Visa is an essential prerequisite for traveling to Iran. It is an authorization that allows you to enter and remain in Iran for a specified period of time.
Do I need a visa to enter Iran?
Most foreign nationals need a visa and a passport valid for at least 6 months to enter Iran. However, citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, and Turkey can visit Iran for a limited period of time without a visa.
Moreover, holders of normal passports traveling as tourists can enter the free trade zones of Kish, Qeshm, Chabahar, and Arvand without a visa for a maximum stay of 14 days.
Note: Citizens of Israel cannot travel to Iran and they will be denied entry to the country. Those who have an Israeli entry visa stamp on their passports (or exit stamps at Jordanian or Egyptian border crossings into Israel) can apply for an Iran visa at least one year after the expiration of their Israeli visa.
Depending on the purpose and length of your visit, you can apply for one of the available types of visa.
What are the different types of Iranian visa?
There are 11 types of Iranian visa suitable for different purposes with different requirements. They include:
- Entry Visa (A)
- Tourist Visa (B)
- Pilgrimage Visa (C)
- Diplomatic/Service Visa (D/S)
- Education Visa (E)
- Temporary Work Visa (F)
- Transit Visa (G)
- Media Visa (H)
- Investment Visa (I)
- Marital Visa (M)
- Medical Visa (T)
Among these, Entry Visa and Tourist Visa are the most commonly used types of Iranian visa. A Tourist Visa is an endorsement issued to foreigners who intend to travel to Iran individually or with a group for the purpose of sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives, and leisure. It is a single-entry visa allowing visitors to stay in Iran up to 30 days. The visa can be extended for two more 30-day periods. To know more about Iranian visa types read this
How can I get an Iran Tourist Visa?
Getting an Iran Tourist Visa has become very straightforward since the introduction of the Electronic Visa system in November 2018. The system allows you to obtain your visa authorization code (also known as e-visa) ahead of your arrival to Iran. Once you have received the code you can travel to Iran and collect your visa upon arrival at one of the following airports/ports:
- Imam Khomeini Airport, Tehran (IKA)
- Shahid Hasheminejad Airport, Mashad (MHD)
- Shahid Dastgheib Airport, Shiraz (SYZ)
- Bandar Abbas Airport, Bandarabbas (BND)
- Shahid Madani Airport, Tabriz (TBZ)
- Shahid Beheshti Airport, Isfahan (IFN)
- Kish Airport, Kish (KIH)
- Urmia Airport, Urmia (OMH)
- Ahwaz Airport, Ahwaz (AWZ)
- Bushehr Airport, Bushehr (BUZ)
- Qeshm Airport, Qeshm (GSM)
- Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani Airport, Kerman (KER)
- Shahid Bahonar Harbor, Bandar Abbas
Alternatively, you can choose to pick up your visa at an Iranian embassy or consulate of your choice.
How can I get my visa authorization code (e-visa)?
You can apply for a visa authorization code (e-visa) through HelloPersia Visa Service. Applying is really simple and our round-the-clock operation ensures the fastest possible processing of your application. You just need to fill out the form and provide the necessary documents prior to your trip.
There are a few points you should keep in mind regarding the authorization code:
- First, it is valid for 3 months if you plan to collect it at an Iranian airport and 1 month if you want to pick it up at an Iranian embassy or consulate.
- Secondly, the authorization code is usually issued within 3 working days but it is recommended to apply at least one week before your trip.
- Thirdly, you need to tell at which airport you will collect your visa. You can alternatively choose an Iranian embassy or consulate to pick up your visa.
What are the steps to apply for a visa authorization code?
To get your visa authorization code you need to:
- Fill out the e-visa application form.
- Upload a passport-size photo and a copy of your passport.
- Pay the HelloPersia Visa Service fee. This fee should not be confused with the visa stamp fee which you will need to pay when you collect the visa. The stamp fee depends on your nationality and the pick-up location.
After your visa authorization code is issued (it usually takes 3 working days), you should collect your visa stamp at your chosen location.
What are the documents needed for an Iranian visa?
Once you have received the visa authorization code you need the following documents to receive an Iranian visa.
- Your passport with a minimum validity of six months after the end date of your trip to Iran. Your passport should have two blank pages.
- A copy of the confirmation email containing your visa authorization code.
- An English copy of your travel insurance policy, clearly stating that it covers trips to Iran. You are required to have travel insurance upon arrival at Iran’s airports. You can purchase the insurance via HelloPersia services or at the airport.
- Payment slip of the visa stamp fee. If you want to collect your visa at an Iranian airport, you should pay the visa stamp fee in cash.
- Two passport-size photos.
- Visa application form, filled out and signed.
Your passport should be valid 6 months beyond your Iran trip
What is Iran Visa on Arrival (VoA)?
Iran Visa on Arrival is a tourist visa issued to visitors from many countries upon their arrival to Iran. You can obtain this type of visa at the above-mentioned airports in Iran without prior application but there is always a slight risk of rejection at the entry point. If rejected, you need to buy a return flight and cover the extra costs.
In order to avoid this risk and save much time, you need to get a visa authorization code ahead of your arrival.
Who can get Iran Visa on Arrival?
All foreigners, including Europeans, can obtain a Visa on Arrival except the nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
If you are a national of Afghanistan or Bangladesh, you should apply for a visa at an Iranian embassy or consulate in your country.
If you are an American, British or Canadian national, you need to obtain a visa before traveling to Iran. You must be part of a tour group approved by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or have an approved tour guide to accompany you for the entire trip. Your travel agency needs to provide a detailed itinerary of the tour in order to apply for a visa authorization code from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You can contact HelloPersia Support for more information.
If you are a national of Somalia, Colombia, Pakistan, Iraq, or Jordan, you can save time by applying for a visa authorization code. After receiving the code, you can collect the visa stamp at an embassy or consulate of Iran. Please note that you will receive the Iran visa stamp at the place specified in the form.
How can I extend my Iran Visa?
Iran Tourist Visas usually permit a maximum stay of 30 days. The visa is extendable by its original duration twice. This means that you can extend your visa for 30 days initially and then for another 30-day period. You can apply for a visa extension at an Immigration and Passport Police office which you can find in major Iranian cities.
Iran Visa Validity/ Entries/ Duration of Stay
The Iranian visa is valid for 90 days. It means your visa will expire in 90 days if you don’t travel to Iran and you need to obtain another visa. The tourist visa is single entry. Iranian authorities do not issue multiple entry visas for tourists. Tourist visas are usually issued for 30 days and can be extended by 30 days twice.
If you need to stay longer you need a new visa which you can get by a visa run: It means you should exit Iran and apply for a new visa.
When should I apply for an Iranian visa?
Our experience shows that the majority of cases will be processed within 3 days. In fact, our clients usually receive their visa authorization codes in 3 working days. However, we recommend applying at least one week prior to your trip. Once you receive the authorization code, you have 30 days to pick up your visa from a consulate or embassy or alternatively, 90 days to collect it from an Iranian airport.
The visa process for British, American and Canadian nationals usually takes 40 to 60 days. We recommend applying at least two months before your trip to Iran.
New Iran Visa Policy: Iran trip and U.S. Visa Waiver program
Iranian authorities have introduced a number of measures to support the country’s tourism industry. These measures come in the wake of the tightening of U.S. entry regulations for those who have been to Iran. Under one of these measures, Iranian immigration officers no longer stamp or affix the visa to the passports of visitors from western countries who qualify for U.S. ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program.
Getting an Iranian tourist visa is relatively easy and simple but rejections happen as the decision rests on Iran’s immigration authorities. We at HelloPersia can confirm that rejections seldom happen. We have been able to get the visa authorization code for our clients in 99 percent of the cases.
Why should I use HelloPersia Visa Service?
We have assembled a team of dedicated and professional travel experts who will support you throughout the process. We always strive to offer the best and most reliable visa service to those wishing to visit Iran as tourists. You can trust our service because it is:
- Convenient. Just relax, sit back and apply for an e-visa online. By using our visa service you can avoid long queues and the risk of rejection at the airport.
- Cheap. We offer the lowest rate you can find on the net.
- Easy. Our visa application process is as straightforward as it could get. You can apply for an Iran e-visa in three easy steps.
- Fast. We are committed to ensuring the fastest processing time. Most of our clients get their visas in less than 3 working days.
Furthermore, our Support team is very responsive. We are always ready to answer your questions and help you get your visa.