General Information :
All visitors must obtain Iran Tourist Visa , valid max 30 days, from one of the Iranian embassies or consulates, unless they are from Iran visa free countries or countries eligible to obtain Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa). Fortunately, due to recent changes in Iran visa policy (to welcome more tourists to Iran), today most nationalities can apply and get an Iranian visa on arrival. There are only 10 countries which need to get their Iran visa pre-arrival from Iran embassies or consulates: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, United Kingdom, and United States.
Please note that British, Canadian and American citizens are permitted to travel to Iran only through the official government approved escorted tours. It means they can’t travel individually inside Iran. This is an exception to Iranian visa policy.
- Israel citizens are totally banned from entry to Iran.
How To Get Iran Tourist Visa :
It is very easy to get Iran visa in below 2 steps. In fact, Iran visa policy and regulations are not complicated at all and due to new changes in Iranian visa policy, most nationalities (expect 10 countries) are eligible to apply for an Iran visa on arrival (Iran airport visa) at Iran international airports.
Step 01: Get Iran visa grant notice (Iran visa authorization code) through an authorized Iranian travel agency.
Required documents for visa grant code:
- Fill visa application form , Please see the visa request form link
- Digital photo or scan of the passport (JPG file in color at least 500 kb)
- Digital passport photo (color, JPG, minimum 250 kb)
Note: British, American and Canadian nationalities need to provide their flight information and C.V for getting visa grant notice.
How long It takes to get Iran Visa Grant Notice:
Getting Iran visa grant notice takes about 7 working days. For British, Canadian and American citizens, it takes about 30-40 working days to get the Visa grant code.
Validity of Iran Visa Grant Notice :
- Tourists are going to collect their visa at airport, validity of Visa Grant Notice is 90 days. This means you should collect your visa at the period to stay MAX 30 days in Iran as a tourist.
- Tourists are going to collect their visa at Iranian embassy, Validity of Visa Grant Notice is 30 days. This means you should refer to embassy at the period to have your visa to stay MAX 30 days in Iran as a tourist .
Maral Tours provides it for free with no extra cost in combination with a travel package.
Step 02: After getting Iran visa grant notice (Iran visa authorisation code), You can refer to one of the Iranian embassies or consulate or have it upon arrival at International airports of Iran.
Required documents for getting Iran visa :
1. Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
2. A photo
3. A print of the visa grant
4. Cash for payment visa fee
5. Printed travel insurance valid for Iran (or have Iranian travel insurance on arrival at the airport)
6. A confirmed return ticket within a 30-day timeframe (for visa on arrival)
Update: No Iranian stamp will be put in your passport anymore if you have a printed visa grantran Visa.
Visa On Arrival:
Holders of normal passports traveling as tourist can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days (extendable for another 15 days), at the following airports:
- Isfahan International Airport (Isfahan)
- Kish International Airport (Kish Island)
- Mashhad International Airport (Mashhad)
- Dayrestan Airport (Qeshm Island)
- Shiraz International Airport (Shiraz)
- Tabriz International Airport (Tabriz)
- Imam Khomeini International Airport
Countries whose Nationals CANNOT Apply for Iran Visa on Arrival:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
American, British and Canadian passport holders also cannot get a visa on arrival. Citizens of these countries also can’t ‘just go’ to Iran and are only allowed in when on an organized tour with a guide.
Based on recent Iran visa policy, citizens of the following countries don’t need Iran visa to enter Iran:
- Armenia – 90 days within 180 days
- Azerbaijan – 30 days
- Bolivia – 30 days
- China -23 days
- Georgia – 45 days
- Malaysia – 15 days
- Syria – 90 days
- Turkey – 90 days
- Venezuela – 15 days
Also citizens of Lebanon can obtain an Iran visa on arrival free of charge.
Iran Visa – Free Zone :
Due to Iran visa policy, all tourists (any nationality) may stay in Kish Island or Qeshm Island for 14 days or less without obtaining any kind of Iranian visa. Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010, and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in Southwest Asia.
Iran Tourist Visa Extension :
You have Iran tourist visa? You want to stay and visit Iran more? Many tourists want to extend their Iran visa so that they can stay in Iran and visit Iran more. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to extend Iran visa. The good news is that, it’s possible to extend a 30-day tourist visa to 60 days, but harder to extend again, up to 90 days. If you are picking up your visa at an Iranian embassy and have permission to stay in Iran for 30 days, the Police Aliens Affairs Dept. usually extends your visa for another 30 days. Extending Iran visa on arrival is a little difficult, you may only get a 15-day extension. Visa extensions are available at the Police Offices of Foreign Aliens in major Iranian cities like: Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, and Tabriz. You can extend your Iran visa in other cities too but plan your itinerary so that you can extend your visa in cities which are more familiar with tourists.
Note: The extension of your visa when you get it in the airport depends on the discretion of Police Aliens Affairs Dept. If you have a 15-day Iran visa on arrival you only can extend it up to another 15 days.
Start The Process Early!
Offices are open from Saturday to Wednesday 7:30 AM – 2:00 PM. The offices are usually very crowded so go there in the morning and start the process early. Start the visa extension process 1-3 days before your visa expires.
Documents For Iran Visa Extension:
The process is simple, but as we mentioned above, it is depended on the discretion of Police Aliens Affairs Dept. They may also ask you about the reason of your visa extension. If you have a tourist visa, you can say that you want to see more attractions in Iran. All you have to do is to fill some forms and give photocopies of your passport and your visa. The documents needed are:
Two passport photos
Forms to be filled
Copies of your passport and Iranian visa
An entry stamp
Pay for the visa extension (about 5 $)
How Long Does It Take?
If you start early in the morning you might get the extension at the same day, it usually takes between 1-4 hours. Otherwise they keep your passport and you come back the next day and your extension is ready!
Note: Maral Tours ‘s team would support you to do the visa extension.
Police Office of Foreign Aliens in Tehran: Najafi Street, next to the Ameneh Nursery, Opposite of the Mirdamad Boulevard, Valiasr Street after the Vanak Square, Tehran.