Since 2016 it has been getting easier and easier to apply for an Iran visa on arrival for citizens of most nations. The stunning, diverse and hospitable Middle Eastern country has been growing in popularity for tourists, and the government is now making it simpler for people to visit.
The Iran visa on arrival now makes the process less of a headache, avoiding the tedious ‘letter of invitation’, authorization codes and embassy interviews that had been mandatory to acquire a visa for years.
These days it is completely possible for people to book their travels to Iran without much prior preparation.
Normally, those who travel to Iran can collect their visas on arrival with no issues at airport.
Note 0: If you are planning to stay and work in Iran as a foreigner please read our post as The Iranian Laws, Regulation and procedure for Obtaining Entry Visa.
Now, here is our guide on how to get a visa on arrival for Iran.
What You Need to Get an Iran Visa On Arrival?
There are a few things you need to have pre-organized in order to successfully apply for a visa on arrival in Iran.
- Onwards transport.
- Confirmed itinerary, or at the very least your first few nights booked at a licensed hotel.
- Medical/travel insurance for Iran.
Besides the main three items above, you may also be asked for the following things to get your visa on arrival for Iran:
- Passport photos. If you are female make sure you are wearing a hijab (scarf).
- Proof of funds to support your trip.
Note 2: In general, the only documents which tourists are asked for are the proof of travel insurance and first night’s accommodation. (Hotel reservation).
Note 3: For the travel insurance you need to have “Islamic Republic of Iran” specifically outlined on your policy.
Note 4: If your insurance just says ‘Worldwide’, ‘Middle East’, ‘Asia’ or something similar it won’t be accepted and you will be forced to purchase insurance at the airport for 18 Euro.
Note 5: Check with your travel insurance to see if Iran is covered. Our friends who we travelled with normally use World Nomads, but World Nomads refused to cover travel to Iran based on political advisories.
Note 6: To do it simple, when you book the first few nights of your stay at a hotel and you have a booking confirmation email – which can be in both Persian and English – this is generally adequate when asked by the visa officer.
Note 7: As the experience of most tourists, they weren’t asked for the proof of transport, proof of funds or passport photos, but it’s worth having these items on you anyway. So, it’s better to have them printed, not just saved on your phone.
The E-Visa for Iran
Generally, it is ‘mandatory’ to complete an e-visa application for tourists before flying into Tehran. It takes at least 48 hours to be approved, and then you print off the form and show this to the visa officer.
Note 8: For those who do not have e-visa, the officer may ask if they already had it, and when they said no he just asked them to get in line.
Supposedly, if you already have your e-visa it can speed up the process, so, it doesn’t hurt completing the form – but don’t stress if you forget.
Click here to go to the Iran e-visa application website.
The Process To Apply For Your Iran Visa On Arrival In Tehran Airport
Once, you get off the flight you will walk down the hallway and come across the visa section directly in front of you in the main hall.
Walk up to the officer (there was one standing outside the window) and wait behind the ropes. You will be asked where you are from, whether you already have your visa or if you have an e-visa. Answer his or her questions with a smile.
You will be handed a small form to complete basic information (names, passport number, address in Iran, occupation, …) and another piece of paper with your visa cost.
Once you have this walk to the next window with the sign saying ‘bank’ on it. Wait in line and when it comes to your turn hand over the form and piece of paper with the price on it.
Pay your visa fee in cash (Euros or USD only, but the fees were quoted in Euro) then collect your receipt from the cashier.
Walk back to the original visa window and get in line with all your paperwork. Once you reach the front hand it over along with your passport and the officer will put it on a pile with many other passports before handing it through to the officers behind the window. Now you wait.
When your passport is ready your name will be called out. Head back to the officer and collect your passport, freshly decorated with a shiny Iranian visa.
Note 9: Check the visa carefully for details and dates. If there is an issue (such as only being granted 15 days instead of 30 days) this is the only place you can fix it.
It generally takes 30-60 minutes waiting to get your passports back, if there are no hundreds of tourists arrived at the same time. So, all you can do is be patient.
With your Iran visa on arrival now secured go through customs (where you will probably be greeted with a very warm “welcome to Iran”), then carry through to collect your bags.
Congratulations, you are now in Iran!
if you are from US, CANADA or UK, check here to know how you can apply for VOA in Iran.
How Much Does the Visa On Arrival For Iran Cost?
For all nationalities eligible to apply for a visa on arrival in Iran, the cost is currently 75 Euros.
The only exception is for Australians. The cost for an Iran visa on arrival for Australian citizens is currently 145 Euros.
How Many Days Does the Iran Visa On Arrival Last?
Your visa on arrival for Iran now lasts for 30 days, and can be extended for another 30 days at an immigration office around the country.
Extending your visa is actually easier in smaller cities, so avoid Tehran, Esfahan and Mashhad and instead look for immigration offices in other destinations.
Where Can I Collect My Visa On Arrival In Iran
At the moment you can only apply for your Iran visa on arrival at the following international airports:
- Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport
- Tehran Mehrabad Airport
You cannot apply for a visa on arrival at land borders, so if you’re planning on overlanding into Iran you’ll need to get your visa before visiting.
Note 10: Check the latest information from the Iranian embassy in your home country to see if things have changed.
And that’s it for our guide on how to get an Iran visa on arrival. Leave a comment below if you have found this article useful, or if you have any personal experience of your own. Happy travels!