Iran Visa Application

Apply for Iran Visa by Filling the Visa Application Form

   Note:   March 1st, 2014: The American, British and Canadian passport holders must travel to Iran within a guided tour through an eligible travel agency. So they cannot apply for a visa invitation letter through us without booking a trip.

According to the regulations of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Tourist visa is issued for foreign nationals who are interested to travel to Iran individually or with a group for the purpose of visiting Iran, or their friends and relatives. This visa is issued for a maximum stay of 30 days with option of Extensions in Iran. The visa remains valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issue.

Depending to your nationality and the consulate which you refer, it is possible to submit your documents and receive a visa after some days without any reference from Iran. But it can be a time-consuming or even fruitless attempt, specially when you are applying out of your country.

Most consulates need an authorization letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. Getting this authorization is the most important step in visa application and there is not much left when you have it. You will have your visa in 1 or 2 days.

Receiving the Authorization Code

After we receive your application form and the first page of your passport scan, the formal application will be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will go under the official procedure. The output will be an authorization letter which will be faxed to the Iranian Consulate which you have indicated in the form. We will give you this letter’s reference code with which you will be able to collect your visa. This code is only valid to the mentioned consulate and only for 3 months from the date of issue.

 Collecting the Visa from The Consulate

Having the reference code, you will refer to the consulate with your passport (which must be valid for the next 6 months), the completed visa application form (which can be picked from the consulate or be downloaded from their website), 2 new passport size photos (with covered hair for ladies, at some consulates), the visa fee (which depends on your nationality) and the authorization reference code, (Always check the needed documents with the consulate, as there may be differences from one consulate to another.) You may also be able to send the documents and receive the visa by mail. Contact the consulate for more details. The procedure of submitting the documents and collecting the visa can be normally done in the same day.

Visa at the Airport (Visa On Arrival)

It is now possible to obtain your visa for Iran when you arrive in the airport. This process is named “Visa On Arrival” and is possible in 7 different internationals Iranians airports: Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz, Gheshm Island, Kish Island. Thanks to this visa, you will be granted a period of 30 days to visit Iran.

This process is not available for the following citizens: Afghanistan, Bangladesh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers About How to Apply Iran Visa

How to get a visa before my arrival in Iran?

As mentioned above, the process consists in two main steps : First, you will have to obtain a visa authorization number from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Secondly, once you got this authorization number, you must go to the embassy/consulate previously chosen to get your visa.

Iran Visa Service

How can I get this authorisation number (or invitation letter)?

The only option you have to get this number is to contact an Iranian tour operator. You will have to fulfill a form about your personal details and your planned itinerary. This tour operator will contact the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on your behalf to request an authorisation number. The average time for getting this number is around 10 days. Be careful, in this form you will have to specify in which embassy/consulate you would like to pick up your visa, please be informed that it will not possible to change this location after.

How long does it take to get this authorization number?

In general, we estimate that it should take around 10 days for your number to be issued. Keep in mind that on Thursday and Friday the ministry is closed, and your number could be delayed because of various public holidays of the Iranian calendar.

What do I have to do once I get my authorization number?

Once you receive an email from our agency with your authorization number, you can go to the embassy/consulate that you had previously chosen and start the second step of the visa process. The documents you will have to bring differ from an embassy to another, and you should contact them before to make sure about what you really have to bring. Most of embassies will require some identity photos (women must wear a scarf on the picture), a photocopy of your passport identity page, an attestation of insurance for the time you will be in Iran and enough money to pay for your visa. You will also have to fulfill an another form with personal information. If your visa application is accepted, the embassy/consulate can issue your visa in a few hours or in one or two weeks, depending on the location and amount of work of the embassy/consulate. An emergency option is often offered by embassies and consulate in order to make your visa faster if you are in a rush.

How long before my arrival should I start the process?

If you wish to do this process calmly and without stress, we recommend you to start 2 months before your arrival in Iran.

How long can I stay in Iran with this visa?

This visa allows you to stay for 30 days, but you can extend your visa twice once in Iran. In total, you can hope staying for a maximum of 90 days.

Who can be eligible for a visa extension?

Everybody, no matter how you got your visa.

How long can I extend my visa?

You can pretend to a visa extension only once if you got your visa at the airport “Visa On Arrival”. In theory, you can be able to extend your visa for 15 supplementary days, which means double your original visa (from 15 to 30 days).

In practice, you can see your demand getting deny or to see yourself given less than the duration you asked for. The extension refusal is still random, and can only depend of the mood of the agent in front of you. Nevertheless, it seems much easier to extend your visa if you had previously obtain it prior to your arrival in Iran, meaning the original 30 days visa that you can get from your embassy. You can extend it one or twice, which means a 30 days visa can become a 90 days visa thanks to 2 extensions.

Which documents do I need to bring to extend my visa?

– Two identity photos (women must wear a scarf)

– A photocopy of your passport identity page, a photocopy of your original iranian visa and a photocopy of the iranian stamp if it’s not on the same page as your visa.

Most of the time, you can photocopy your passport on the office against a fee.

Where can I extend my visa?

You can extend your visa in any major cities in Iran (Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, Mashhad and many more). You will have to go to the “Police Office of Foreign Affairs”. Feel free to ask advice to our agency or to your hotel to get to this address and know the opening hours. We would rather warn you that this office can be a little chaotic, depending of the town.

How long does it take to extend my visa?

There is no general rules as it depends where you apply for this extension. It can be done during the same day or a couple of days maximum. We advice you to extend your visa 3 or 4 days before the end of your current visa, as it is nearly impossible to extend if you have too many days left on your visa.

Different Types Of Visa

Iran issues different types of visa depending on your purpose of traveling.

  • Tourist Visa: Issued to foreigners who are traveling to Iran individually or in a group. Maximum duration of stay is one month. Expandable to 3 months. Eligible to be extended up to three months.
  • Airport Tourist Visa: Issued to tourists who intend to stay in Iran for two weeks, issued upon arrival at Imam Khomeini, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan and Tabriz airports. Expandable to 1 month. Eligible to be extended up to one month.
  • Airport Transit Visa: Issued to travelers who are going to another country, and are transiting through Iran for less than 48 hours.
    Airport Entry Visa: Issued to businessmen, valid for 72 hours.
  • Pilgrimage Visa: Issued to foreign Muslims who are visiting pilgrimage sites in Iran.
  • Press Visa: Issued to journalists and media representatives.
  • Transit Visa: Issued to foreign travelers who want to transit through Iran by land on their way to another country. Usually valid for seven days (however, sometimes available for up to 15 days).
  • Entry Visa: Issued to experts and businessmen or those who want to attend cultural, political, scientific conventions. Authorized duration of stay is usually up to 30 days.
  • Entry and Transit Visa: Issued to drivers carrying cargo thorough Iran.
  • Work Permit Visa: Issued to foreigners who want to work in Iran.
    Visa for Entry to Free Trade and Industrial Areas of Iran: Issued to foreigners traveling just to Kish Island, Qeshm Island, Chabahar Port.
  • Student Visa: Issued to foreign students who intend to study in Iran.

Some important points to remember

  • The information in your visa application form must exactly the same as the information in your passport.
  • Your CV does not need to be highly detailed. Just send us some information about your academic and professional background.
    The passport image that you send us must be clear and of a good quality.
  • The Embassy or Consulate you choose in the application form will be where they issue your visa. It can be difficult to change the place of the visa issuance, so please make sure you are choosing the right one.
  • Check the Embassy or Consulate website to ensure that have the correct documents specific to that Embassy or Consulate.
  • Fortunately, in some Embassies you can follow your visa issuance process all the way by email or post services.
  • You are allowed to stay in Iran for 30 days on a Tourist Visa. However, it is the MFA in Tehran that decides how many days you are allowed to stay in Iran. Visa extensions are possible.
  • The validity of your visa is three months from when it is issued, however you are only allowed in Iran for the dates you have specified on your application form, unless you extend your visa.
    The visa process will usually take 2-3 weeks for non-US citizens and 4-6 weeks for US citizens.
  • Israeli citizens, those who want to enter Iran with an Israeli passport or an Israel visa/stamp in their passports (either valid or expired) can not get a visa under any circumstances.
  • Journalists, politicians and political activists may have problems obtaining visas. Please contact us for further information if this may affect you.
  • It is important to note that when you enter Iran you are subject to all the laws of the country, even if such laws do not exist in your home country. Please check with your Department of Foreign Affairs for information on any laws that may differ between Iran and your home country.
  • All the information provided above, particularly in relation to fees and time frames for visa processing can change overnight, although we will do our best to ensure that the information on this website is up to date, we encourage you to continue to check with your local Embassy or Consulate for any changes.

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    About Shirdal Airya

    Today among all destinations, Iran is one of the selected places that it is chosen by many different nations. Therefore, it deserves to see how great the Persia is and our professional team is ready to give you all the best tour and travel services. Naser Pirouzi and Masih Bayramzadeh established the agency in 2012. Both of them had been working as tour guides and tour operators since 2001, Click to continue…