Iran Visa Information Service
This website is designed to give clear information about the process of getting a visa to visit Iran.
Travelling to Iran on business? Click here for Visa information.
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.
In order for us to process your visa application, please answer the questions below and submit the form to us online.
In addition to the form below, in order for us to process your visa application, we require a copy of the main page of your passport (page with the photograph), which you can attach to the same form.
In case you are having problems sending the online form, please copy the questions and answers onto an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also attach a scan of your passport to this email.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the process of obtaining an Iranian visa.
- Who can visit Iran?
- Do I need a visa to visit Iran?
- What type of visa will I need?
- How do I get a visa to visit Iran?
- How long does it take to get a visa?
- How much does a visa cost?
- Do I have to have my itinerary organised before I apply for a visa?
- Do I need to book my flights before I can get a visa?
- Do I need to book my hotels before I can get a visa?
- Can I get a visa at the airport on arrival in Iran?
- How can I pick up the visa stamp, if I am resident in the UK and the Iranian Consulate in London is not dealing with visas?
- Once I am in Iran, can I get my visa extended so that I can stay longer?
- Are there any specific requirements for US citizens?
- Are there any specific requirements for females travelling alone?
1. Who can visit Iran?
All nationalities are 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.
If you have a Israeli or USA visa stamp in your passport Contrary to popular belief, existing visa stamps in your passport e.g. for Israel or the U.S.A, will not jeopardise your application for an Iranian visa in any way.
2. Do I need a visa to go to Iran?
All foreign visitors require a visa to enter Iran. Most European passport holders are able to travel independently in Iran and can usually obtain a two week visa on arrival (this cannot be extended).
Currently UK, USA and Canadian passport holders are not able to obtain independent travel visas for Iran. To secure a visa, above mentioned passport holders need to travel as part of an escorted tour group, or have an ‘official’ guide (this means not Iranian friends or work colleagues) during their entire stay in Iran. The itinerary needs to be pre-arranged, hotels pre-booked and paid for in advance.
There are two exceptions for UK passport holders:
1. If the individual is not of ‘English’ origin for example Iraqi or Afghan born), you can still obtain an independent travel visa with no restrictions, as long as you are able to provide details of a host in Iran. In this case, the procedure and details below still apply.
2. If you are a British man married to an Iranian woman, and able to provide a marriage certificate, then we can obtain a visa as per below. If you are an British woman, married to an Iranian man, you can only travel on an Iranian passport & we are not able to assist.
Tourist Visa (single or double 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 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.
A press visa is required by foreign journalists who wish to travel to Iran. Applications for press visas must be made to the dedicated Press Section of the embassy.
A pilgrimage visa is required by foreign Muslim pilgrims who wish to visit the sacred sights and shrines of Iran.
4. How do I get an Iranian visa?
The visa process is in two distinct parts. First you have to obtain the visa permit, which can only be issued by the Foreign Ministry (FM) in Iran. You cannot lodge an application with the Iranian FM directly, nor can you currently lodge an application through an Iranian Consulate. You therefore have two ways of obtaining an Iranian visa permit:
- You can ask your Iranian friends or relatives to apply for a visa on your behalf in Iran, by lodging an application in person, at the Foreign Ministry in Tehran. They will need to undertake the responsibility of acting as your host for the duration of your stay in Iran.
- 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.
Should you wish to contact the Iranian Embassy nearest to where you live, to get an update of the visa status and ask for/download a visa application form. Click here for a list of Iranian Embassies.
Once your visa permit has been issued by FM, either with the assistance of your contacts in Iran, or through Iranian Visa Service, a visa authorisation number will be issued and sent via email to your Iranian Consulate. Please note that this reference number means that your visa has been authorised but is not the visa itself.
The second part of the process is to get the actual visa stamped in your passport. To do this, you need to fill out a visa application form which you can obtain/download from the Iranian Consulate website. You will then need to take the visa authorisation number to the Iranian Consulate specified in your application, together with your passport, two standard passport photos, a completed Visa Application form and the visa stamp fees, in order to have the visa stamped in.
This process can take anything from one day to four weeks, depending on whether you attend in person or send someone else on your behalf, on public holidays, or on the particular consulate you attend, as they have different response times depending on how busy or how large they are.
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 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.
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.
6. How much does an Iranian visa cost?
There are two costs involved. First, there is the visa application service fee. If you choose to use an Iranian Visa Service there will be a handling charge for processing and lodging your application with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
This charge will vary but many people find that the benefits of an efficient and worry-free service are well worth the money. 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.
Second cost involved is the visa stamp fees (payable to the Iranian Consulate). You have to pay the visa stamp fee in order to get the visa stamped into your passport. The Iranian Consulate charge British passport holders around €180 for a tourist visa stamp and €80 for an EU passport holder. Fees vary for other nationalities and can change without notice - please contact the Consulate directly to find out the precise amount. Payment must usually be in cash.
7. Do I have to have my itinerary organised before I apply for a visa?
No, not unless you are a UK, Canadian or US citizen. Visas for above mentioned passport holders are subject to particular regulations. At present the Iranian Foreign Ministry will only issue visas for the above 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?
Not so, for any nationality.
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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 UK, Canadian or US citizen (see above). Please click here to contact our travel agency
Please note UK, Canadian & US citizens can NOT 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, Luxembourg, 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.
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.How can I pick up the visa stamp, if I am resident in the UK and the Iranian Consulate in London is not dealing with visas?
You can have assistance with getting the visa stamped into your passport, whether you have obtained your visa permit through a visa service provider, or a different source. Currently finger prints are not required for UK passport holders in Germany. This means you do not have to go in person to collect the visa stamp. You can seek a courier service that will arrange for your passport and documents to be taken to the Iranian Consulate in Germany, in order to have the visa stamped in. If you wish to use this service, you will need to send passport, visa application form and photos to the couriers, who will get the visa stamped in on your behalf, at a fixed fee per passport.
This charge is in addition to the visa stamp fees. This process can take 2 – 3 weeks, depending on the efficiency of the Iranian Consulate staff at the time of application. A faster service will be available, if you wish to have the visa stamped in 5 working days. The exact cost will depend on how rapidly you need the visa stamped in and where you live. Please click on this link for further details. Iran Visa Service
12. 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 visas. To get an extension you need to go the nearest police station or the Department of Alien Affairs in Tehran, a few days before your visa expires. You will be asked for the reasons for your request for an extension. Extensions are normally granted for up to 30 days and are free of charge.
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13. 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.
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14. Are there any specific requirements for female travellers to Iran?
It is very safe for female travellers in Iran. 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.
Iran Visa Information Service
Tel: +44 (0)1344 622832