Obtaining Iran tourist visa looks a little complicated to most travelers, as there is not much clear information about it in the online word … However, the Iranian Government is trying to ease the process for many nationals. For Example, In a move to alleviate tourists’ concerns over US sanctions on individuals visiting Iran, the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs has started a program to not stamp the passports of the tourists arriving in Iran; with entry and exit stamps new rules which are not put on the passports of the visiting tourists any more, Iran is going to remove tourists’ concerns about visiting Iran because of US sanctions.
Who can apply for Iran tourist visa?
Almost all nationals require a visa to enter Iran, except only 9 nationalities:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, China
If you are not among nationals of above countries, you’d better keep reading this article.
➤ Please note: Kish Island is an exception. This island is considered a free zone and no visa is required for visitors who fly in Kish and stay only there. They can get a 14-day permit but just to stay in Kish.
Iranian visa on arrival (VOA)
According to the newest regulations of Iranian MFA (as of June 2019) almost all nationals can get an Iran VOA (Visa on Arrival) through 6 international airports in Iran:
IKA : Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport
- MHD : Mashad Airport
- SYZ : Shiraz Airport
- TBZ : Tabriz Airport
- ISF : Isfahan Airport
- KIH : Kish Island Airport
Except for citizens of:
Canada, UK, US, Canada, Afghanistan, Nepal, Colombia, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
➤ Please note: If you are eligible for Iran VOA, While entering Iran via any international airport (not land borders), you can easily ask the authorities to stamp your visa on a separate piece of paper. This is particularly useful for business people who concern US sanctions against Iran or for people who travel to US frequently.
Iran VOA requirements
- Hotel booking document:
At least you need to show your hotel reservation printed out for your first night in Iran. If you are staying with locals, provide their contact details to shown to immigration police.
- Travel Insurance: All travelers must have valid travel insurance for Iran. If you don’t, you can purchase at the spot.
However, the insurance you buy at the airport has very limited coverage, so coming with proper travel insurance is a must. Unfortunately, most global travel insurance companies will not provide and coverage service for Iran. We highly recommend you to provide an Iranian travel insurance in advance. Please contact
- Return flight ticket: some claim their VOA has not been granted because they didn’t have a return flight ticket or because the authorities could not contact their host or any other excuse.
- Visa authorization code letter (Visa Grant Notice):
This is probably the most important document – your in advance visa approval.
Although there is no obligation to have any visa authorization for VOA, but having such a document would guarantee your visa. It means, you can easily obtain your visa authorization prior to your trip in order to prevent risks of any refusal at the airport, it also saves visa issuance time.
➤ Please note: Iransafar Travel Co. can provide you with visa code letter. Please fill the Iran visa application form here
- Two ID photos 4×5: White background, Full Face, Colored
- Visa fee: This must be paid only in Cash, only in (€) Euro currency. It really depends on your nationality but, typically, prices would range from 40 to 150€. Iran Visa Fee is 75 € for EU citizens.
VOA fee for different nationalities
When you must apply for an Iran tourist visa in advance?
1) When you enter the country overland.
2) When you are flying from Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan or Turkey, you must apply for your visa in advance.
3) To prevent time lose at the airport, specially after a long flight.
4) To secure your visa
5) If You are a Canada, UK, US, Afghanistan, Nepal, Colombia, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka citizen, you will need to apply your visa through an Iranian travel company.
How to apply for an Iran tourist visa in advance?
Basically, In order to obtain Iranian visa, you will need to get a visa authorization code which can only be applied by a licensed Iranian tour operator. check out a visa code letter example here
As soon as you obtain the authorization letter, you will be able to collect your visa at the given consulate or at the relevant Iran airport.
➤ Please note:
- the code is valid for one month.
- code Generating process usually takes 3 to 5 working days.
Needed documents for a tourist visa issued by embassy
- Passport with a minimum of 6-months validity
- The visa authorization code letter (visa grant notice)
- passport copy
- ID photos 2
- Iran Visa application form – Download here
- Flight ticket
✔️ Important note:
Citizens of Afghanistan and Bangladesh cannot apply for visas through Travel agencies and need to apply for visas in person to Iranian consulates in Iran.
Citizens of Iraq can only obtain VOA visas at Mashhad International Airport.
In case you do not have a previously issued visa authorization code letter (Visa Grant Notice), please be advised that it is not possible to issue an Iranian airport visa on Fridays or on national holidays, so please be careful with your arrival time in Iran
Visa for Americans, UK and Canadian citizens
As you may know, Americans, British and Canadian nationals require to book a tour from arrival to departure; essentially this means you need a certificated guide while you are in Iran.
Citizens of these countries need to have a confirmed itinerary, which should be requested from a valid tour company. For this, they should send a passport copy, passport photos, and a profession & educational CV to the Iranian tour operator.
Typically, getting the Visa authorization code for these applicants take around 30 working days.
Iran Multiple entry Visa
Multiple-entry visas are only available to people who travel to Iran for business. This type of visa is issued depending on the number of individual trips last year and has different credits. The validity of this visa varies depending on the foreign national and the number of trips made between 3 months, 6 months and up to one year.
The minimum number of trips required to obtain a Multi-Iranian visa is as follows:
e-Visa for Iran
There is an e-visa system for Iran under construction. In 2017, a website was launched where you can actually apply for your visa saving you from getting a letter of invitation. However, the website is not operating yet (as of Sept 2019)
Iran Visa Frequently asked questions
To be honest, despite all the negative press, travel to Iran has become very easy over the past few years, and the Iranian government has made some changes to the regulations in the tourism industry in the hope of attracting more visitors.