Tourism in Iran has blossomed 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
Generally speaking, tourists who tend to travel to the wonderful country of Iran and visit its historical sites and extraordinary beauty would require some documents, including a valid passport for at least 6 months, a visa, a travel insurance, etc.
Iranviva Group will acquaint you with the process of obtaining a visa in Iran.
People who travel to Iran are generally classified in one of the following groups:
- Citizens of some countries that do not need a visa for traveling to Iran.
For more information about traveling to Iran without a visa read our article “Visa-Free Traveling to Iran“.
- Citizens of some countries that are able to get their visa at the airport.
- Citizens of some countries that have to apply for their visa online.
- Travelers who tend to enter the Free Trade Zones of Iran.
- Citizens of the countries of Canada, America and the UK.
Countries Whose Citizens Can Travel to Iran Visa-Free
According to the agreement between the Iranian government and some countries, citizens of these countries do not need a visa to enter Iran and they can travel to Iran easily.
However, the duration of stay is different for the citizens of each country. Below is a list of the countries whose citizens can travel to Iran without a visa.
If citizens of these countries tend to stay in Iran more, they need to increase their stay-time in their own country or at the airport.
It should be noted that the citizens of these countries do not need a travel insurance either and they can travel to Iran only with their passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.
Countries Whose Citizens Can Travel to Iran with 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.
Citizens of these countries can apply for their Iranian visa, after arriving at the airport in Iran.
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:
(Please contact us for further updates on fees and information)
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.
Countries Whose Citizens Can Apply for Visa Online
Most of the tourists are in two categories above. The other tourists who are not included in the categories above mentioned, need to apply for their Iran visa online through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and they can travel to Iran after approval by Iran Department of Foreign Affairs.
The process of obtaining an Iran visa is as follows:
- Filling out the application form online and uploading a photograph and an image of the passport;
you can click on the link, and complete the application form.
- Checking for the information and paying the visa application fee
- Submitting your application form and sending it to the Department of Foreign Affairs
- Checking your application by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in maximum 3 working days
- Declaring the visa application status and getting visa approval code
- Representing the authorization code to the Consulate or elected airports to get Iran visa
The size of the photograph should be 400 * 300 and the image of the passport should be 600 * 800.
The applicant passport must be valid for at least six months.
The photograph must be new, full-face, without a hat or dark glasses, and it should be endorsed.
As mentioned earlier, first you need to fill out the application form online, and then after receiving the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an authorization code, you can get your visa at the nearest embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or at the airport after arriving in Iran.
It should be noted that to get your Iran visa you must pay two separate fees:
- The visa application fee that must be paid online.
- The visa fee that must be paid in person at the airports in Iran or Iranian consulates.
You can also go to Iranian consulate in your country in person or contact with them to get to know about the amount of visa application fee.
Also if you’re going to get your visa at the airports of Iran, you should have the amount of money with you in cash (dollars or euros).
The cost of Iran visa differs according to your nationality.
Visa to Enter into Free Trade Zones
Entering the free trade zones in Iran, listed below, is visa-free. This rule is common for all tourists. The exceptions are as follows:
- People who are prohibited from entering the country of Iran, are forbidden to travel to the free zones in Iran, too.
- Citizens of the following countries need to obtain a visa to enter the free zones in Iran.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, India, Iraq (except for Kish Island), Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Tourists can stay in these areas for 14 days. However, this period can be extended to six months at the request of the Free Zone Organization.
Only traveling to the Free Zones is Visa-free, and tourists should get their visa to enter the rest of the country. It should be noted that if a tourist tends to visit other areas in Iran after visiting these areas, they need to apply for their Iran visa through the consulate of Islamic Republic of Iran in their country.
Foreign citizens who, after they arrive in the free zones of Iran, plan to travel to other parts of Iran can apply for their Iran visa through the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs, according to the regulations.
Traveling to Iran as Citizens of the US, UK and Canada
Iran visa regulations are slightly different for citizens of Canada, America and Britain. Citizens from these countries require some additional documents and they face some limitations for visiting some areas of Iran.
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.