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Iran Visa

An Introduction to Iranian Visa Policies and Its Various Types

by Parastoo Sahebi
15 minutes read
iran visa

About Iran’s Visa Policy

Visitors to Iran are required to get a visa before entering the country from one of the Iranian foreign missions unless they are citizens of one of the countries that are free from visa requirements or are qualified to receive a visa upon arrival. Every traveler is required to have a passport that is valid for at least six months. As part of Iran’s initiative to entice more significant number of tourists, the Iranian government is investigating the possibility of instituting a visa-waiver program that would remove visa requirements for citizens of sixty countries. If you want to visit Iran for any purpose, this post from Eligasht helps you to get latest update about Iranian Visa.

Iran Visa for Dual Citizens

When traveling to Iran, those who have citizenship from both Iran and another country are considered citizens of Iran and are required to carry an Iranian passport. This pertains to children of Iranian nationals who were born in a country other than Iran. As a direct reaction to the sanctions imposed by the United States on those who have been to Iran after 2011, Iran has discontinued the practice of attaching visas to passports and stamping them upon entrance. 

The head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) made the announcement in November 2018 that the country would no longer stamp or put stickers on the passports of foreign tourists. This was done in an effort to alleviate the concerns of foreign tourists regarding their matter to travel to other countries after leaving Iran. The President of Iran issued an order in June 2019 for the Ministry of the Interior to carry out the decision to stop stamping the passports of foreign nationals.

Iran Visa Policy During Pandemic

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended the issuance of permits for Tourist visas as a result of the widespread COVID-19 outbreak. Following a suspension that lasted for 19 months, the issue of tourist visas and the flow of foreign visitors from land and air borders was restarted from Aban (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21). This was done in accordance with an order given by the President.

Except for the United Kingdom, France, and a number of African countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Botswana, Iran is now open to tourists who received their two doses of vaccines.

Following receipt of an Iran Visa during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following requirements must be met in order to gain entrance: a negative COVID-19 PCR test, granted at most 72 hours before arrival for all passengers over the age of 12, a completed self-declaration form for incoming flights, and a vaccination certification for two doses of valid COVID-19 immunizations no earlier than 14 days after arrival.

Iran Visa Policy Towards Free Trade Zones

There is no need for any foreign visitors to get an Iran visa in order to remain on Kish Island, Qeshm Island or any other free trade zones for up to 14 days. The sole need for those from the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom is that they have a certified escort guide waiting for them when they arrive. If you are a citizen of any countries mentioned earlier, you need to make accommodation bookings in advance of your arrival. Since 2022, you will be able to stay in each of the following free trade zones for up to two weeks without needing an Iranian visa.

  • Anzali Free Zone (Gilan)
  • Maku (West Azerbaijan)
  • Chabahar FTZ (Baluchistan)
  • Aras Free Zone (East Azerbaijan)
  • Arvand Free Zone (Abadan)
  • Kish Island (Hormozgan Province)
  • Qeshm Island (Hormozgan Province)

Types of Iran Visa

Depending on why you want to visit Iran, you can apply for one of the following types of visas:

  • For those who are merely traveling for pleasure, Iran offers an Iran Tourist Visa. Candidates will require a sponsor, such as an Iranian travel agency.
  • Foreign Muslims who wish to perform the pilgrimage at one of Iran’s holy sites are eligible for an Iran pilgrimage visa.
  • For international students, religious scholars, and researchers planning to study in Iran, there is the Iran Student Visa. A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status issued by the science ministry, education ministry, or a recognized academic institution is required for applicants.
  • Iran Work Visas are issued to foreign nationals, such as professionals and skilled workers, who wish to work in Iran. The labor ministry-approved labor certificate from the applicant’s Iranian employer is required.
  • Travelers who merely want to pass through Iran and do not intend to stay for a lengthy amount of time, such as tourists, drivers, or businesspeople, are granted an Iran Transit Visa. A visa for the ultimate destination or another kind of documentation of onward travel is required for travelers.
  • Iranian Media Visas are given to international filmmakers or journalists. A Permit is required from the Center of Media & Public Diplomacy.
  • Foreigners who marry Iranian women and have children are granted Iran Marriage Visas (Marital Iran Visa).
  • Foreign citizens who want to go to Iran to obtain medical care are granted an Iran medical visa.

Iran Visa for the USA, Canada, and UK Citizens

There is no need for visitors to get an Iran visa in order to remain on Kish Island or Qeshm Island for up to 14 days. The only requirement for tourists who are citizens of the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom is that they should have a certified escort guide waiting for them when they arrive. The immigration office at the airport must be notified of the arrival of the traveler at least 48 hours before they are scheduled to arrive. The guide is required to have the passenger’s hotel reservation letters with them at all times.

A tourist Iran Visa is required for citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Colombia if they want to visit the country. The process of obtaining a visa for these nations typically takes around eight weeks. In addition to this, they are required to plan and book their tour via an authorized travel agency based in Iran. In order to get the Iran visa granted, the issuing agency must first obtain authorization from the ministry of foreign affairs to submit the detailed itinerary of the applicant.

Iran Visa; Family Visa for North America and the UK Citizens

Spouses of Iranian citizens who are citizens of the United States or Canada may quickly get family visas that allow them to visit and remain in Iran for up to ninety (90) days without the assistance of a third-party agency.

Iran Visa Requirements

A tourist Iran visa may be obtained for a maximum of 30 days and can be extended for a maximum of two more periods of 30 days each, for a total of 90 days. If you want to receive an Iran visa before you arrive in Iran, you will need to apply for a Visa Authorization Code via the e-visa website run by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or through a certified Iranian travel agency. The cost of the visa is adjusted according to the applicant’s country of origin. When filing for a VOA or picking up your visa, you are required to pay the visa fee first.

Local Iranian travel agencies charge a little more but provide superior service, more trackability, and greater ease. After getting a Visa Authorization Code, the visa may be acquired at one of Iran’s worldwide embassies and consulates before arrival or upon arrival at one of Iran’s international airports. This can be done either before arriving in Iran or after arriving in Iran. The majority of passport holders, with the exception of those holding American, British, or Canadian passports, are eligible to get their tourist visa in the form of a Visa-On-Arrival (VOA) upon their arrival at the airport and do not need to submit an application in advance.

This strategy is more likely to take more time and is associated with a more significant chance of being rejected, despite the fact that it is more practical for passengers who are planning their trips at the last minute.

Process of Getting Your Iran Visa

Your information will be used to create an official application that will be forwarded to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which gives the consulate permission to grant visas. Make sure the information is typed accurately since it must match the information in your passport and the papers that you will later provide to the embassy to get the visa. After submitting the application, you will get the service bill and payment instructions. Unlike the visa cost, you must pay the Consulate to get your passport stamped. This expense is different from that.

An authorization letter will be the result, and it will be sent to the Iranian Consulate that you specified in the form. With the help of the visa code and a document containing your grant notification, you may pick up your visa. Only the listed Consulate may use this code, and it is only suitable for one month from the date of issuance. With an additional fee, you may ask to send it to another consulate. You should visit the Consulate with the following:

  • The reference code, your passport (which must be valid for the upcoming six months)
  • A completed visa application form (which can be obtained from the Consulate or downloaded from their website)
  • Two recent passport-size photos
  • Visa fee receipt (which is determined by your nationality), and
  • The authorization reference code

Always check the required documents with the Consulate, as there may be differences from one Consulate to another. You could possibly be able to mail the necessary paperwork and get your Iran visa. For further information, speak with the Consulate.

Iran Visa On Arrival

Since January 2018, holders of valid passports traveling as tourists are able to get a visa upon arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days (extendable), and this option is available at the following airports:

  • Imam Khomeini International Airport (Tehran)
  • Mehrabad International Airport (Tehran)
  • Bandar Abbas International Airport (Bandar Abbas)
  • Isfahan International Airport (Isfahan)
  • Kish International Airport (Kish Island)
  • Mashhad International Airport (Mashad)
  • Qeshm International Airport (Qeshm Island)
  • Shiraz International Airport (Shiraz)
  • Tabriz International Airport (Tabriz)
  • Ahvaz International Airport (Ahvaz)

To be eligible for a visa on arrival, passengers are required to have previously submitted an application for an e-visa to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at least two days before their arrival. They must then present the submission notification at the airport’s visa desk when they arrive in Iran. Visas must be obtained in advance for citizens of the following countries; hence, visas cannot be obtained upon arrival for these nationalities:

  • Afghanistan
  •  Bangladesh
  •  Canada
  •  Colombia
  •  Iraq
  •  Jordan
  •  Libya
  •   Nepal
  •  Pakistan
  •  Somalia
  •  Sri Lanka
  •  United Kingdom
  •  United States
  •  Yemen

Prior to entering Iran, citizens with passports from these countries needed to submit an application for an Iran visa at an Iranian embassy or Consulate in their home country.

Iran Visa – FAQ

Which nations don’t need a visa to enter Iran?

Iran does not need a visa for citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, China, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela.

How can I get my visa if there isn’t an Iranian embassy or Consulate in my country?

If there isn’t an Iranian embassy or Consulate in your country, you may likely pick up your visa at an Iranian airport. But keep in mind that certain nationals cannot pick up their visas at the airports. In such a situation, you may choose a neighboring country that has an Iranian embassy or Consulate.

Does it matter what country I was born in?

Other former nationalities, with the exception of ex-Israeli race, typically have no bearing on your Iran visa application.

How can I get a Colombian visa to Iran?

First, get in touch with a certified travel agency in Iran and ask them to get a travel authorization code on your behalf from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). You may apply for a visa after you get your travel authorization number. When managed by a reputable agency, the visa application procedure is relatively simple and involves filling out a few forms and providing an itinerary, airline details, and other typical application information.

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