airport visa:
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil ,Brunei ,Bulgaria ,China (People’s Republic),Colombia ,Croatia ,Cuba Cyprus ,Denmark, Finland, France ,Georgia, Germany ,Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia Ireland (Rep.), Italy ,Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait ,Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia ,Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand ,North Korea ,Norway, Oman Palestine, Peru ,Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia (KSA),Singapore, Slovak (Rep.),Slovenia, South Korea ,Spain ,Sweden, Switzerland Syria ,Tajikistan ,Thailand, Turkmenistan ,Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan ,Venezuela ,Vietnam, and Yugoslavia Fed. Rep.
Acquiring an IRANIAN VISA COSTS
The cost of the acquirement of a visa can be broken down into the following two parts:
1) Paperwork Fee
a. Not all, but some agencies may charge a small fee for starting and handling your application process through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2) Consular Fee
a. The Iranian Embassy charges a standard fee, depending on nationality, that covers the paperwork and processing costs of the visa.
Good to Remember
• The airport visa is only issued to travelers wishing to travel to Iran for tour purposes.
• Travelers whose previous visa applications have been rejected are not eligible for the airport visa.
• Your visa authorization number is only valid in your selected Iranian Embassy and cannot be changed.
• The authorization number, itself, is not your visa. It is a sign of approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and so you must use it to collect your actual visa from the designated embassy.
• Due to political conflict, all nationalities may visit Iran except for the citizens of Israel.
AMERICAN CITIZENS APPLYING FOR IRANIAN VISA
Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only grants visas to American nationals under the context of tourism. Only citizens wishing to visit Iran in merit of a guided-group or private tour may apply for a visa.
EXTENDING IRANIAN VISA
As a rule of thumb, visitors are able to extend their tourism visas by its original length of stay, at least twice. If any further extensions are needed, additional documentation or reapplication may be required. The cost of extending your visa is quite low, around 130,000 Rials. Note that Shiraz and Esfahan have same-day extensions available. The required documentation for obtaining an extension is:
1. Two 1 x 1 inch passport photos
2. Copy of the bank deposit receipt (for the 130,000 rials)
3. Current Iranian visa and any previous extensions (if applicable)