Everything you need to know about getting a visa for Iran
In recent years, the Iranian government has been working hard to promote tourism. In order to encourage travelers to the home of 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, electronic visas will be issued by the end of 2016 and the visa waiver program increased to 60 more countries.
To help you see the beauty of Iran for yourself, we’ve put together a handy guide on everything you need to know about getting a visa.
Once you have your visa, don’t forget to book your room with Pintapin.com!
There are three types of visa you can apply for:
- Visa on Arrival (VOA) (or Iran airport visa)
- Tourist Visa
- Business Visa
Do you need a visa at all?
If you’re from one of the following visa-exempt countries and your passport is valid for at least 6 months then you’re one of the lucky ones and you can stay in Iran for up to 90 days without a visa:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, Egypt, and Lebanon.
Kish and Qeshm Islands
Kish and Qeshm Islands are special cases and any tourist may stay for up to 14 days without a visa. You can land in Qeshm’s or Kish islands by plane in their international airports or by boat to get your passport stamped.
Visa on Arrival
Most nationalities can get an extendable 30-day tourist visa on arrival, as long as you meet the below conditions.
The application process in the airport can take up to two hours, so to speed up the process you might want to pay for a pre-approval service which is an invitation letter that allows you to board your flight to Iran without a visa in your passport. Some online agencies can charge you differently. To do soو you need to fill up a form online and pay the fee. Check IranianVisa as an example.
Conditions for the Visa on Arrival:
- You must not have previously been rejected for an Iran visa
- Journalists and reporters cannot get a visa on arrival
- Iranian nationals holding another nation’s passport are not allowed to get a visa on arrival
- A visa on arrival can only be issued for tourism. Diplomatic passports and official passports, issued to government employees for work-related travel, and their accompanying dependents cannot apply
- A visa on arrival is not issued for nationalities from USA, UK, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. They must obtain a visa in advance
- Admission is refused to holders of passports or travel documents containing a visa/stamp for Israel or anyone with a connection to the state of Israel
Which airports grant a Visa on Arrival?
- Konarak Airport (Chah-Bahar)
- Isfahan International Airport (Isfahan)
- Kish International Airport (Kish Island)
- Mashhad International Airport (Mashad)
- Dayrestan Airport (Qeshm Island)
- Shiraz International Airport (Shiraz)
- Tabriz International Airport (Tabriz)
- Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad International Airport (Tehran)
Getting the Visa on arrival:
When you get into the airport, before collecting your luggage, there’s sign which points to the Visa on arrival desk. You need to fill a form and write down your host’s address in Iran. If your host is a person, the authorities will call your host, or if it is a hotel, you just need to show the voucher. Pre-approval paper (invitation letter) from an agency or your leaving tickets can also do the same.
At the Visa on Arrival desk you may need to provide some or all of the following and do not forget that payments are in cash:
- 15 USD is needed for traveler’s insurance
- A visa stamp fee which is based on your nationality (the prices are given in EUR)
- A passport photo for the application form
- Confirmation of your return travel
- A passport valid for at least 6 months
- An invitation letter or hotel reservation voucher. The invitation letter has to be sent from the Iranian travel agency to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 48 hours before your arrival. You can apply for pre-travel service to obtain your invitation letter