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Iran Visa Extension: How to Extend a Tourist Visa in Iran

Your Ultimate Resource for Extending Your Stay

If you are travelling to Iran with a tourist visa and decide to stay longer than the 45 days granted, you will be happy to know it’s possible to obtain a visa extension. The extension to your Iranian visa can be done twice, for 30 additional days.

While the process can be done pretty easily and quickly, it requires to be a bit prepared ahead of visiting the visa office, in order to know what to expect. Indeed, these police offices are usually quite crowded and chaotic, with rarely anyone speaking English. That’s why it’s better if you can be accompanied by an Iranian that will help you find your way and translate what’s needed.

In any case, you’ll find all the necessary information about visa extension in Iran in this article.

Brief overview of the Iranian tourist visa

To visit Iran, most travelers are required to apply for a tourist visa, valid for 45 days for tourism purpose only. Recently, the citizens of 33 countries have been exempted from visa; you can check here if your country is on the list.

To get your Iranian visa, you must apply for an authorization code, or Visa Grant Notice, through a registered agency such as SURFIRAN or OrientTrips. After submitting your personal information and, in some cases, an itinerary, it takes about 5 to 7 working days to received your authorization code (currently, it takes about 10 days for German, French and Dutch citizens). Americans, Canadians and British citizens must apply about 3 months in advance as the procedure is different for these nationalities.

Once you received your authorization, you can collect your visa at the Iranian embassy you’ve chosen or at the airport, on arrival. Note that the visa is delivered on a separate sheet of paper so that your passport won’t be stamped.

How Long Can You Extend Your Iranian Tourist Visa?

Any traveler that has received a tourist visa is eligible for a visa extension. Likewise, travelers entering Iran on free-visa can also apply for a visa extension in order to stay longer in the country.

The duration of the extension is 30 days, which can be renewed once. Note however that the first and second extension are subjected to authorities’ approval.

You can only apply to your visa extension a few days before your visa’s expiration, usually between 4 to 1 day. It’s thus useless to try getting an extension earlier, as you won’t be authorized to submit an application.

The Extension Process: A Step by Step Guide

Iranian tourist visa
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To apply for a visa extension, you will need to go to the nearest Immigration and Passport Office. Be ready to face a crowded and frantic place! However, the process is quite simple and as described below:

  1. First, you will have to clear the security check and leave your smartphone or any other electronic devices in a small locker at the entrance (laptops aren’t accepted). Be aware that you won’t be authorized to enter the building with a bag. Also make sure to dress appropriately.
  2. Head to the Visa Extension Counter. After checking your passport, the officer will give you two visa extension forms to fill.
  3. Then go to the Tourism Affairs counter where you may be asked a few questions in order to know the reason of your extension. Try to be as precise as possible about the expected duration of your extension, where you want to travel (name cities and hotels). The officer may also ask you the name of your current hotel, what is your occupation, and confirm that you are in Iran for tourism purpose only.
  4. After answering these questions, you will go to the payment counter to pay for the extension fee. It’s only possible with an Iranian debit card. If you don’t have one, you will be sent to the nearest Melli Bank to proceed to payment.
  5. Once you have all the documents required, return them to the Passport Collection Counter.
  6. Wait at the Visa Extension Counter while your passport is getting ready and is finally handed over to you with your extension stamp.

Processing Time and Fees

Iran Tourist Visa Is Now Open For All Nationalities

Getting your visa extension must be done a few days before your visa’s expiration only, but if you have all the required documents, the whole process only takes a few hours. Many travelers have been able to collect their visa extension on the same morning they have applied.

However, to stack all the odds in your favor and leave with your visa extension on the same day, make sure to arrive at the opening hours of the Immigration Office, usually at 8 AM. Otherwise, they will keep your passport and you will have to come back on the next working day.

The extension fee is about 5.000.000 Rials, which is about 10 euros.

Comprehensive List of Required Documents for Extension

When applying for a visa extension, make sure to bring your passport and the following documents:

  • 2 copies of your passport (photo page)
  • 2 copies of your current Iran visa
  • 2 copies of your payment receipt
  • 2 copies of the completed visa extension form
  • 2 passport sized photos (women should wear headscarf)

Usually, there are copy machines within the Visa Office where you get the necessary copies for a small fee. Make sure to have extra Rials with you to proceed to payment (consider about 100.000 Rials per photocopy). Sometimes, it’s also possible to have your identity photo taken there, but it’s not always the case.

Where to Apply for a Visa Extension

You can get your visa extension in most Iranian cities as long as they have an Immigration office. If you want to find the nearest location, search for “Police Department of Alien Affairs” on Google Maps.

Each Immigration Office has its own reputation; some like Yazd and Shiraz are famous for allowing travelers to get their extension more easily, unlike Isfahan. When applying for your visa, it’s better to choose small cities where the office will likely be less crowded. For the same reason, try to avoid cities where a large number of immigrant workers are living, such as cities close to the Afghanistan and Pakistan borders, as well as Mashhad for instance.

Immigration Offices are opened during the week, from Saturday to Wednesday, in the morning only, between 7:30 AM to 2 PM. The sooner you’ll get there, the easier it will be to apply to your visa extension.

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Iran Hotels Online

Extend Iran visa in Tehran

Tehran Central Police Department of Immigration

Extend Iran visa in Tehran

Extend Iran visa in Isfahan

Isfahan Immigration and Passport Police

Extend Iran visa in Isfahan

Extend Iran visa in Shiraz

Shiraz Passport Office

Extend Iran visa in Shiraz

Extend Iran visa in Yazd

Yazd Passport and Visa Extension Office

Extend Iran visa in Yazd

Extend Iran visa in Mashhad

Mashhad Passport and Visa Extension Office

Extend Iran visa in Mashhad

Advice for a Smooth Extension Process

If you have decided to apply for a visa extension, make sure to visit the Immigration Police only a few days before your visa’s expiration.

Our best advice is to be accompanied by an Iranian, or at least someone speaking Persian. Make sure to gather all the necessary documents and go to the office before the opening hours. Sometimes, people are waiting in line earlier to enter first.

Pay special care to your dressing to be certain to respect modesty and not have your entry be denied. As a reminder, men should not wear shorts and women are required to cover their hair with headscarf and wear loose clothes.

Eventually, be precise about the reasons of your extension and your plan for the rest of your trip. You may also bring with you your current hotel confirmation and any other documents you have concerning the next days of your stay.

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Iran Tourist visa

Iran Visa Extension: Conclusion

If you don’t have enough of Iran during the first 45 days of your tourist visa, the good news is that you can apply for an extension in most cities of Iran! The process only takes a few hours and must be done at the Immigration and Passport Police. Simply make sure to be well-prepared and have all the necessary documents and information before applying for your extension.

Iran Visa Extension: FAQ

Who can apply to a visa extension?

Any foreigner that is traveling to Iran with a tourist visa, or benefiting from visa exemption, can apply to a visa extension.

How long does it take to get a visa extension?

The process of getting a visa extension, if approved, takes on average 2 to 4 hours. Be aware that offices are only opened in the mornings.

How much is the visa extension fee?

The visa extension fee is only about 5.000.000 Rials (about 10 euros).

How many times can I apply for a visa extension?

You can apply twice to a visa extension of 30 days, for a total of 60 days.

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Daisy Lorenzi

Daisy Lorenzi is a French writer and traveler who felt in love with Iran after visiting the country. In 2018, she decided to settle in Tehran and has been living in Iran since. She currently lives on Qeshm island, in the Persian Gulf.

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