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Iran Visa

Getting Iran Visa may seem as a time-consuming and complicated process with high risk of your visa being rejected. While it is true to some extent, but some of it is just stereotype. Reading this article, you can get a clear idea about the requirements, the ways and the steps you should take to get Iran tourist visa.
Currently, most nationalities require a visa to travel to Iran. Apart from Israelis, nationals of all countries can get an Iranian visa. Nationals from USA, England and Canada cannot independently visit Iran; they need to be accompanied with tour guide throughout their trip. Based on the purpose of travel, Iran issues different kinds of visas. With regard to leisure travel, two types of visas are issued:
• Tourist visa
• Airport visa (on arrival)

Tourist Visa
This type of visa is issued for the people who want to have a leisure travel to Iran and it should be applied for before coming to Iran. Validity period of this visa is 30 days, and it should be requested by the traveller and approved by IMF (Iran Foreign Ministry). This type of visa can be extended for up to 90 days from the issue date.
Airport Visa
The people who are going to have a leisure travel to Iran can also get their visas at the airport. However, validity period of this type of visa is only 30 days. This type of visa is extendable to 15 more days. You can obtain your visa from the airports of Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Imam Khomeini, and Kermanshah.
Note that we do not recommend you to attempt for getting airport visa, because it is possible that you may not be able to get your visa for different reasons. This type of visa is only issued for tourists and does not include journalists and military personnel (during their missions), those whose entry visas have already been denied, and the Iranians who have Iran passport besides the passports of other countries.
The airport visa cannot be given to the nationals of United States of America, England, Canada, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Nigeria.
How to get Iran Visa?
You can apply for Iranian visa in two ways: In first way, you will apply for the visa by yourself, and in second way, you will let a travel agent in Iran get your visa application process done. Of course, any Iranians can act as your host in Iran. But, first you have to find one.
Do it yourself
Applying yourself for Iran visa means you don’t need to pay travel agency fee. But keep in mind that this way it takes much longer to get you visa and the probability of rejection will be increased. Also, some consulates do not process visa application without prior visa authorization number or code. It means you have to go through an agency to get your visa. If you are unbelievably lucky, you may get you your visa within a few days. Otherwise, you have to wait several weeks (say 6 weeks) to get your visa.
Step-by-Step Process
1. Fill out Visa application form downloadable from your home country Iran embassy/consulate or here.
2. Send the completed form together with other necessary documents including your passport, two passport images, and travel itinerary, proof of your travel insurance, and bank statement.
3. Your documents will be sent to IMF in Tehran to be approved.
4. Contact the embassy/consulate to know if your visa is approved.
5. Pay visa fee which, depending on the consulate, varies from 60 to 70 dollars.
6. In some embassies/consulates you can ask to receive passport and visa by post. In this case, provide an envelope and postal fee as well.
Through an agency
We recommend you to choose the second way, because in this way, not only you can shorten the time of visa application (up to 2 weeks) but also you will not be suffered by troubles and problems caused by too much paperwork. If you want to apply for a visa through a travel agency, you should follow these steps.
Step-by-Step Process
1. You should get the initial visa application form.
2. Once you have completed the form, send it to the travel agency along with a high quality scanned image of your passport. For visa application, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
3. After checking the application form and passport image, the travel agency sends your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
4. Usually after 12 to 15 working days (if the visa application is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) your visa confirmation (authorization) number will be sent to travel agency.
5. Then, the travel agency will send the number to you via email.
6. Three days after the issuance of the confirmation (authorization) number, you can go to the Embassy or Consulate of Iran which you have mentioned it in the visa application form as the place you want to collect your visa from.
7. Having your passport, two passport photographs and visa application fee, you can get your visa.
Note that you should complete a second form when you go to the Embassy or Consulate for visa application. You can get this form by going to the Embassy or Consulate or by downloading it from their websites. You should write your visa confirmation number on this form in the correct place.
Iran Visa Extension
• Visa can be extended in the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs.
• Besides Tehran, you can get your visa extended in the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs of Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Yazd.
• You can extend your visa twice.
• First extension of visa is usually performed without any particular problems, but when you attempt for second time, an unofficial interview will be conducted in the office that is not so serious.
• In most cases, the visa extension requests are approved.
• The validity period of your renewed visa is counted from the date you go to the office, not the initial visa expiry date. So take note if you want to use the maximum possible time to stay, you should go to the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs in the last day of the validity period of your initial visa (or at least in the last days).
• Visa extension in some cities is easier and takes less time. It would be better not to extend your visa in Tehran, because Tehran office is crowded and the process will take much time and the full extension of your visa may not be approved. Also in Tabriz, it is difficult to get your visa extended, and in many cases the visa extension has been refused. It is easier and quicker to get your visa extended in Shiraz and in most cases the full extension will be approved.
• Your visa is valid for up to three months after the issuance date.
• To pick your visa in an Iranian embassy/consulate may mean travelling another city or even country for you, to get rid of this burden you may choose Iranian international airports as your pick-up location. But keep in mind, it may take more than an hour to get your visa.
• Take note that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow the Israel nationals or those who have Israel visa stamp on their visas to enter Iran.
• In addition to paying 60 to 80 dollars (depending on nationality) to the Iranian Embassy or Consulate for collecting the visa, you should pay around 50 dollars to travel agency for obtaining visa confirmation number.
• All of the above rules may change without warning or notice.
Iran visa for American nationals
Many Americans think that it is extremely difficult or impossible to visit Iran. This is not true. Americans are allowed to visit Iran by both the United States and Iranian Governments. The Iranian Government does require Americans to be part of a group tour, private tour or tailor made tour and escorted by an approved tour guide with a fixed itinerary.
Americans must get a visa to visit Iran before traveling to Iran. This is a 2-step process:
1. You need to be issued visa authorization numbers by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2. You need to apply to an Iranian Embassy or Consulate to have a visa issued and put into your passport.
Get your authorization number:
Once you have finalized your travel plans, you will send your personal data to Iran Tour Center:
• one page application form link to form
• scan of the personal information page of your passport (40 Kb )
• Travel itinerary. Our staff will be happy to help you plan your travel and choose your preferred hotels.
We will apply for your visa authorization numbers from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). After the MFA has approved your visa, we will send you the visa authorization number. The MFA will also send the number to the Iranian Embassy or Consulate designated on your application.
American visitors may have to wait up to 40 days to receive their visa authorization numbers. Visa authorization numbers are valid for one month and you must get the visa put into your passport within that time.
Once you receive the authorization number from us, contact your designated embassy or consulate within the next three working days to make sure they have received the numbers from the MFA. If they do not have your authorization numbers, contact us so they can request the numbers be sent again to your designated embassy.
Getting the visa -Americans have two options for having the visa put in to their passports:
The Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan accepts visa applications by mail. You can mail your:
• Passport
• One page form (link to form?) available online at
• Cashier’s check or money order for visa fee and return shipping
• Two 2”x2” recent passport photos
Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
For visa forms and fee schedule:
For more information:
Tel: (202) 965-4990
Fax: (202) 965-1073
Office Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
You can take your passport, form, two 2”x2” recent passport photos and fees to an Iranian embassy or consulate in a foreign country to have the visa put in. You must designate which embassy you want to use when you fill out the form for the authorization numbers.
Please note that visa authorization numbers are valid for one month. Visas are valid for 3 months from the time they are issued.