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This website is designed to give clear information about the process of getting a visa to visit Iran.

Although every care is taken to ensure the information on this site is kept updated, Iran visa regulations are liable to change at short notice. You are therefore advised to contact your nearest Iranian Embassy or your Iranian Visa Service.

→ Click here for Online Iranian Visa Application Form

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the process of obtaining an Iranian visa.

1. Who can visit Iran?

All nationalities are very welcome to visit Iran. The only exception is citizens of Israel. Due to the current political climate, Israeli citizens will be refused entry under all circumstances.

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2. Do I need a visa to go to Iran?

All foreign visitors require a visa to enter Iran except citizens of the following countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey. Citizens of these countries can stay for up to 3 months without a visa.  

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3. What type of visa will I need?

The main types of visa issued are:

Tourist Visa (single or multiple entry)
A tourist visa is required by foreign nationals who wish to travel to Iran for sightseeing purposes or to visit their friends and family. The maximum duration of stay for a tourist visa is 30 days.

Entry Visa (single, double or multiple entry)
An ‘entry’ visa is effectively a ‘business’ visa. It is required by foreign nationals who wish to travel to Iran for economic, commercial, cultural or industrial purposes. It is also required by those attending economic or cultural conferences or those participating in sporting events. The authorised duration of stay is usually up to 30 days. Commercial visitors must obtain an invitation letter from the company/organisation they intend to visit.
 
Press Visa
A press visa is required by foreign journalists who wish to travel to Iran on business. Applications for press visas must be made to the dedicated Press Section of the embassy.

Transit Visa
A transit visa is required by foreign nationals who intend to pass through Iran on their way to a third country.

Work Permit Visa
A work permit visa is required by all foreign nationals who intend to work in Iran. The company you are going to work for must obtain your work permit before you can apply for a work permit visa. 

Pilgrimage Visa
A pilgrimage visa is required by foreign Muslim pilgrims who wish to visit the sacred sights and shrines of Iran.

Student Visa
A student visa is required by all foreign nationals who intend to study in Iran.

Diplomatic and Service Visa
A diplomatic and service visa is required by holders of diplomatic and service passports who intend to travel to Iran, either to undertake an official visit at Iran’s invitation, or to work in a diplomatic or consular mission.

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4. How do I get an Iranian visa?

There are two ways of obtaining an Iranian visa:

  • If you have plenty of time before you intend to travel (at least 8 weeks), you can apply for a visa by contacting your nearest Iranian Embassy.
  • Alternatively, you can use an Iranian Visa Service to take care of all the details and get your visa for you. Iranian Visa Services can often get you a visa to travel at short notice. Click here for more details on Iranian Visa Services

To apply independently you need to contact the Iranian Embassy nearest to where you live and ask for/download a visa application form. Click here for a list of Iranian Embassies.

Next, you will need to obtain a Letter of Invitation from a sponsor in Iran. For tourist visas, the sponsor will normally be a tour operator or a hotel. Pleas use this link to contact an Iranian tour operator who can supply you with a Letter of Invitation to obtain your Iran Visa.

Once you have your Letter of Invitation you need to send this to your nearest Embassy along with your visa application form, two photographs, and the appropriate visa application fee.

The Embassy will then send details of your application to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Tehran.

Once your visa has been authorised by the MFA, a visa authorisation number will be sent back to the Embassy. The Embassy will then contact you and tell you your visa authorisation number. Please note that this reference number means that your visa has been authorised but is not the visa itself.

To obtain the actual visa in your passport, you need to fill out a visa collection form which you obtain/download from the Embassy. On this form you enter your visa authorisation number.

You can then either post or take this form to the Consulate Section of the embassy along with your passport and the appropriate visa collection fee. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of entry into Iran, and must have at least two blank pages.

If take your passport to the consulate in person, you will normally have to return the following day to get your passport back. If you post your passport to the consulate, either there will be an extra fee to cover the costs of them sending it back to you recorded delivery, or you will have to provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. You should normally receive your passport back about one week from when the consulate first receives it.

If you use an Iranian Visa Service they will take care of all the paperwork and administration involved in the process outlined above. Full English speaking staff handle your application and you can talk to them whenever you like to follow up your application and find out how it is progressing. Also, the entire process can be a lot quicker than applying independently. Click here to find out more about Iranian Visa Services.

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  5. How long will it take to get an Iranian visa?

For independent visa applications, the whole process will normally take a minimum of one month. Please note, however, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the sole decision making authority as to whether or not to issue your visa. If they have any concerns about your application, this could hold up the application process. It is advisable, therefore, to allow at least eight weeks before you intend to travel.

Using an Iranian Visa Service can cut out a lot of the reasons why the MFA might have a concern about your application. Using such a service, therefore, often means a visa can be issued in a much shorter length of time.

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6. How much does an Iranian visa cost?

There are two costs involved. First, there is the visa application fee which you send off with your visa application form. Second, you have to pay a visa collection fee in order to get the visa stamped into your passport. If you post your passport to the embassy there will be an extra charge for them to post it back to you by recorded delivery.
For up to date Iranian visa fees you need to check with the Embassy in your country.

At the present time visa application fees for British nationals are as follows:

  • Transit Visa £61
  • Tourist Visa Single Entry £68
  • Multiple Visa for Business £90

If you choose to use an Iranian Visa Service there will be a handling charge on top of the visa application and visa collection fees. This charge will vary but many people find that the benefits of an efficient and worry-free service are well worth the money. Full English speaking staff handle your application and you can talk to them whenever you like to follow up your application and find out how it is progressing. Also, the entire process can be a lot quicker than applying independently. Click here to find out more about Iranian Visa Services.

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7. Do I have to have my itinerary organised before I apply for a visa?

No, not unless you are a US citizen.

Visas for US passport holders are subject to particular regulations. At present the Iranian Foreign Ministry will only issue visas for US citizens to travel to Iran as part of a pre-booked, guided tour. By guided tour we mean that you must travel either as part of a bigger tour group, or on a tailor-made individual tour designed to your own requirements. You must submit your itinerary in advance and adhere to it exactly. Due to these requirements we recommend that you make your travel arrangements at least 10 weeks in advance of your planned travel date. Please click here if you would like further information about guided tours to Iran.

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8. Do I need to book my flights before I can get a visa?

No, not unless you are a US citizen (see above).

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9. Do I need to book my hotels before I can get an Iranian visa?
No, not unless you are a US citizen (see above). However, you do need to have a Letter of Invitation in order to apply for a visa. If you make a hotel booking in advance, the hotel can issue you with this Letter of Invitation. Please click here if you would like further information about hotels in Iran.

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10. Can I get a visa at the airport on arrival in Iran?

Some visitors can obtain a tourist visa, valid for 15 days, on arrival at certain Iranian airports. 

Please note that neither UK nor US citizens can get a visa at the airport.

Citizens of the following countries can, under certain circumstances, get a visa on arrival at the airport:

Albania, Armenia Australia Austria Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arabic Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia.

Please note that this is a relatively new service offered by the airports in Iran. We would always recommend that visitors obtain a visa BEFORE they travel to Iran.

If you little time left before you intend to travel, we do not recommend that you rely on getting your visa at the airport. Instead, you should consider using an Iranian Visa Service who can arrange normally arrange visas at short notice.

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11. Once I am in Iran, can I get my visa extended so that I can stay longer?

Yes, you can. It is normally quite straightforward to get an extension to tourist, entry and pilgrimage visas. To get an extension you need to go the nearest Police Department of Alien Affairs before your visa expires. You will be asked for the reasons for your request for an extension. Extensions are normally granted for up to two months and are free of charge.

Diplomatic and service Iran visas will be extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) upon the request of the relevant foreign diplomatic mission in Tehran.
  
Work permit visas can be extended by the Police Department of Alien Affairs in coordination with the Department of Alien Employment at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Any request must be supported by an Iranian sponsor.

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12. Are there any specific requirements for US citizens travelling to Iran?

Visas for US passport holders are subject to particular regulations. 
At present the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) does not allow US passport holders to travel to Iran independently.  Americans are required to travel on escorted tours; either as part of a tour group, or on a tailor-made individual tour. An exact itinerary, to which you must adhere, must be submitted in advance.

Due to these requirements we recommend that you make your travel arrangements at least 10 weeks in advance of your planned travel date. Please click here if you would like further information about Iran Travel and tours

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13. Are there any specific requirements for female travellers to Iran?
It is very safe for female travellers in Iran. However, in respect of Islamic culture, lone female visitors are required to be accompanied by an individual guide. Click here for further information on how to organise an approved guide for lone female travellers.

Females should always wear a headscarf in their visa application photographs.  

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We hope that we have answered all your questions. If not, please feel free to contact us. If you have any comments about our Iran Visa information service we would be delighted to hear from you. Please also check Iran Holiday Booking form

Iran Visa Information Service

Tel: +44 (0)1344 622832

Fax: +44 (0)1344 327007

Email: info@iranvisa.co.uk

Iran Visa Information Service
11 The Poplars
Ascot SL5 9HZ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1344 622 832
Fax: +44 (0) 1344 327 007
Email: info@iranvisa.co.uk

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