Iran Visa Policy
Whether Iran is your next destination or you are just excited and wondering to visit Iran in future, here you can read detailed and updated info about Iran visa policy. (Updated: Apr. 2018)
As Iran ministry of foreign affairs states clearly, all visitors to Iran must obtain a visa from one of the Iranian embassies or consulates, unless they are from Iran visa-free countries or countries eligible to obtain Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa). Fortunately, due to recent changes in Iran visa policy (to welcome more tourists to Iran), today most nationalities can apply and get an Iranian visa on arrival. There are only 11 countries which need to get their Iran visa pre-arrival from Iran embassies or consulates: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Please note that British, Canadian and American citizens are permitted to travel to Iran only through the official government approved escorted tours. It means they can’t travel individually inside Iran. This is an exception to Iranian visa policy.
Also, Israel citizens are totally banned from entry to Iran.
Iran Visa Free Countries (Iran Visa Exempt Countries)
Based on recent Iran visa policy, citizens of the following countries don’t need Iran visa to enter Iran:
- Armenia – 90 days within 180 days
- Azerbaijan – 30 days
- Bolivia – 30 days
- Georgia – 45 days
- Malaysia – 15 days
- Syria – 90 days
- Turkey – 90 days
- Venezuela – 15 days
Also, citizens of Lebanon can obtain an Iran visa on arrival free of charge.
Due to Iran visa policy, all tourists (any nationality) may stay in Kish Island or Qeshm Island for 14 days or less without obtaining any kind of Iranian visa. Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010, and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in Southwest Asia.
Iran visa policy is very strict about Israel. Based on Iranian visa policy, holders of passport or travel document containing Israel visa, Israel entrance stamp or evidence of any other bind and connection to Israel state will be refused from entry to Iran.
Different Iran visa types
Iranian visa is the permission of entry to Iran for a limited period of time and is issued by embassies and consulates general of the Islamic Republic of Iran abroad or at Iran international airports for foreign nationals. As you may know, Iran visa has different types, with different requirements and suitable for different purposes of visit. You can read about Iran visa types as follow:
- Iran Tourist Visa: In case you wish to travel to Iran for sightseeing and visiting your friends or family, you need an Iran tourist visa. Iran tourist visa is valid for 3 months (it means you can enter Iran within the 3 months of your visa issuing date) and maximum duration of stay is 30 days. This Iran tourist visa is expandable to 3 months inside Iran. You can apply to get an Iran tourist visa before departure at Iranian consulates abroad or upon arrival at Iran international airports.
- Iran Business Entry Visa
- Iran Student Visa
- Iran Pilgrimage Visa
- Iran Work Permit Visa
- Iran Press Visa
- Iran Airport Entry or Transit Visa
- Iran Diplomatic and Service Visa
- Iran Entry or Transit Visa for Cargo Carrying Drivers
- Iran Visa for Entry to Free Trading Zones and Industrial Areas (FTZ)
Iran Tourist Visa
Steps to Get Your Iran Tourist Visa
It is the first question comes to tourists mind when they plan to visit Iran: How to get Iran visa? How should I apply for an Iranian visa? Where to start my Iran visa procedure? Or how easy is it to get an Iranian visa?
Here we try to clarify all steps to get Iran visa.
To get your Iran Tourist Visa, you have two options:
- Applying through an authorized Iranian travel agency (You can apply online here to get Iran visa authorization code):
Step 1. you need to contact an approved Iranian travel agent i.e. Tour to Persia, send your request and provide required documents as below:
- A color scan of the first pages of your passport
- A color scan of your portrait photo (3×4 or 4×6)
iii. Filling the Visa application form (online or paper)
Step 2. Wait for Visa confirmation to be sent to you from the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) by the agency. (4-7 working days)
Step 3. Contact in person or post your documents to the selected Iranian embassy in Iran Visa application form.
Step 4. Pay for Visa collection fee.
- Applying through Iran embassies/consulates:
If you want to save agency fee, go directly through an Iran embassy/consulate and apply for your visa. It is necessary to mention that many embassies don’t accept an application form without an invitation letter and refer you to a travel agency.
Travel agencies can only support you with Iran Tourist Visa. In order to get any other type of visa, please contact the nearest Iranian Embassies, General Consulates, or Interest bureaus.
Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA) – Iran Airport Visa
As Iran visa policy clearly states, all nationalities (except 11 countries: USA, UK, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) are eligible to get Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa). They can simply apply for a 30 day Iran tourist visa on arrival at the passport and visas offices at international airports of Iran.
Steps to Get Your Iran Visa on Arrival:
To get Iran Visa Airport, You have two options:
- Select to wait at the airport while your visa application is processed. You will be issued a visa for entering Iran if your application is approved. The waiting time can be long and if your application is not approved, you will be deported at your own risk and expense.
- You need to refer to the Visa & Passport office which is situated before passport control gates.
- You may need to provide: Passport with min. 6 months validity, exit transport arrangements (like confirmed flight tickets), hotel reservation confirmation or host’s contact details.
- You need to show a valid travel insurance coverage for Iran. If you don’t have one, you can buy it online from Iran Travel Insurance.
- You need to pay the visa stamp fee at the bank counter near the visa office.
- Your application will be then processed by the visa officers and subject to approval, a visa will be stamped into your passport. You can now proceed to passport control gates.
- Have your application be processed before your trip. If your application is approved, issue of visa is guaranteed and is done Within a few minutes. No risk and no long waiting.
- Complete the application form. We will process the application through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and will get back to you with a visa approval number.
- On arrival in Iran, refer to the Visa & Passport Office and present the number. You will be asked to pay the visa stamp fee at the nearby bank counter and your visa will be stamped into your passport instantly. You need to show a valid travel insurance coverage for Iran. If you don’t have one, you can buy it online from Iran Travel Insurance. You can now proceed to passport control gates.
Due to official difficulties and restrictions at international airports, it is highly recommended by MFA (Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs), to get a pre-arrival confirmation (Iran visa authorization code or Iran visa grant notice) before your trip to facilitate your visa issuance progress.
Which airports are issuing Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa)?
You can get your Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa) at the following airports:
- IKA: Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport
- THR: Tehran Mehrabad Airport
- MHD: Mashhad Airport
- SYZ: Shiraz Airport
- TBZ: Tabriz Airport
- ISF: Isfahan Airport
- GSM: Qeshm Airport
- KIH: Kish Airport
- BND: Bandar Abbas Airport
Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa) exceptions:
This Iranian visa on arrival (Iranian airport visa) is only for tourist or pilgrimage purposes and applicants are not allowed to work or study during their stay in Iran. So as Iran MFA stated very clearly, the following applicants are NOT entitled to get Iran visa on arrival and will be refused if apply for an Iran visa at Iran airports:
- Journalists and reporters on the mission.
- Holders of diplomatic or service passports.
- Those whose applications for Iranian visa have been previously refused.
Iran visa fees:
Iranian visa fees vary for different nationalities. Iran on arrival visa fee varies from 20 to 150 euros and should be paid in cash on arrival at Iran international airports. Please note that all Iran visa fee should be paid in cash and no credit or debit card is acceptable at the moment. These are the last updated (until April 2017) Iran airport visa fees:
Czech Republic: €75
Hong Kong: €80
Ivory Coast: €60
New Zealand: €150
Saudi Arabia: €30
Sri Lanka: €40
South Africa: €80
South Korea: €50
United Arab Emirates: €100