How to get Iran Tourist Visa : Unlock the Persian Puzzle

The mysteries of obtaining an Iran tourist visa! Some might say it’s as easy as untangling a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded while riding a unicycle. Well, they are partially right.

The answer to your burning question on getting a Tourist Visa where history dances with culture and natural beauty embraces ancient wonders is

“Yes… kinda, sorta, maybe, with a pinch of wit!”

So here we go on showing how to get Iran Tourist Visa.

And this time, we aren’t just talking about the visa process for Indians but also to other western countries!

streets of tehran with a huge iranian flag waving


Is it easy to get Iran visa?

Getting Iran tourist visa is not easy as getting Thailand tourist Visa, but definitely not a hassle. Iran began to offer visa-on-arrival (VoA) sat its airports in 2018. As we always prefer to have Visa in hand before departure, we recommend you do the same, at least a month before the date of departure. Remember, not all nations are eligible for this.

How much is the Iran visa fee?

Iranian currency Rial with ayatollah khomeini face
PC : Unsplash

While getting our actual Visa at Iran Airport, we paid 45 Euros per person. This fee varies with the nationality of the visitors. And you must pay it in cash – Either Euros or Rials.

Why do Iran visa applications get rejected?

Your Visa applied through Iran’s official E-Visa portal will be rejected very likely as it happened to us & many other travellers. To get Iran Tourist Visa, you should have an Iran cell phone number & authorization code, which most of us won’t have as non-Iran residents. If you have an invitation letter or a relative living there, you can get either of them.

So you must apply through any reliable travel agencies in Iran to get your Visa as we did through 1stquest. They are super-efficient and helped us in a few other Iran travel things too. All you have to do is fill the required fields and attach your photo and passport cover photo.

How long does it take to get Iran Tourist Visa application approved?

Wall mural showing persian artists weaving carpets

The official MFA website says they need 5 to 7 days. But We got our E-Visa grant in three working days!

Is travel insurance mandatory for Iran?

Yes! Travel Insurance is mandatory to get through the immigration process at Iran’s Airport. But you need not buy it while applying for E-Visa. Iran MFA is particular about Travel insurance Companies. Not all company’s insurances are valid. 

You can buy insurance at the airport while getting your Visa process done. Officers will guide you, but it is a waste of time at the airport especially if you can’t speak Persian.. You have to do a bit of running around from kiosk to kiosk. So we opted for purchasing insurance before leaving to Iran.

Is it possible to travel to Iran with an Egyptian stamp in my Passport?

egypt tourist visa sticker on indian passort

99% yes! Because we had stamps of Jordan and Egypt by the time we travelled to Iran. With all documents in place and a Visa grant, we could easily pass immigration process at Tehran’s airport without a trouble.

Entering Iran with Israeli Stamp.

Well, we didn’t have Israel stamp when we travelled to Iran. But all the portals suggest that if your passport contains an Israeli stamp you may be refused entry to Iran.

What voucher do I get when after my Iran Visa application gets approved?

Iran tourist Visa grant with tourist detail and elaborately drawn Islamic geometric pattern as a symbol

When you apply through E-Visa, you receive a Visa grant, not the actual Visa. The MFA says they still can reject your Visa, even after getting your Visa grant, if the officers at the airport find your documents wrongful or suspicious.

How long is Iran visa valid?

Usually for 15, 30 or 45 days. You can get it extended once you are in Iran if need be. Many long-time travellers end up spending time more than they thought they would – Indeed, Iran is that beautiful.

How can I extend my Iran tourist visa?

To get your Iran tourist Visa extended, visit any Alien and Foreign Immigrant Office (in police stations) in major cities like Tehran, Isfahan, and Yazd and ask for a visa extension. They will help you through the process. The general opinion is Yazd or Shiraz are better cities for this process.

I have read that the Visa extension process is harder in the countryside Police station.

Can an unmarried couple travel to Iran?

indian traveller with his wife wearing hijab at a restaurant waiting in line behind two women in burqa at Tehran, Iran

The tangled web of Iranian relationship rules!Iranian law does not allow Iranian unmarried couples to live together. It states people of opposite sex can not to be alone together unless they are family members or married together.

But when you apply for Visa and stay at hotels, these things don’t matter. Apply for visa individually and don’t state yourself as an unmarried couple. You will be all fine. When I checked other unmarried couple traveller’s blog, they said there was no difficulty at hotels for staying in the same room as an unmarried couple.

Should women wear HIjab in the photo used for Iran Visa?

Beautiful photo of Indian woman traveller wearing hijab and a gown infront of highly articulated wall of stucco art work at Kashan in Iran

No. Your regular photo abiding by the size and background requirement is good enough. You will need it only if you want to get your Visa extended later while in Iran at smaller towns like Yazd and Shiraz.

Does Iran stamp your passport?

YOUR PASSPORT WILL NOT BE STAMPED IN IRAN AT ALL! To avoid travellers’ struggles of getting other country Visas in the future, Iran stamps a foreigner’s passport neither while entering nor while exiting.

Do Indians need a Visa to visit Iran?

Beautiful detailed ceiling or Iran's mosque
Happy faces at Kashan – One of the reasons is It was easy to get Iran Tourist Visa with Indian passports!

Indian passport holders can enjoy visa-free travel to less than 60 countries(2020). Some of them offer E-Visa, and very few offer Visa on arrival. This becomes the biggest hindrance for Indian backpackers and flashpackers. While the Iran tourist visa is one of the toughest to get for American, British and Canadian tourists, it is one of the easiest Visas for Indian citizens.

Is Iran Visa free for Indians?

Indians are eligible for Iran E-Visa & Visa on arrival. But we have to pay Visa fees.

Can Americans go to Iran for tourism?

Policeman walking in the old streets of Kashan, Iran
An old police man walking in the streets of Kashan

Yes! The political heat between the two nations give birth to cause of concern. But many Americans travel to Iran to experience Iran’s rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture.

Well, countries with strong passport may not be used to apply for a tourist Visa with a bundle of documents. But UK,USA and Canada citizens must do it to get to Iran and they must apply though a travel agency registered under Iran’s statutory bodies.

The travel agencies like 1stquest arranges everything Americans, Canadians and British need to get their passport provided you follow instructions which aren’t hard like, filling in itinerary and flight informations.

Documents to Carry when you travel to Iran

If you apply through their Iran official MFA website with your Iran cellphone number & authorization code, click here for a list of documents.

Suppose you are Applying through 1STquest as we and which we recommend, your valid passport copy, photograph with white background is all you need.

You have to carry hard copies of the Visa grant and travel insurance while getting the Visa at airports.

Is it easy to clear the immigration process at Tehran Airport?

Yes. It is very easy to clear the immigration process at Tehran airport even if you don’t speak Persian. Trust me, Iranians are the kindest people we have ever met on earth!

All officers were kind and helpful. We finished the Visa process in 10 Minutes and moved toward the Immigration check. Apart from these Visa grant and insurance documents, the officers didn’t ask for anything else. Learn little phrases of Farsi. Iranians love when we approach them for help talking in their language. Plus, Airport officials speak decent English.

Crossing Iran borders on land versus airports.

terrace of bathhouse at kashan in iran with brick dome and glass fenestation
The terrace of a bathhouse in Kashan

Tehran airport is the biggest of all in Iran, hence it is easier here. In 2020 Shiraz international airport was functioning though it was half-built. Since we were exiting Iran from Shiraz, there were no procedures to follow. But if you decide to enter Iran at other airports or cross land borders from Armenia or other countries, do extensive research beforehand as the process may not be as smooth as it is in Tehran. You may not be able to buy insurance at the land borders and smaller borders.

Did this help you to get your Iran tourist Visa? Let us know in the comment section below.

red adobe house at abyaneh village in iran with snow caped dry karkas mountains and valleys

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Published by Sahana Kulur

Traveller | Blogger | Architecture and history

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