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Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Iran?
In general nationals of all foreign countries shall apply for entry visas in order to travel to Iran with the exception of citizens of certain countries who are exempted of visa obligations and those who can obtain visa on arrival. Passengers must submit their applications online not later than two days before their departure to get a visa on arrival. The application document shall be presented at the visa desk upon arrival in Iran. However, nationals of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Canada, Colombia, Jordan, United Kingdom and United States cannot apply for visa on arrival. The entire list of countries whose citizens are not entitled to obtain an Iranian visa include Republic of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Georgia, Armenia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Egypt, Malaysia and China.
Iran Visa Types
Iran visa types are broadly categorized as entry visa, tourist visa, pilgrimage visa, diplomatic service, education and temporary work visa, transit visa, media, investment, marital and medical visa. Single or multiple-entry visas distinguish the term of stay of its holder. Visa on arrival is valid at all the Iranian international airports and the applications can be submitted online through the e-visa platform. Online visa application system is used for all categories of visas issued with non-immigrant purposes. You can submit your electronic application as the first step. Applicants may be invited for an interview if it is deemed necessary.
Type C (Short-term Stay) Visa
Short-term visa is issued in line with the requested days indicated by the traveler for specific purposes and for stays that are not exceeding 30 days.
Iran Tourist Visa
Tourist visa for Iran is issued to third nationals who would like to visit it for exclusively tourism related purposes upon submission of the required documents. The applicants may be asked to conduct an interview following the online application procedure.
Iran Visa for Business and Fair Visits
Business visa for Iran is applicable to foreign nationals who wish to travel to Iran for business reasons whether it is for the purpose of attending meetings, fair visits or conducting commercial activities. An invitation letter from governmental organizations, private or public bodies could be needed to demonstrate the intent of visit.
Iran Visa for Visit to Family, Relatives and Friends
Travels to Iran with the intention of visiting family, relatives or friends can apply for entry visa category which enables the holder to visit the country upon submission of a valid invitation. Relatives of the foreign citizens residing in Iran shall also apply for such visa.
Iran Visa for Cultural, Sports Activities and Participation to Conferences
Travelers who would like to visit Iran for cultural or sports related events can apply for entry visa which enables members of political and economic unions, faculty members and researchers, art and sports teams, international organizations and specialists to travel to Iran.
Iran Visa for Short-term Education and Traineeship
Foreign nationals who would like to visit Iran for short-term education or training purposes can also apply for the entry visa. They must apply for a residence permit in case they wish to extend their stay.
Type D (Long-term Stay) Visa
Long-term visa grants its holder the right to enter to Iran for extended periods.
Foreign students or religious scholars who wish to study in Iran shall obtain an education visa while foreign citizens who intend to work in Iran should obtain temporary work visas. A labour certificate approved by the Ministry of Labor in order to demonstrate the sponsorship of the employer will be required. On the other hand, investment visas allow the foreign investors whose investment permit has been approved by the competent authority to visit Iran.
Foreigners who are married to an Iranian national and their children can apply for marital visa in the case that the marriage has not been registered by the Iranian legal system. Moreover, foreign citizens who need to travel to Iran for medical purposes can obtain a medical visa given that they will have received a letter of confirmation from the Iranian medical center.
Nationals of third countries who would like to extend his/her stay in Iran must apply for a residence permit, before the expiry date of the period indicated in their visa, from the authorized bodies.
Iran Transit Visa
Iran transit visa enables the holder to enter the country to transit through Iran’s international zone. Merchants, drivers or tourists who do not seek to stay in Iran can apply for a transit visa.
General Requirements to Apply for Iran Visa
Tourist visa requirements and online application procedures for Iran are explained below. You should be aware of the fact that the necessary documents may differ depending on the term and purpose of your stay, hence the category of your visa.
Iran Visa Applications
- A passport or travel document with at minimum two blank pages, valid for at least six months and for at least 90 days after the end of travel. Copy of the first page including personal data and previous visas if obtained.
- Completed and signed visa application form along with two biometric photo that is not older than 6 months.
- Passport copy and personal photo requirements for the e-visa applications should be in line with the guidelines provided online.
- Proof of travel with confirmed both-way tickets.
- Bank account details proving that the passenger can sufficiently fund his/her travel.
- It is important that the applicant does not pose any threat to the public health, security, morals, or the national economy. Hence, the applicant should not be accused or convicted of a crime.
- Evidence of occupation in the form of certified documents through employer letter, student certificate, document of registration or demonstration of pension funds.
- Accommodation details through an invitation letter or proof of your hotel reservation throughout your stay.
- A letter of intent summarizing the applicant's main reason requesting an entry permit to Iraq, the total length of scheduled stay, name of places to be visited, contact and accommodation information.
- Documentation of travel health insurance.
There are specific documents to enclose your application depending on your employment status.
- Employment contract (original certificate of employment indicating the position in the company and the salary)
- Bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Approval letter of leave from employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Proof of business license (company registration)
- Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Documentation of University enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school management
- Pension statement documenting the past 6 months
- Proof of financial resources is nevertheless required
- If the person is not able to finance his/her own expenses, proof of a sponsor is mandatory.
What is Visa Sponsorship for Iran?
Students or unemployed/retired people who are not in a position to cover their own travel expenses will need to demonstrate support from a sponsor who will borne the full costs. The sponsor is entitled to certain requirements. Hence, only first grade relatives can fulfill this position. You can check our website for all the relevant details.
Iran Visa Rules
- Female applicants who are over the age of nine should follow certain rules for the visa processing. They are requested to have a visa application photo wearing a headscarf.
- Citizens of Israel are by no means allowed to enter Iran. Moreover, if your passport has an Israeli stamp your entry to Iran may be prohibited.
- Please keep in mind that the entry requirements may change based on decisions of the authorities and it is strongly advised to have solid information from the local diplomatic missions in your country of residence prior to your departure.
Iran Visa Requirements
In addition to above mentioned application documents, general requirements include:
Iran Visa requirements for Non-Europeans
Foreigners may plan their trips to Iran upon fulfilling the above mentioned criterias to obtain an entry visa complying with the nature of their visit unless their countries have bilateral visa-waiver agreements.
Iran Visa for European countries
Citizens of the EU member states are asked for entry visas along with valid passports to visit Iran unless there are visa-free regimes established between bilateral countries. Foreign nationals are required to submit the necessary documents in due time.
Iran Visa requirement for US, UK, and Canadian citizens
UK, Canadian and US citizens are required to be part of an organized tour approved by the government. Independent travel of their citizens has been prohibited and the Iranian foreign missions have been closed in these countries.
- US passport holders are asked for an entry visa to travel to Iran. There are no vaccinations required, moreover there are currency restrictions for entry and exit which amounts to over 10.000 USD. US citizens should give fingerprints upon entry into Iran. Since Iranian government has decided to not recognize the dual nationality, US-Iranian nationals will be treated merely as Iranian citizens.
- UK passport holders need to get an entry visa before traveling to Iran. However, there are certain restrictions. British nationals must apply within the framework of an organized tour or have a sponsor from Iran in order to proceed with their application.
- Canadian citizens holding Canadian passports should have a valid entry visa to travel to Iran. They cannot get a visa on arrival; hence they must make the visa applications with a valid passport of minimum 6 months before their departure. It is important to note that Canadian Iranians are allowed to enter and exit Iran presenting their Iranian passports.
Iran Visa Fees
The visa fees vary depending on the applicant’s nationality and the type of visa that is requested. Iran visa fee may comprise of processing costs and tour agency expenses if applicable for some countries. Since the visa fee depends on the nationality make sure to consult the Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence. Please bear in mind that visa on arrival costs more than the application fee at the Consulate, also the visa fee is non-refundable which means that the rejection of your application will not be reimbursed.
NOTE: This article was prepared in March 2020. Please check up-to-date information published by official sources.
Frequently Asked Questions