Despite experiencing a relatively calm and hostility-free post-war environment today, many Afghan citizens still find placing their hopes and dreams in living in another country and especially immigrating to one of the neighboring lands more promising. Iran, being one of these neighbors, has always been a natural and more accessible destination compared to the European giants. Ever since the chaos broke out in Afghanistan, and in spite of recent social and political dramas with the Iranian government, many Afghans still prefer to opt for the jewel of Middle-East – aka Iran. Before packing bags and grabbing a ticket, however, there are some tidbits of information Afghans should know about the requirements of Iran visa for Afghan citizens.
One thing that can be said without any doubt about Iran visa for Afghan citizens is that nothing is 100% certain and permanent. Different points in the procedure of issuing a permit, of any kind, for an Afghan citizen, fall under multiple unpredictable changes over time, and applicants have to keep up with the newest changes if they wish to travel to Iran.
How to Get an Iran Visa for Afghan Citizens?
First thing first, every applicant starts its journey from one of Iran’s consulates located in Afghanistan. Any Afghan citizen interested in traveling to Iran, regardless of their attentions, needs to get a visa beforehand. That being said, some requests for Iran visa for Afghan citizens get more accepted more often and with less hassle like the tourist visa, while other kinds of travel permits are rarely authorized based on the harsh political relationship between the two countries, like the trade visa. We’ll go over all of them thoroughly later on.
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Previously, the visa application used to be this nerve-wracking and super time-consuming process where applicants were asked to wait in long queues in front of an Iranian embassy for hours which frustrated the hell out of them; a direct consequence of rocky political relationships between the two countries as mentioned before and also, the under-development of visa procedures at that time. Today, we’re witnessing smoother transitions because of the widespread of Iran online visa application in many cities of Afghanistan.
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Steps to Apply for an Iran visa for Afghan Citizens
Before going through the chronological steps necessary to take for an Afghan nationality to get their hands on an Iranian visa, they need to collect and present the following set of documents to an Iranian embassy to get the process rolling:
- A recent white background photo of the applicant (individuals shouldn’t be wearing any hats or glasses). The picture should be in JPG format and don’t surpass the 40Kb size limitation.
- Providing a six-month validated passport with at least two blank pages for stamps and other confirmations
- Please note that Afghan citizens are not required to present any form of educational certificates, and visa procedures will commence despite the person’s level of formal education.
Filling in the online application form (Iran Visa Application Form for Afghan Citizens)
Application Form of Iran Visa for Afghan Citizens
This form has been the center of attention of numerous Iranian tourism agencies and even the official website of Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs for some time now since, in some way, it’s different from regular forms sent to other nationalities to be completed and submitted back.
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Any Afghani passport holder wishing to travel to Iran must take this form very seriously. Random various questions make this form essential and unique to the process. In the first section of the questionnaire, blank boxes have been placed for the applicants’ personal information. The other parts are filled with detailed questions about the applicants’ motives to travel to Iran. The randomness nature of the items means that no two individuals will receive the same set of questions in their online form, and each person will be given a fixed amount of time to read and answer each question carefully. After answering the questions, the form must be sent back via the internet to an Iranian embassy to wait for validation and processing. After the successful submission of the necessary documents, the applicants must go to the nearest branch of Iranian embassies in their vicinity and undergo series of other activities to get authorization and finally be recognized as eligible candidates.
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List of Afghan Cities With Iran Embassy and Passport Department
We have narrowed down a list of Iran consultant offices across Afghanistan for those who have trouble finding the right branch:
- After finishing filling-in the online forms and grabbing the required documents, applicants must go to one of the specified cities according to the originality of his/her passport.
- Passport holders from Baghlan, Balkh, Badakhshan, Samangan, Jowzjan, Faryab, Kunduz, Sar-e Pol, Takhar should visit Iran embassy in Mazar-i-Sharif.
- Applicants in the hold of passports from Ghor, Badghis, and Farah should go to the Herat’s branch of Iran consulate.
- Citizens with their passports issued from Nangarhar, Kunar, and Laghman must go to Iran consulate located in Jalal-Abad.
- If the person’s passport is originated from Nimruz, Oruzgan, and Ghazni, the person should visit Iran consulate in Kandahar.
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Afghan Citizens Holding A Third-country Passport
To kick things off, Afghan citizens who hold another country’s passport need to choose the city of interest where their forms process gets processed; in this case, the list of cities includes Herat, Kabul, Jalal-Abad, Mazar-i-Sharif or Kandahar.
After choosing a city, the visa-seeker must too submit his/her application to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, through the online ordering system, attend to get the “Tracing Code.” A physical print of this code must be sent to an Iranian embassy in working hours of the limited time granted to the applicant by the consulate, so applicants must be excruciating punctual at this stage.
Take The Deadlines Seriously
If an Afghan citizen applies for Iran visa but fails to meet the deadline to get their permit, he/she would forfeit their turn, and they have to go through the procedure all over again; even a day delay would mean the termination of that person’s right to embassy’s appointment. It’s worth noting that this law doesn’t include merchants, but we will get on that subject later on.
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Cost of Iran visa for Afghan Citizens
At the time of this writing, we can’t still say for sure how much the process will cost an applicant, but it’s safe to say that the total amount hovers over a reasonable price. For a precise number, applicants must contact the most relevant embassy to their hometown to get a grasp of the final number. The online application form and the submission of it make up for most of the costs early on in the process. Previously, we advised Afghan citizens to be on time and take the deadlines and embassy appointments seriously. Another point to add to that matter would be that even in case of rejection, the cost of setting up an interview for the applicants won’t be returned to them, and basically, if you pay for it, you have to work for it!
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What Type of Iran Visa Are Forbidden For Afghanis?
In general, there are few cases of Afghan merchants wanting an Iran visa to travel to this country. However, due to the ever-changing political situation and process complications to get an Iran visa for Afghan citizens who do want to bring their business and ideas to the land of Persia, try to stay in touch with Iranian embassies for the latest developments.
The situation takes a turn for the better when it comes to Afghan couples (married) wanting to get an Iran visa, especially if one of them is Iranian. These love-birds face far fewer restrictions and time-killing barriers when they apply for the visa, but they have to put in their exact marital information down for the office to realize which one of the two holds an Iranian passport. This being said, if the couple has a child over the age of 18, he or she needs to submit for an Iran visa separately.
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Traveling to Iran’s Free Trade Zones
As we’ve gone over in several other articles before, Iran’s free trade zones are open to different nationalities and tourists from around the world, Afghan nationalities excluded. They can’t travel to these zones, at any given time, for the extension of 14 days, at the time of writing of this post. However, tourism regulations related to Afghan citizens are in a constant state of change, and nothing can’t be said for sure about their status. For precise details on the matter, Afghan citizens opting for an Iranian visa should contact one of Iran’s consultants in their country and stay updated with the latest changes. This rule also applies to the nationalities of Bangladesh, Columbia, Iraq (Kish is an exception for them), India, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, Israel, and direct flights from Damascus (capital of Lebanon).
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Iran VOA (Visa On Arrival)
Unfortunately, Afghan visitors to Iran will face harsh deportations in case of flying to one of Iran’s international airports visa-less and also, knowledge-less. The only way possible for Iran visa for Afghan citizens at the airport would be if that person has a second country’s passport, like European countries (except for England and, of course, American and Canadian passport holders don’t fit to apply for Iran’s VOA. If any Afghan citizen possesses a secondary-nationality passport, outside the banned-incomers list of Iran, they would be allowed to land at an Iranian International Airport and apply for a visa on arrival at one of the Foreign Ministry offices established in international airports. This rule also applies to the nationalities of Bangladesh, Columbia, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Israel.