Iran Visa on arrival | With the increase of Iran’s popularity as a top tourist destination, especially for the young backpackers in the recent years, the process of getting visa is now possible through the arrival visa request. Now the easy process of Iran’s Visa on Arrival, save the travelers from all the long processes of embassy interviews or providing valid invitation letters from 2016.
Iran visa on arrival (VOA) or Iran airport visa, refers to a special class of short term touristic visa that can be applied for at some of the major Iran’s gates of entry, like Tehran Imam Khomeini airport (IKA), Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, and Kish international airport. Despite many travelers information, getting the visa on arrival in Iran especially in the airports are really easy and almost possible for everyone (according to published statics). The process of getting a 30-day Iran visa on arrival in Tehran has been going on for almost two years now. The process is very easy and clear, and also it’s possible to extend it even more easily at immigration offices in all the big cities for another 14 to 30 days depend on the case.
Impotant note:The most important and first thing to check is to make sure you are among the countries that are eligible to apply for visa at Iran’s airports. According to the last update released early in 2017 by the Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except for the nationals mentioned below, the rest of the countries are eligible to apply for Iran visa on arrival at all the international airports:
US, UK, Israel, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Where you can get Iran VOA?
Iran visa on arrival has 14-30 days validity and issued currently at the six airport & ports in Iran. The number of these gateways are in rise and hopefully soon you might be able to get your Visa on arrival at any point of entry. But for now these are the airports/ports that you issue visa on arrival for tourism related travels to Iran on a case by case base.
- IKA: Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport
- THR: Mehrabad International Airport
- MHD: Mashhad International Airport
- SYZ: Shiraz International Airport
- TBZ: Tabriz International Airport
- ISF: Isfahan International Airport
- BND: Bandare Abbas Port.
- Shahid Bahonar Harbor, Bandare Abbas
- KIH: Kish international Airport
It’s not possible to apply for a visa on arrival at land borders and the entrance will be possible only if you have your visa in advance.
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Iran Visa On Arrival Requirements and Documents
- A valid passport with at least 6 months validity;
- A photo to be attached to the Iran visa application form. Two passport size pictures is enough. Recently visa officers are using digital camera to take the needed pictures but still, having your own pictures make the process easier and faster. Female travelers the picture should be with hijab;
- Visa fee in cash, which is payable to the Iran Visa & Passport Office at the airport. Iran airport visa fee depends on the applicant’s nationality. At the moment it’s somewhere between 75-150 euros, but it may slightly different according to the travelers nationality;
- A confirmed return ticket would be a peace of mind. There are lots of travelers who are not sure about their plan and apply for the visa without a return ticket, and it’s almost always fine. But if you have a rigid plan, it would be better to have your return ticket reservation at the first point;
- A travel/medical insurance to get your visa for Iran (does not matter what kind of visa) is needed. To be accepted at the time of issuing your visa, it’s necessary that your insurance policy specifically state the insurance is valid for Iran. Note that the terms of “middle east” or “Asia” on your insurance coverage won’t be acceptable and you will end up buying a new one in the airport for 16-20 Euro. If your insurance company covers Iran as well, you can ask them to send you a new format with Iran being underlined in it;
- On case by case bases sometime an invitation letter or hotel reservation (hostel in iran reservation) voucher is asked for. You can ask for an invitation letter from an Iranian travel agency or friend to be confirmed at Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 48 hours before your arrival to Iran airport(It’s pretty easy), or simply show your hostel reservation or voucher to the officer. You don’t need to have a reservation confirmation for the whole length of your trip. The first 2-3 days of your trip will be sufficient;
note:For your confirmed itinerary, if you make your reservation in Hi Tehran Hostel, an automatic confirmation letter will be emailed to you after processing your request. You can present the confirmation to the visa officer for the VOA process. They will make a call to confirm your stay at the same moment.
7. Rarely, but possibly you may need to proof your fund ability for your trip. Remember, since the credit cards are not usable in Iran up to now, you HAVE TO BRING ENOUGH CASH FOR THE WHOLE LENGTH OF YOUR TRIP. Dollars, Euros or any other kind of valid currencies in Europe and Asia will be fine for exchange shops in Iran.
note:The arrival visa fee for most of the countries is 75 euros at the moment. But for few countries it’s up to 150 euros.
note:printing your documents instead of presenting them on your mobile phone may help you saving time a little, but be we say be environment friendly and STAY GREEN 🙂
Iran Visa on Arrival Process
In the line of entering the Iran’s territory you can reach to the officers which usually stand outside of passport checking stations. You will asked for your nationality and if you already have the visa or want to get a VOA. In case of VOA, you have to fill up an application form and also your visa fee receipt which you have to pay at the cashier in Dollars or Euros in cash. Then, you have to deliver your passport, application form and receipt to the visa officer and wait for your turn. They will call your name and give your passport back to you with your visa in it or ask you some additional questions before handing your passport over. The whole process may take 20 Minutes to 1 hour (in rare cases 2-3 hours).
UPDATE: From the February 2018, the paper-form arrival visa at the Imam Khomeini Airport has been replaced by electronic visa was replaced by the order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under this action, the visa sticker, which was previously affixed to foreign travelers’ passports, has been eliminated and visa information will be implicated electronically in the police passport gate. By removing the labels, issuing an electronic visa will significantly reduce the time of incoming passengers.
Impotant note:Remember to check your visa carefully and if there’s anything wrong with the identity or issued dates, inform the officer immediately to modify it.
Who can NOT get Iran VOA
- Travelers who have been rejected for Iran visa previously will not receive Iran visa on arrival.
- Journalists and reporters on mission cannot get Iran visa on arrival.
- Iranian nationals holding other nationality’s passport are not allowed to get Iran visa on arrival.
- Iran visa on arrival is issued for tourist purposes only (ordinary passport). Diplomatic passport, official passports, etc. cannot apply for this type of Iran visa.
- Travelers from: U.S., UK, Israel, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India: the visa on arrival MIGHT be possible if you are a passport holder of these mentioned countries, but we strongly suggest you otherwise.
Impotant note:If you’re from U.S. OR Canada, you have to be accompanied by an authorized and licensed travel agency guide through your entire trip. This kind of arrangement works whether you hire an official private tour guide or join a pre-organized tour. Also, by booking the official tours, the agency usually will proceed on your visa process as well.
Applying for Iran’s E-Visa
The E-Visa process is not mandatory before coming to Iran at the moment. So, no worries about the famous “Reference Number” which seems to be lots of travelers concern. However, it might save you the time of staying in the line at the airport for obtaining your VOA. The process of applying for Iran’s E-Visa usually takes 48-72 hours depend on the case and request traffic.
You can apply for your visa through: Iran e-visa application website.
Take a look at the latest form of E-Visa in Imam Khomeini Airport:
note:WE WILL KEEP THIS POST UPDATED, BUT CHECKING OUT THE IRAN EMBASSY ONLINE INFORMATION WILL GIVE A PEACE OF MIND AS WELL.
Updated on Feb. 20 2018