How to get an Iran visa – 2019 UPDATE

Forms to fill in, travel insurance, passport photos, visa application is always the least appealing part of travel, if you ask me. As Iran has been imposing itself as a major tourist destination, more so after the signing of the historic nuclear agreement, knowing how to apply for Iran visa is becoming quite the issue, and since many readers have been asking me for information on how to proceed, I thought it might be the case for me to finally write a post about it.

How to get an Iran visa
My Iranian visa, one of the many

How To Apply For Iran Visa – Table of Contents

Iran Visa Requirements: All You Need To Know

The Iranian government has been easing the process of visa application for Iran for the citizens of many countries and is looking at engaging in reciprocal visa waiver programs with some 28 nations. These are all new measures in the process of being approved at this very moment so I will update the post if any change takes place in the regulations.

With an Italian (or European) passport like me, there are mainly two ways to enter Iran as a tourist: applying at the Iranian embassy or consulate of your city, either by yourself or through a travel agency, or directly upon arrival.

Depending on your needs, there are different visas you can apply for: Iran visa on arrival, Iran tourist visa online, long-term Iran visa, multiple Iran visas.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to get an Iranian visa, you always need to show your travel insurance when collecting or applying for the visa. The Iranian travel agency 1stQuest provides cheap insurance with less risk of getting rejected. Sometimes travel insurances bought abroad do get rejected at the airport.
Click here to check the price and purchase your insurance for Iran.

How to get Iran visa on arrival

Visa on arrival has been recently extended to 30 days, and if you are applying at the airport you will need:

  • filled out Iran visa application form available for download on the embassy website or directly at the airport
  • your passport with at least six months validation left
  • travel insurance (you can either arrive with the insurance you bought in your country or buy one online or at the airport)
  • two passport-size photos
  • your return ticket
  • copy of your hotel booking
  • pay the Iran visa fee of 60 euro in cash at the counter (fee might change depending on nationality)

The countries that can get Iran visa on arrival are: Albania, Germany, Austria, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Spain, Australia, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Portugal, Peru, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, China, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Oman, France, Palestine, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Croatia, North Korea, South Korea, Columbia, Cuba, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Poland, Malaysia, Hungary, Mongolia, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Venezuela, Vietnam, Holland, India, Yugoslavia and Greece.

The only European nation not allowed to apply for an Iranian visa on arrival is the United Kingdom.

The airports you can get Iran visa on arrival from are:

  • Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)
  • Tehran Mehrabad International Airport (THR)
  • Shiraz International Airport (SYZ)
  • Isfahan International Airport (IFN)
  • Mashhad International Airport (MHD)
  • Kish International Airport (KIH)

How to get Iran visa online

If you want to travel with the visa already glued on your passport even if you are not joining an organized tour, you can apply for an Iran visa online. Iranian travel agency 1st Quest offers the online visa service pretty affordable and easy to do.

Why apply for Iran visa with 1stQuest?

  • It’s cheaper than visa on arrival
  • You can choose where to collect your visa
  • You skip the line at the airport if you chose to collect there your visa
  • No stress of getting rejected on arrival or at the embassy (even though it barely happens)
  • It’s a pretty quick and easy process

What you need to do to apply for Iran visa online with 1stQuest:

  • Fill in an online application form
  • Upload a copy of your passport
  • Upload a passport-size photo
  • Pay 1stQuest fee, starting from 19 euro

When applying for Iranian visa online with 1stQuest, you will have the chance to choose where you want to collect your visa from, either the Iran embassy or consulate in your country or the international airport where you land.

Within 2 working days, you will receive the authorization code that you need to show to the consulate or the airport of your choice.

Click here for more info and to apply for the visa with 1stQuest.

Applying for Iranian visa through a tour agency

An Iranian tour agency produces an invitation letter and sends it to the Visa section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the MFA approves the letter, they will give the agency the authorization number. You need to take this number to the Embassy of Iran in your country and then will receive your Iran tourist visa.

If you are applying to Iran visa with a tourist agency or a tour guide and wish to get it stamped at the local embassy or consulate, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • filled-out the application form available for download from the embassy website
  • your passport with at least six months validation left
  • travel insurance
  • invitation letter from an Iranian tour guide
  • two passport-size photos
  • pay 50 euro of visa fee either at the bank indicated on the website or directly at the embassy (fee might change depending on your nationality)
  • leave your fingerprints when you are submitting your application (this can be done only once, they will keep it in case you wish to apply for a tourist visa to Iran again).

Note: for the agency to get your authorization/reference number it takes around 7-10 days unless it’s an emergency visa request under circumstances which then it takes only 3-4 days.

These are the requirements for a normal tourist visa, but if you need to visit Iran for other purposes such as business, transit, family reunion or study, you will need to inquire on the specific procedure.

If you are a guest at some friends’ house, they send you the invitation letter, or you can ask a certified Iranian travel agency for the letter, which is better because getting the visa through them can take less time.

Conditions to obtain a long-term Iran business visa?

To receive a 3-month Iran visa you should already have three monthly visas on your passport.
To receive a 6-month Iranian visa you should already have two 3-month visas on your passport.
To receive a 1-year Iran visa you should already have two 6-month visas on your passport.

These are only business visa, for the procedure and necessary documents you need to inquire at the Iran embassy in your country.

There are many aspects that Iranian government takes under consideration. The nationality of the passport holder, the number of previous visas, the request of the company you are working with etc.

Iran visa for UK and US citizens

An exception to the rule must be acknowledged for British and North American citizens because they need to apply in advance and must have an authorized local tour leader to guide them during their trip.

Due to the interruption of the relations between Iran and the US and UK, and the resulting absence of reciprocal embassies, British and American citizens applying for Iranian visa need to do it at a vicarial embassy or in another country: British citizens need to go to Ireland while Americans can do it at the Pakistani embassy (I think, but you better double-check).

Iran and the United Kingdom have recently restored diplomatic relations and embassies in both countries have been reopened, but as far as I know, the visa process still goes through the Iranian embassy in Ireland. Very likely it is just a matter of time before they will do it in the UK.

Iranian Visa for Other Continents

Among the other Continents, Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia, Canada, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, and Pakistan can’t be granted a visa at the airport and need to apply at the Iranian embassy in their country.

On the other hand, they can travel to Iran and stay between 15 to 90 days without a visa the citizens of Lebanon, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bolivia, Egypt, and Syria.

Syrians don’t need Iran visa in the first 90 days, Georgians for the first 45 days, Bolivians the first 30 days, Egyptians 20 days, while the citizens of Lebanon and Azerbaijan don’t need a visa for the first 15 days. If they stay longer, they can apply for the visa anywhere in Iran at foreign ministry offices.

How to extend your Iran visa

It’s possible to extend your Iran visa once you are in the country. We advise you to talk to a travel agency in advance if you need to extend Iran tourist visa as they can direct you to an office of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in police departments.

To extend your Iran visa you need:
– A valid passport and visa
– An application form for a visa extension which can be found in the police department, the consular section where you need to go to request the visa extension
– To give a reason for the extension
– Always carry passport size pictures with you.

You can extend your Iran visa only in big cities of Iran such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Mashhad.

READ MORE: Travelling to Iran? Check out our tips to plan a perfect Iran trip.

SAVE IT FOR LATER?

how to apply for iran visa

8 Comments
  1. Yes, Americans can apply for their visas from the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC. You do not need to go to the embassy as your passport can be mailed to them for visa processing. I found them to be very helpful and efficient when I applied for my visa last March.

  2. Thanks for your blogs on Iran Angela, they are really helpful and its lovely to be able to find such useful information and tips :)
    Im curious to know a couple of extra things about visas if you woulnt mind giving me some advice.
    1. If youre a woman, do you have to wear a head scarf for your visa photos? And
    2. Whats a good amount of money to say you will bring to Iran when applying for a visa? Or maybe whats an average daily spend in IRR (simple living – food, place to stay, train/bus pass – not luxury)?
    Thanks :)

    • Hi Irancurious, thanks for stopping by! No need to wear hijab for visa pic, all my visas are without veil! Usually I wrote about 1500€ for about 3-4 weeks stay, which I didn’t spend but I recommend carrying some more cash than what you think you need as ATMs are still not connected with international banks. Iran is getting pricier even though less expensive than most European countries and the amount you will need depends on how long you will stay, itinerary, hotels, transport, etc. I suggest you draw a rough itinerary and start contacting the hotels for the prices, usually this is the main expense, eating is quite cheap and so it’s public transport.

  3. i need a iran visa please help me on this issue ? mi country is pakistan . my city name Faisalabad my contact num is below mention ……

    cell no . 00923135651122 . +923007697846

    i shell be tthank full for this
    regards Rizwan

  4. what is the method of extending iran visa for Pakistanis

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