Tourism in Iran has blossomed after the nuclear deal and the number of tourists to Iran has increased from three hundred thousand visitors to about six million last year. By 2025, Iran has set a target of attracting more than 20 million foreign tourists from all over the world into the country. The government, with the goal of promoting the growth of tourism in Iran, is making an attempt on providing travel facilitation services for tourists at suitable attractions, as well as facilitating visa application procedures. As a result, it’s getting much easier for tourists from around the world to apply for and obtain Iran travel visa. To get more information about getting Iran tourist visa just continue reading this article.
Iran Tourist Visa policy
Tourists from most of the countries need a visa to travel to Iran. On average, the process of obtaining Iran tourist visa takes from about two weeks to a month. Visitors to Iran applying for Iran visa need to get their visas from one of the Iranian diplomatic missions. All visitors must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months. Generally, tourists who want to stay and visit Iran more, can extend their visa at least twice without trouble. It’s quite easy and cheap! Visa extensions are available at the Police Offices of Foreign Aliens, in big cities in Iran. Having a valid travel/medical insurance, which covers you overseas, is also essential for tourists to get a visa to Iran. There are different travel insurance companies, some of which may not cover you for Iran. To get your Iran visa you should have any documents with you to prove that you have the travel insurance. If you don’t have it yet you can get it at the airport, but with limited coverage.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
An option in some cases, to get Iran travel visa, may be a visa on arrival, or VOA, which allows you get your visa on your landing at the destination airport, instead of having it with you before you get on the plane. Most countries offer Visa on Arrival these days, which makes the visa application process more convenient. It will save you from all the long processes of applying for and getting your visa. Visitors do not need to apply for a tourist visa beforehand. Sometimes you have to wait in long queues for Visa on Arrival at the airport, so you’d better prepare beforehand. Although not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that you apply online in advance, on Islamic Republic of IRAN Ministry of Foreign Affairs website Since your application is more likely to be successful if you ask a valid travel agency to do it for you. Iranviva Group is with you and guides you at each step in your visa application process.
Required Documents for Iran Visa on Arrival
In order to successfully apply for Iran visa upon arrival, there are a few things you need to have prepared. Here are the most important requirements:
1. A Passport or travel document with a minimum validity of not less than 6 months.
2. A confirmed return ticket within a period of 30 days
3. An applicant’s recent photograph, to be attached to the visa application form.
4. Visa stamp fee, to be paid at the Iran Visa & Passport Office at the airport. Iran airport visa fee differs according to the applicant’s nationality.
5. A letter of invitation or a voucher for hotel reservation. The invitation letter must be sent at least 48 hours before your arrival at Iran airport by the Iranian travel agency (like Iranviva Group) to Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
6. A Print of your valid travel insurance.
Following the application process, you will receive your e-visa authorization number.
Where to Get Visa on Arrival in Iran?
As mentioned earlier, you can get your visa on arrival or Iran airport visa, on your landing at the international airports in Iran. You cannot get this visa on the land borders. Iran visa on arrival is valid for 30 days and it is issued at six main airports in Iran. Here are the International airports in Iran where you can apply for a Visa on Arrival:
● Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran (IKA)
● Mehrabad International Airport, Tehran (TEH)
● Shahid Dastghaib Airport, Shiraz (SYZ)
● Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport, Mashhad (MHD)
● Shahid Madani Airport, Tabriz (TBZ)
● Shahid Beheshti Airport, Isfahan (ISF)
● Kish International Airport, Kish (KIH)
● Bandar Abbas Airport, Bandar Abbas (BND)
● Shahid Sadooghi Airport, Yazd (AZD)
At the airport, you must present your documents along with your e-visa authorization number at the visa desk. The procedure takes between fifteen minutes to one hour. You need to pay the visa fees, too, the amount of which depends on your nationality. It usually costs about 75 euros for most of the countries and for a few countries it’s up to 150 euros. It must be paid in cash in either dollar or euro. Here you can see different fees for Iran Visa on Arrival for different nationalities:
Iran visa on arrival is valid for 30 days. In case you are planning to have a longer stay in Iran, you should apply for a tourist visa to Iran at the embassy instead of a VOA. Extending Iran visa On Arrival will be more difficult and the extension is restricted to about fourteen more days. To get more information in this regard contact us at Iranviva.
Tourists’ Passports No Longer Stamped in Iran
According to Iran tourism authorities in 2018, travelers’ passports will no longer be stamped. It will alleviate tourists’ concerns over US sanctions on individuals visiting Iran, after White House ban in March 2017, restricting visitors to Iran from traveling to the US.
Iran Visa on Arrival Restrictions
Iran VOA is given to those who travel to Iran as a tourist. People with any other intentions, must apply for their visa before traveling to Iran. There are also some Iran VOA restrictions for these people:
• Holders of diplomatic or service passports
• Holders of a passport containing an Israeli stamp or visa.
• Journalists or reporters traveling for work
• Those whose applications for an Iranian visa were previously rejected.
• Citizens from countries including Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
These people are recommended to apply for a Tourist visa at the embassy, before traveling to Iran. If you have any questions about Iran VOA restrictions, contact Iranviva group. Iran Tourist visa, issued at the embassy, is valid for three months, and the holders of this visa, like the Iran Visa on Arrival holders, are allowed to stay in Iran for one month. The process usually takes about two weeks, though it highly depends on the embassy.
Traveling to Iran as Citizens of the US, UK and Canada
Americans, as well as Canadians and Brits must be accompanied by an authorized guide during all their stay in Iran. Therefore, to apply for and obtain there tourist visa to Iran, these citizens must ask an official tour agency or an official private tour guide. Iranviva group, as a valid travel agency can help you in your Visa application process.
For more information on Iran Visa for citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, read Iranviva article “Iran Visa for visitors from the US, UK and Canada”.
Citizens with an Israeli passport are not allowed to enter Iran.
Iranian Dual Citizenship
Iran does not technically recognize dual citizenship. In fact, Iran government considers dual citizens as Iranian citizens only. Hence, they must enter the country with their Iranian passport.
Visa-free visits to Iran
Based on the agreements between Iran and some countries, the citizens from these few countries don’t need Visa to travel to Iran: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela. They can stay in Iran between fifteen days to three months. There are also seven free trade zones in Iran, including Kish Island, Qeshm Island, Anzali Port, ArvandFree Zone, Aras Free Zone, Chabahar Free Trade Zone, and Maku. Visitors to the free zones do not need an Iran visa or Iran e-visa, no matter where they are from. Travelers can enter the free trade zones and stay up to two weeks. They extend their stays for longer.
For more information on visa-free visits to Iran, read article “Visa-Free Travel to Iran” from Iranviva.