Moving about the Earth by different means has been a component of life on the Planet Earth from its early days; however, the practice of having permission to enter a country is a modern invention. Useful and essential as it is, we can all agree that getting a visa is a time-consuming and nerve-wrecking process; it requires time and the passengers’ thorough knowledge of the laws of their destination. What if you don’t know much about your destination? What if you have to work against clock to make it there? What if all you know about the country is the nonsense propagated by the media? What if you get rejected, or you travel all the way there only to learn that you’ve been rejected? What if you get arrested? Even worse! Let’s all panic! Ok, LET’S NOT. Time is precious and while education is free we can all get to learn about where we are headed for and shake all the misconceptions for ourselves. For many, Iran is an exotic country covered in a mist of doubt and fear. BUT, truth be told, the country and its people deserve much more credit and getting a visa for traveling there is not as complicated as it may sound, yup even for US citizens. Here we have gathered a small “how to” on getting a visa to Iran, may you read it and rejoice in the simplicity of getting an Iran Visa.

The Easy Rule: Iran Visa Without Stamp on Passport

According to Mehrnews The head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization announced that passports of foreign tourists visiting Iran will not have to be stamped.

As of August 2018, the government of Iran has started to issue travel visa stickers on separate pieces of paper. This means the visa sticker is not attached to the travelers’ passports, neither are the passports stamped. The travelers are only required to carry the paper (E-Visa paper or Visa Grant Notice)  with their passport during their stay in Iran.

Four Ways to Obtain an Iran Visa

While different types of visas are generally issued for travelers to Iran, tourist visa is the most common type. The good news is that there are four ways through which you can get an Iran visa if you are traveling by plane. For those traveling by land, only numbers 1 and 4 are applicable.

1. Visa on Arrival (VOA) at Iranian international airports

Any traveler who wishes to visit Iran, except for the citizens of the 13 countries mentioned in the list below, is qualified to receive a 30-day Visa on Arrival (VOA). To have your visa on arrival, you should fill in the visa application form at the airport. However, it might turn out to be a time-consuming choice, especially in high seasons, when you should wait in long queues and do a lot of confusing paperwork, with a possibility of rejection, which is not null. Check out our website for a thorough guideline of what you need to do. Those who want to pick up their Visa on Arrival at any of Iran’s International Airports are obliged to present one of the following in addition to the documents required from everyone:

  • At least the first few nights of their hotel reservation and contact information
  • Contact information of their host

Step 1: Apply for your visa at the VOA (visa on arrival) counter

Fill in Iran Visa form at the airport counter.

Step 2: Submit the required documents:

  • Passport (within a 6-month validity)
  • Visa authorization code
  • Hotel reservation voucher (if any).
  • Travel itinerary (US, UK, and Canada ONLY)
  • Confirmed return ticket
  • Resume (US, UK, and Canada ONLY)
  • Passport size photo (See the photo standard guide)
  • The requisite fee, the amount of fee depends on your nationality and is payable in cash. You can pay your visa fee at Iran Visa and Passport Office at the airport.
  • Travel & Health Insurance (You can buy your Travel & Health Insurance at the insurance counter in any of Iran’s international airports. The insurance fee is about 15 euros.).

Note: Also, you have the option to buy your insurance through IranRoute Insurance services and have a discount of 5 to 10%. In addition, if you apply through our services, you do not need to present your return ticket, hotel reservation and Resume at the airport. However, it will be still compulsory for citizens of the US, UK, and Canada to present their Resume.

Note: If you already have your insurance and do not wish to buy it at the airport, be sure to have the Terms and Conditions of your valid insurance at hand for inspection by the immigration officials. Your insurance should explicitly contain the phrase “Iran” or “Islamic Republic of Iran” or any other combination of these phrases exactly written inside the Terms and Conditions under countries in which this insurance is actively available.

Step 3: Pay your visa fee  

Step 4: Hand in your documentation and enter Iran

Once you hand in all the required documents in step 2 and pay for your visa, your Visa on Arrival will be issued. Now you can enter Iran.

Note: It usually takes 3 to 4 hours to receive the entrance stamp.

Note:  Citizens of countries ineligible for Visa on Arrival should refer to one of Iran’s embassies or consulates and have their visa before landing in any of the country’s airports. To guarantee a successful Visa on Arrival, we suggest applying for your visa via IranRoute visa services (If you buy your visa and insurance from us, you will receive a discount of 5 to 10%).

2. Iran’s embassies and consulates (land and airport entry)

This is the classic way! Nevertheless, this process is time-consuming and needs the person to visit the embassy or consulate several times. Prior to visiting the embassy, you need a visa authorization code which you can get via relatives, host parties for business in Iran, or via travel agencies in Iran or related to Iran in their country.

Step1: Visit one of Iran’s embassies or consulates and make an appointment

Find the list of Iran’s embassies or consulates around the world.

Download your application form from your chosen embassy or consulate.

You will be scheduled an appointment date and informed about the additional documents (if required) you need to bring.

Step 2: Get an authorization number 

Applicants may obtain their authorization number via relatives, host parties for business in Iran, or via travel agencies in Iran or related to Iran in their country.

You can apply to get your authorization code via IranRoute visa services in less than 4 working days.

Step 3: Prepare all the required documents

To apply for Iran Visa, you need to submit the following documents:

Note 1: The citizens of US, UK and Canada should apply for Iran visa via Iran’s embassies/consulates. Visitors from the United States and Canada can apply for their visa via Interest Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Washington, DC. Visitors from the United Kingdom can get their visa by referring to the embassy of Iran in London. However, since individual applications are mostly subject to failure, we strongly recommend you to apply for your visa through IranRoute visa service or other agencies in Iran.

Step 4: Pay your visa fee

Now, you should attend your appointment, hand in all the required documents and pay your visa fee in cash. Visa fee depends on your nationality and the embassy or consulate to which you submit your documents.

Step 5: Collect your Iran visa sticker

The embassy or consulate will notify when your visa will be ready. Normally, visas are issued on the same day but in some case it takes more time.

Step 6: Purchase your Travel and Health Insurance at the airport

We suggest you to purchase your travel and health insurance before leaving your country via a local insurance agency or IranRoute travel & health insurance service, otherwise you can purchase it when you arrive at any of Iran’s International Airports.

Also, you have the option to apply for your authorization code and buy your insurance through IranRoute insurance services and have a discount of 5 to 10%. In addition, if you apply through our services, you do not need to present your return ticket, hotel reservation and resume at the embassy. However, it will be still compulsory for citizens of the US, UK, and Canada to present their resume.

Step 7: Hand in all the required documents and enter Iran

When you arrive at the immigration counter, you should hand in the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa Sticker
  • Travel and Health Insurance
  • Hotel Reservation (if any)
  • Complete travel itinerary (only US, UK and Canada)
  • Resume (only US, UK and Canada)

Note: Visitors from the US, UK and Canada may be asked further questions concerning the purpose and length of their trip. After receiving the appropriate entrance stamp, you are free to enter Iran.

Note: Citizens of Afghanistan and Bangladesh who wish to visit Iran should refer to Iran’s embassy or consulate in their native country and complete the application form in person.

3. Iran’s E-Visa website(land and airport entry)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran has created an E-Visa Website, through which you can get the preliminary steps done. But this does not reduce the amount of work that needs to be taken care of. Find out about all the steps and required documents here.

Note: We strongly suggest not to use this method to apply for a visa if you are a citizen of the US, UK and Canada. Please go to the left side of this page and click on visa for visitors from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Step 1: Apply for you visa online

Apply for your visa in Electronic Visa Service of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of I.R.Iran. All the paperwork should be completed 2 weeks before travelling to Iran (US, UK and Canada 5-6 weeks).

Step 2: Choose where you want to collect your visa

There are two ways to collect your Iran visa sticker:

  1. Before arrival: At any of Iran’s embassies or consulates listed on your application.
  2. Upon Arrival: At any of Iran’s International Airports:

 -Bandar Abbas International Airport (BND)

-Dayrestan Airport (GSM)

-Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)

-Isfahan International Airport (IFN)

-Kerman Airport (KER)

-Kish International Airport (KIH)

-Mashhad International Airport (MHD)

-Shiraz International Airport (SYZ)

-Tabriz International Airport (TBZ)

-Urmia (Uromieh) Airport (OMH)

Step 3: Hand in the required documents

Foreign visitors should submit the following documents:

  • A high quality scanned image of your passport
  • A digital passport size photo
  • Resume (Only US, UK and Canada)
  • Complete travel itinerary (Only US, UK and Canada)

Step 4: Get your visa authorization code

As soon as your visa sticker (authorization code) is ready at your specified pick up location, the website will inform you via email. (Normally you will be notified after 3-7 work days).

Step 5: Pay your visa fee

You should pay your visa fee when you are going to collect your visa. It can be paid in two ways:

  1. Before arrival: At any of Iran’s embassies or consulates listed on your application.
  2. Upon Arrival: At any of Iran’s International Airports.

Note: Payment options vary based on your nationality and pick-up location.

Step 6: Travel to Iran

Except citizens of 13 countries which are not eligible for Iran Visa on Arrival, now you have all the required documents to enter Iran.

Step 7 (optional): Visit the VOA counter

You only need to visit the VOA counter if you are going to pay for and collect your visa at any of Iran’s International Airports. Now, you should present your visa and authorization code.

Step 8: Buy your Travel and Health Insurance at the Airport

The travel and health insurance fee is about 15 Euros. You can also get your insurance via IranRoute travel and health insurance service.

For further information and help, check the VOA counter.

Step 9: Hand in all the required documents and enter Iran

When you arrive at the immigration counter, you should hand in the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa Sticker
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Hotel reservation (if any)
  • Detailed travel itinerary (only US, UK and Canada)
  • Resume (only US, UK and Canada)

Step 10: Enter Iran

After receiving the appropriate entrance stamp, you can enter Iran.

Note: Visitors of the US, UK and Canada may be asked further questions concerning the purpose and length of their trip.

Note: Some travellers have reported that their efforts to apply for Iran visa through E-visa Website led to nowhere, having their status of application as “pending” all the time.So, if this occurs to you, you have two options:

1. Contact Iran’s embassies or consulates listed on your online application form, or
2. Apply through an Iranian travel agency or you can apply through IranRoute online visa service.

Note: If you wish to enter Iran through one of its land border crossings, you should apply for your visa and have your visa sticker in advance. To have your visa before arriving at any of Iran’s border crossings, you can refer to any of Iran’s embassies or consulates. But before going through this stage, you should have your authorization code. To have your authorization code, you can apply for your visa through E-visa Website or IranRoute visa services.

Note: Citizens of Afghanistan and Bangladesh should apply via embassy/consulate.

4. IranRoute visa services (land & airport entry)

We take care of everything, sit back and send us your documents. IranRoute is officially licensed to provide visa services, with the registration number of 10062201397002914 issued by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran. This method deserves to come first because it is easy, fast and efficient. You just need to fill in the online visa application form and submit the required documents, select your pick-up location (an embassy/consulate or an Iranian airport) and pay the application fee. We will send your request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of I.R.Iran (MFA) and once your visa is ready, you will be directed to your nominated destination to collect it. In the chart below you will see all the needed processes with just a look and you can apply for your visa easily by clicking here.

Why apply through IranRoute?

IranRoute provides fast and easy visa processing with a minimum chance of rejection and offers an exclusive 5% discount for visa applicants. As a part of services, it offers the option of buying Travel & Health Insurance in advance for only 30 euros.

Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Apply for your visa online

  • Fill in the online visa application form on our website.

Step 2: Select a location to collect your visa

You can pick up your visa in two ways:

  • Before arrival: At your nominated embassy or consulate
  • Upon your arrival: At one of the Iran’s International Airports:

-Bandar Abbas International Airport (BND)

-Dayrestan Airport (GSM)

-Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)

-Isfahan International Airport (IFN) -Kerman Airport (KER)

-Kish International Airport (KIH)

-Mashhad International Airport (MHD)

-Shiraz International Airport (SYZ)

-Tabriz International Airport (TBZ)

-Urmia (Uromieh) Airport (OMH)

Step 3: Submit the required documents

You are required to submit:

Step 4: Pay the application fee

IranRoute application fee includes:

  • US, UK, and Canadian Citizens: 53 Euros (Land & Airport Entry)
  • Countries which are not eligible for a visa on arrival: 15.5 Euros
  • Other countries: 9.5 Euros

Note: You can easily pay for your visa application fee via Master card or Visa card through our services.

Step 5: Receive the authorization code

We will process your visa and once your authorization code is ready, we will send it to you via email. Now, you can collect your visa sticker at your chosen embassy/consulate or at any of Iran’s International Airports.

Wait time: It usually takes 2 weeks for your authorization code and visa sticker to be ready (US, UK and Canada 45 days).

Step 6: Pay for the visa fee

You can pay for your visa fee:

  • Before arrival: At the embassy or consulate you have chosen on your application list
  • Upon arrival: At one of Iran’s International Airports

Note: Your visa fee is subject to change based on your nationality.

Step 7: Travel to Iran

Now, you are ready to get on board and fly to Iran. If you haven’t already collected your visa at any of Iranian embassies/consulates, you can collect your visa at the airport on the condition that you are not from one of the countries listed in the table of this page.

Step 8: Go to the Visa on Arrival counter

Those who don’t have their visas in their hands should go to the Visa on Arrival counter to collect their visa. Here, you should present your authorization code and passport. Note:  Since the visa fee is subject to change and depends on your nationality, click here to know the visa fee you should pay.

Step 9: Purchase your Travel & Health Insurance

You can buy your Travel and Health insurance:

  • At one of Iran’s International Airports or,
  • If you wish to save your time and energy or you want to enter Iran through

one of its land border crossings, we suggest you to buy your Travel & Health insurance through IranRoute insurance service.

Step 10: Hand in your documents and receive your visa

To collect your visa on arrival (VOA) at any of Iran’s International Airports, you are required to present the following documents:

Note: You can apply through our IranRoute visa services and have your authorization code via email before collecting your Visa Sticker.

Note: If you wish to enter Iran through one of its land border crossings, you should apply for your visa and have your visa sticker in advance. To have your visa before arriving at any of Iran’s border crossings, you can refer to any of Iran’s embassies or consulates. But before going through this stage, you should have your authorization code. To have your authorization code, you can apply for your visa through E-visa Webite or IranRoute visa services.

Congratulations: Once you receive your visa, you can enter Iran without worry.

What You Need to Get a Visa

For obtaining an Iran Visa, depending on the purpose of your travel, you will need to present different documents. The E-Visa Website of the Iranian Foreign Ministry lists these documents as following:

    1. Passport
    2. Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
    3. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae – You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history.
    4. Digital personal photo in accordance with the requirements announced.
    5. Digital image of your passport in accordance with the requirements announced.

Who’s Who of Getting a Visa

No visa required

Citizens of the countries mentioned below do not need visa to enter and to stay in Iran within a specific period:

  •  Armenia: 90-180 days
  •  Azerbaijan: 30 days
  •  Bolivia: 30 days
  •  Egypt: 20 days
  •  Georgia: 45 days
  •  Lebanon: 30 days
  •  Malaysia: 15 days
  • Serbia: 30-365 days
  •  Syria: 90-180 days
  •  Turkey: 90 days
  • Venezuela: 15 days

All foreign visitors, except those from AfghanistanBangladeshCanadaColombiaIraqJordanNepalPakistanSomaliSri Lanka,United KingdomUnited States and Yemen, can enter and stay on Kish Island for 14 days or less without obtaining any visa. Upon landing at Kish International Airport, foreign visitors do not need to present much documents except their valid passports. However, you may be questioned about the purpose of your travel. In order to avoid any unwanted problems, be sure to bring all your verification paperworkhotel reservations, etc. But as soon as your photo and finger prints are taken by officials, your passport will be stamped and you will be free to enjoy the beauty of Kish Island up to 14 days.

Novisa on arrival issued

Getting a visa on arrival can save a lot of trouble but the truth is that citizens of the following 13 countries cannot get a VOA and should apply for visa through one of the other three ways mentioned above. 

Visa for visitors from The United States, United Kingdom and Canada

Visitors from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada are not eligible for Iran Visa on Arrival. Therefore, they should apply for Iran visa via Iran’s embassies/consulates. Visitors from the United States and Canada can apply for their visa via Interest Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Washington, DC. Visitors from the United Kingdom can get their visa by referring to the embassy of Iran in London. However, since individual applications are mostly subject to failure, we strongly recommend you to apply for your visa through IranRoute visa service or other agencies in Iran.

You Want to Stay Longer in Iran? Great!

Visitors can stay in Iran for up to 30 days, even though Iran tourist visa is valid for 3 months. But you can extend your visa at most twice without trouble. A 30-day visa plus two extensions give you 90 days. It is quite easy and cheap to extend your Iranian Visa.You should apply for your Iranian visa extension at any Police Office of Foreign Aliens in major cities. What do you need to extend your Iran Visa? In order to have your visa extended, you should present the following documents to the office:

  • Copies of your Passport
  • Two passport-size photos (women with head-scarf)
  • Your current visa
  • Payment receipt in cash from the Melli Bank. The cost of visa renewal is approximately 345,000 Rials.

Where can you extend your visa? You can extend your visa at Police Offices of Foreign Aliens in major cities as followed:

Tehran: It is possible to extend your Iranian Visa in Tehran from two immigration offices. One of them is located in Dr. Fatemi Junction, towards Vali-e Asr Avenue and the other is located near Sepah square. It is almost difficult to extend your visa in Tehran and your extension will be partial rather than a full month.

Tehran Police Office of Foreign Aliens

Mashhad: The immigration office of Mashhad is located next to Azad University, on Rahnamaee St. You can also apply for Afghan visa in Mashhad as it is easier to apply there than in the capital.

 Mashahd Police Office of Foreign Aliens

Shiraz: The best spot to extend your visa is in Shiraz. Applying for your visa extension is quite easy and quick in this city. The immigration office is located in Moddarres Blvd, near Vali-e Asr Square.

Shiraz Police Office of Foreign Aliens

Isfahan: You can easily extend your Iranian visa in Isfahan from theimmigration office near Azadi Sq, on Roudaki St.

Isfahan Police Office of Foreign Aliens

Yazd:The immigration office is located near Abouzar square, Kashani St. It may take more than a day to issue your extension.

TabrizIt is not the best place to extend your visa and we do not advise it. There have been many rejections in this city.

Note: Offices are open from Saturday to Wednesday, from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM. As they are usually crowded, it is recommended to start the process early in the morning.

Tips for Visa Extension

  • Apply to extend your visa 1 to 3 days (not earlier) before your current visa is expired.
  • For Women, the photo should be with hijab (scarf).
  • You may be asked a few questions at the visa extension counter, such as:

-Why do you want to extend your visa? -How many more days do you want to extend your visa? -Where are you staying during your trip? -Are you here for tourism or work? -What is your occupation?

  • Do not mention that you’re going to stay at a friend’s house. The authorities are very strict about it. Rather, tell them you stay at a hotel. You can name the hotels you previously stayed in to convince them thoroughly.
  • Do not worry if you do not know English at the Melli Bank. Simply say the word visa and they will help you.

Forms and Specifications :

Different Forms You Need in Visa Process

        Iran Visa Application Form

      Sample Resume

       Visa Photo Specs

       Passport Copy Specs   

Leave a Reply