If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking if a trip to Iran would be possible for you or how difficult would it be to get an Iranian Visa without wasting time on it. Well, getting Iran Visa might seem difficult for many but, in this article, you’ll learn it is actually very easy, at least for citizens of 180 (or even more) countries.
What Is Iran Visa On Arrival?
Iran visa on arrival (VOA) (aka Iran airport visa) is a tourist visa granted to citizens of 180 countries upon their arrival to Iran. Where a previous application is required to get a standard tourist visa, visa on arrival can be issued without any previous application. While getting a VOA is usually very convenient and fast, our recommendation is to apply for a tourist visa before you get to Iran. There are two basic reasons behind this recommendation:
- It’s not cheaper. VOA fee ranges between 10-150 euros, costing around 75 euros for most European countries. Therefore, VOA fee for Europeans is almost equal to getting a visa in advance through 1stQuest; for other nationals, getting VOA can be even more expensive up to 30 euros.
- There is always a minimum risk of rejection which should be taken care of. If you are rejected, you have to buy a return flight and pay the extra costs.
If you are aware of the risk, but you don’t have time to or do not want to wait for long, then VOA would be your choice to visit Iran.
Entering the country with visa on arrival is sometimes mistaken with two other types of entrance:
- Visa-free entry: based on Iran visa waiver program, citizens of certain countries can enter Iran without a visa; they do not need a tourist visa or visa on arrival and only need a valid passport.
- Tourist visa collected from the airport: to get a standard tourist visa, an application should be submitted before entering the country. If the application is successful, travelers can collect their visa from an Iranian embassy/consulate or from an international airport.
Iran Visa On Arrival Duration, Validity, And Extension
VOA is usually issued for 14-30 days. It can be extended for a maximum of another 14 days. If you plan to stay longer, it’s better to apply for Iran e-Visa (Visa authorization code).
Where To Get Iran Visa On Arrival?
VOA cannot be obtained from the land borders. Yet, it is issued in nine airports in Iran:
- Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran (IKA)
- Mehrabad International Airport, Tehran (TEH)
- Shahid Dastghaib Airport, Shiraz (SYZ)
- Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport, Mashhad (MHD)
- Shahid Madani Airport, Tabriz (TBZ)
- Shahid Beheshti Airport, Isfahan (ISF)
- Kish International Airport, Kish (KIH)
- Bandar Abbas Airport, Bandar Abbas (BND)
- Shahid Sadooghi Airport, Yazd (AZD)
What Are Required Documents For Getting Visa On Arrival?
- A valid passport with at least 6 months validity and two blank pages.
- A photo to be attached to Iran visa application form.
- Embassy fee, payable to the chosen Iranian consulate or the visa office at the airport. The fee depends on the applicant’s nationality. The fee is payable in cash with euro or US dollar.
- A confirmed return ticket within 30 days of entry.
- Travel insurance. To get Iran visa, you are required to have a printout of your travel insurance. We recommend you buy an insurance before starting the visa process. Many insurance companies do not mention Iran in their list. So, make sure your insurance company specifically mentions Iran in its printout. General terms like “middle east” or “Asia” on your insurance coverage won’t be acceptable for the visa officer; so, if you can ask your insurance company to send you a document with “Iran” being mentioned in the list. If you don’t have one already, buy your Iran travel insurance with 1stQuest at 15 euros.
- An invitation letter or a hotel reservation voucher. The invitation letter has to be sent from the Iranian travel agency to Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 48 hours before your arrival to Iran airport. Make sure your booking has the phone number of your hotel. It won’t be surprising if the officer calls your hotel to confirm your booking.
- A printout of your itinerary. It is not obligatory, but we recommend you have a rough itinerary to assure the officer you know where you are going.
Read Also: 7 Tips to plan a perfect trip in Iran
Who Cannot Get Visa On Arrival?
If you fall in any of the following categories, you cannot get VOA, instead, you can try standard tourist visa.
- Citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
- Travelers who have been rejected for Iran visa previously.
- Journalists and reporters on a mission.
- Diplomatic passport holders, official passport holders, and any type of passport different from a tourist passport.
- Iranian nationals holding other passports of other countries
- Anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport (or exit stamps at the relevant Jordanian or Egyptian border crossings into Israel)
Process Of Getting Visa On Arrival
Though there might be small difference from one airport to another, here is the general process of getting your Visa at the airport. The whole process might take from 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the time of arrival.
1. Go to the travel insurance desk
After you got off the plane, go to the travel insurance desk. We recommend you to have a travel insurance before starting your trip to avoid any delays. If you have insurance already, get your insurance stamped and verified. If you don’t have any insurance, buy an insurance at the counter.
2. Go to the visa window, answer some questions and fill in forms
You need to answer a few questions about your visit and if you have an invitation or not. Then, you’ll be asked to fill in some forms with routine information including your passport details, home address, job (jobs related to journalism, blogging, social activists, etc. might face problems), and your address in Iran (the name and address of your first night in Iran).
3. Get the receipt and go to the payment window
After filling in the forms, you’ll get a receipt. Take it to the payment desk and pay the visa fee. Check the pricing of visa fee for your country and make sure you have enough amount of cash. Then, you’ll get a receipt for your payment.
4. Go back to the visa desk
Take your payment receipt to the visa desk and wait for getting your visa.
Congrats! You got your Iran visa and you’re ready to step into this beautiful country.
How Much Does The Visa On Arrival For Iran Cost?
In order to obtain Iran tourist visa at the airport (VOA) you need to pay a stamp fee which depends on the applicant’s nationality. Following you can see the list of fees for different nationalities:
|Countries||Schengen Countries*||Australia||New Zealand||China/Taiwan||South Africa||Morocco||Hong Kong|
|Visa Fee||75 EUR||150 EUR||140 EUR||100 EUR||80 EUR||30 EUR||80 EUR|
|Visa Fee||70 EUR||50 EUR||60 EUR||50 EUR||50 EUR||45 EUR||100 EUR|
|Visa Fee||70 EUR||55 EUR||75 EUR||80 EUR||60 EUR||75 EUR||45 EUR|
*Schengen countries include: Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Hungry, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Romania, Denmark, Finland, Cypress, Iceland, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech, Lithuania, Luxembourg, malt, Norway.