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How Long Does it Take to Get an Iranian Visa?

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Securing an Iranian visa is an essential step for many travelers planning to visit Iran. Understanding the timeline for obtaining this visa can help you plan your trip effectively. This guide from SURFIRAN outlines the steps involved and the typical processing times for different nationalities, ensuring you know exactly how long it takes to get an Iranian visa.

Steps to Obtain an Iranian Visa


Iran Tourist visa

The process for obtaining an Iranian visa involves several steps, each with its own timeframe. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

1. Obtaining the Iran Visa Code

The initial step in the visa application process is obtaining an Iran Visa Code. This code is issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) through a travel agency.

  • Application Submission: Your travel agency in Iran will submit your visa application to the MFA.
  • Processing Time: It typically takes about 5-7 working days to receive the Iran Visa Code. However, if you are from the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, this process may take significantly longer, often ranging from 1-3 months due to additional scrutiny and processing requirements.
How to Get Iran Visa
How to Get Iran Visa

2. Applying for the Visa at the Embassy

Once you have received your Iran Visa Code, you need to apply for the actual visa at an Iranian Embassy or Consulate. The duration of this step can vary:

  • Embassy Application: You must present your Iran Visa Code along with other required documents at the embassy.
  • Processing Time: The processing time at the embassy can vary from one day to two weeks, depending on your nationality and the specific procedures of the embassy.

3. Visa on Arrival

For some travelers, obtaining a visa on arrival is a quicker alternative. This option is available at several Iranian airports and is convenient for those who may not have access to an embassy.

  • Processing Time: Getting a visa on arrival typically takes just a few hours at the airport. This option is available for tourists from many countries but is not recommended for travelers from the US, UK, or Canada due to stricter entry requirements.

Factors Influencing Processing Time

Processing Time to Get Iranian Visa
Processing Time to Get Iranian Visa

Several factors can influence the processing time for obtaining an Iranian visa:


Your nationality plays a significant role in the processing time. Travelers from the US, UK, and Canada face longer processing times due to more stringent security checks. For citizens of other countries, the process is generally quicker.

Application Completeness

Ensuring that your application is complete and all required documents are correctly submitted can expedite the process. Incomplete applications can lead to delays.

Time of Year

During peak travel seasons, processing times may be longer due to a higher volume of applications. Applying well in advance of your planned travel dates is advisable.

Visa Extension in Iran

If you wish to extend your stay in Iran beyond the initial visa period, you can apply for a visa extension. Here’s how long the extension process typically takes:

  • Application Submission: Visit the Police Department of Aliens Affairs in any major Iranian city to apply for an extension.
  • Processing Time: The extension process usually completes within one day. You can extend your visa two times, each for an additional 30 days, allowing a total stay of up to 90 days.
Visa Extension in Iran
Visa Extension in Iran

Specific Considerations for US, UK, and Canadian Citizens

For citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, obtaining an Iranian visa involves additional steps and longer processing times:

  • Visa Code Wait Time: As mentioned, obtaining the Iran Visa Code can take 1-3 months.
  • Itinerary and Guide: These travelers must have their itinerary and tour guide approved in advance and must adhere strictly to the itinerary.
  • In-Person Application: US, UK, and Canadian citizens must apply for the visa in person at an Iranian embassy. For US and Canadian citizens, applications can be mailed to the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC.


The time it takes to get an Iranian visa varies depending on several factors, including your nationality and the completeness of your application. On average, you can expect the entire process, from obtaining the Iran Visa Code to receiving your visa, to take between one week and three months. For the most efficient and stress-free experience, consider using the services of a reliable travel agency like SURFIRAN to guide you through the process and ensure all requirements are met.

By understanding the timeline and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smooth start to your journey to Iran.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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