A Visa on Arrival, or VoA, is a visa you can obtain upon landing at your destination airport in Iran instead of having the visa in hand before you get on the plane. It is a tourist visa that allows the visitor to stay up to 30 days in Iran.
It is in fact part of the Iranian government’s recent attempts to facilitate travel to Iran and support the tourism industry through drawing more incoming travelers to Iran.
Who can get an Iran Visa on Arrival?
Iran Visa on Arrival is issued to visitors with tourism purposes from around 180 countries including almost every European country. The countries include: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arabic Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.
However, people from the following countries cannot obtain a VoA and must apply for a tourist visa in advance.
The United Kingdom
The United States
If you are a national of the above countries you can read this to know how you can get an Iranian visa.
At which airports can I collect my Iran Visa on Arrival?
You can collect your VoA at one of the following international airports/ports in Iran.
Important Note: VoA is not issued at land borders. Therefore, you need to have a visa before arriving at a land border.
You need the following documents to receive an Iran Visa on Arrival:
Your passport with a minimum validity of six months after the end date of your trip to Iran. You passport should also have two blank pages.
An English copy of your travel insurance policy which clearly states that it covers trips to Iran. So 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. You should pay the visa stamp fee in cash. The fee varies depending on your nationality.
The contact information of your Iranian host/your accommodation details or your visa authorization code.
Two passport-size photos.
Visa application form, filled out and signed.
A step-by-step guide to getting an Iranian Visa on Arrival
Get off the plane. You can see signs directing you to different sections.
First, go to the travel insurance desk. If you have a travel insurance policy clearly stating that it covers travels to Iran, get it stamped and verified. If you don’t have a travel insurance, then you can buy Iranian travel insurance at the counter. The cost of travel insurance depends on the duration of your stay. HelloPersia also offers travel insurance for Iran at a lower cost. For instance, you can buy a travel insurance plan from HelloPersia starting from 10 euros depending on your age and length of stay.
Go to the visa desk and answer some questions. Here, the visa officer asks you to give the contact information of your Iranian host or your accommodation details. They will then contact your host to confirm the details of your trip. But if you have no host in Iran the process can take longer and there’s a slight risk of rejection. Alternatively, if you have no host you can apply for a visa authorization code prior to your trip to Iran. In fact, the code expedites the visa issuance process. Therefore, if you have the code, the whole process will take only a couple of minutes. You can obtain the code through HelloPersia Visa Service.
At the visa desk, you will be handed a visa application form which you should fill in. Once you hand in the completed form you will be given a piece of paper indicating the fee of the visa stamp depending on your nationality.
Go to the payment desk next. Then pay the visa stamp fee in cash (euros or dollars) and sign your receipt.
Go back to the visa desk and hand in the receipt. You will receive your visa if it is ready otherwise you need to wait until they call your name.
That’s it, you have got your Iranian visa now.
Should I go for a Visa on Arrival or obtain a visa in advance?
Although you can get your VoA relatively easy at an Iranian airport, there are always good reasons for applying in advance and securing your visa before traveling to Iran:
Avoiding the risk of rejection. In fact there is always a slight risk of rejection at the entry point. In case rejected a visa, you need to buy a return flight and cover the extra costs.
Avoiding the long wait. It’s not uncommon to wait 3 hours or longer during the busy season at some airports for your VoA to be processed. Moreover, finding the line you need can also be confusing and tough.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry recommends visitors apply for a visa authorization code ahead of their arrival at an Iranian airport in order to expedite the issuance of the visa.
Therefore, getting a visa before heading to Iran appears to be much more dependable. You can obtain your visa authorization code via HelloPersia Visa Service and travel to Iran without any hassle.