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What is the Process for Obtaining a Visa for Iran?

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Traveling to Iran requires careful planning, especially when it comes to obtaining the necessary visa. This comprehensive guide from SURFIRAN will help you understand the entire process for securing an Iranian visa, ensuring your travel preparations are seamless and stress-free.

Understanding the Iran Tourist Visa

An Iran travel visa is granted exclusively for tourism purposes. Most travelers need a visa to enter Iran. However, recent updates have expanded visa-free access for citizens of certain countries.

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Iran Tourist visa

Comprehensive List of Visa-Free Countries

As of February 4, 2023, Iran allows citizens from 28 countries to enter with just a valid passport. For the complete list, please check the official visa-free countries list.

Special Note for US, UK, and Canadian Citizens

Starting January 7, 2024, travelers from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom can travel to Iran using their own vehicles. Additionally, passports of travelers entering Iran will not be stamped.

How to Apply for an Iran Tourist Visa

Iran Visa Extension: How to Extend a Tourist Visa in Iran
How to Apply for an Iran Tourist Visa

Before you apply for an Iran tourist visa, you must contact a travel agent in Iran to issue a Letter of Invitation (Iran Visa Code). The travel agency will submit an application to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). If approved, they will send you a visa code, which you need to take to the Iran Embassy or Consulate along with other required documents.

Required Documents for Iran Tourist Visa

  • Passport Scan: A color scan of the photo page from your passport.
  • Passport Photo: An individual color passport photo.

Visa Application Fee

The visa application fee is payable to the travel agency to obtain your Iran Visa Code. Please note that visa application fees are non-refundable.

Visa Fee at the Embassy

When collecting your visa, you must pay consular visa collection and paperwork fees, which range from €30 to €150, depending on your nationality.

Mandatory Iranian Travel Insurance

As of May 21, 2024, it is mandatory to purchase Iranian travel insurance when applying for a visa at an Iranian embassy or upon arrival at the airport. The insurance costs €10 per person and must be paid directly when receiving the visa.

Important Note: Ensure you have cash available to cover this expense.

Visa Processing Time

Iran tourist visa
Iran tourist visa

Obtaining the Iran Visa Code

It typically takes 5-7 working days to receive an Iran Visa Code from the travel agency. For US, UK, and Canadian citizens, this process may take 1-3 months due to additional processing requirements.

Applying at the Embassy

Once you have your Iran Visa Code, apply for the visa at the Embassy. This process can take from one day to two weeks, depending on your nationality and the specific procedures of the embassy.

Visa on Arrival

For those not applying at an embassy, an Iran visa on arrival is an option. This process takes just a few hours at the airport, making it a convenient choice for many travelers.

Visa Validity and Extension

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

The Iran tourist visa is valid for 30 days. You can extend your stay through the Police Department of Aliens Affairs in any major Iranian city. The extension process usually completes within one day.

How to Extend Your Iran Visa

You can extend your visa two times, each for an extra 30 days, allowing a total stay of up to 90 days.

Iran Visa for US, UK, or Canadian Citizens

Iran Visa for US, UK, or Canadian Citizens
Iran Visa for US, UK, or Canadian Citizens

Citizens of the US, UK, or Canada must follow specific guidelines to obtain an Iranian visa:

  • Approved Itinerary and Tour Guide: Your itinerary and tour guide must be approved beforehand. Stick to the itinerary and follow the guide’s instructions to avoid issues.
  • Land Border Entry and Exit: You can enter and leave Iran through land borders.
  • Accompanied by a Guide: You must be accompanied by a guide at all times while in Iran.
  • Detailed Resume: Your application must include a detailed resume.

Processing Time for US, UK, and Canadian Citizens

Expect to wait 1-3 months to receive your Visa Code. Once you have the authorization code, you can obtain the visa in person (for US, UK, or Canadian citizens) or by mail (for US and Canadian citizens only).

Required Documents for US and Canadian Citizens

  • Passport Scan: A color scan of the photo page from your passport.
  • Passport Photo: An individual color passport photo.
  • Tour Itinerary: Provided by SURFIRAN.
  • Personal Information Document: Download and complete.
  • Professional Resume: A detailed resume including education and employment history.
Visa Application for Iranian Visa
Visa Application for Iranian Visa

Mailing Visa Application for US and Canadian Citizens

Mail your visa application and passport to the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistan Embassy at 1250 23rd St. N.W. Suite #200 Washington, DC 20037. Include:

  • Visa application forms (Download)
  • Authorization code (provided by SURFIRAN)
  • Color passport photo
  • Valid passport with at least six months validity
  • Insurance policy
  • $120 USD money order for visa processing fee and return mailing fee
  • Return envelope

Processing typically takes 2-3 weeks, with an expedited option available for an additional fee.

Visa Application for British Citizens

British citizens must submit their documents in person to the Iranian Embassy in London at 150 Kensington Court London W8 5DD. Required documents include:

  • Authorization code (provided by SURFIRAN)
  • Two recent photos
  • Valid passport with at least six months validity
  • Completed application form (Download)
  • Visa fee (£165)

Extending Your Iran Tourist Visa

Extending Iran Tourist Visa
Extending Iran Tourist Visa

To extend your tourist visa:

  1. Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): Located in Tehran or major cities.
  2. Fill Out the Application Form: Obtainable at MOFA or extension offices.
  3. Provide Required Documents: Proof of travel itinerary, accommodation, passport, and original visa.
  4. Pay the Extension Fee: Varies depending on the length of the extension.
  5. Wait for Processing: Usually takes several days.
  6. Collect Your Extended Visa: Return to pick up the extended visa.

Where to Extend Your Visa

You can extend your visa in several major cities:

  • Tehran: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
  • Mashhad: Foreigners Affairs Office
  • Esfahan: Foreigners Affairs Office
  • Shiraz: Foreigners Affairs Office
  • Yazd: Foreigners Affairs Office

Important Tips Before Applying for an Iran Visa

  • Visa Type: Ensure you apply for the correct type of visa.
  • Eligibility: Check if you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Application Process: Familiarize yourself with the application steps.
  • Processing Time: Apply well in advance of your travel date.
  • Fees: Be prepared to pay the visa fees.
  • Validity: Understand the validity period of your visa.
  • Travel Itinerary: Have a clear itinerary and accommodation details.
  • Insurance: Ensure you have valid travel insurance.
  • Dress Code: Adhere to Iran’s dress code, especially for women.
  • Regulations: Stay updated on current regulations and laws.
  • Contact Information: Keep embassy or consulate contact details handy.

For a smooth and efficient visa application process, use reliable services like SURFIRAN, experts in crafting personalized Iran tours.

Apply for your Iran tourist visa online today and prepare for an unforgettable journey.

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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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