Iranian Visa FAQ

Iranian Visa FAQ

 A 

What does the Iranian visa look like?

The Iranian visa looks like the example below:
Iran Visa Sample

The visa contains information in both Persian (Farsi) and English. The information in Persian consists of:

1. Name

2. Nationality

3. Number of accompanying persons

4. Number of entries

5. Duration of stay

6. Type of visa

7. Visa validity start date

8. Visa validity expiry date

Where can I get my Iranian visa?

Depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, you can obtain it from different places. For most visas, Tourist Visa included, you must apply at an Iranian consulate or embassy and if approved, pick up your visa from a consular you specified. The exceptions are:
  • Airport Visas/Visa On Arrival (VOA) which can be obtained at Iran’s international airports for nationals of eligible countries
  • Transit Visas which can be obtained at Iran’s international ports (borders)

Which international airports are allowed to issue visas in Iran?

The international airports authorized to grant Airport Visas (VOA) are:
  • Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) - Tehran
  • Mehrabad International Airport (THR) - Tehran
  • Mashhad International Airport (MHD) / Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport
  • Shiraz Inernational Airport (SYZ)
  • Tabriz International Airport (TBZ)

Which countries are eligible for Visa On Arrival (VOA)?

Nationals from the eligible countries listed below may apply for a Visa On Arrival:
Azerbaijan, Albania, Germany, Austria, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Spain, Australia, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Portugal, Peru, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, China, Denmark, Russian Federation, Romania, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, France, Palestine, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Croatia, South Korea, North Korea, Cuba, Kuwait, Georgia, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Poland, Malaysia, Hungary, Mongolia, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Venezuela, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Greece

Which countries are not eligible for Visa On Arrival (VOA)?

The following countries are not eligible for the VOA:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, United Kingdom, United States of America
Nationals from these countries must first apply for an Iranian visa at an embassy or consulate. On approval, they may collect their visa and travel to Iran with it.

Which countries cannot travel to Iran?

Only nationals from Israel are not permitted entry to Iran.

How can I get a visa extension?

Visas can only be extended once you are in Iran. The Police of Foreign Aliens is in charge of visa extensions and they have offices in most major cities. You can apply for an extension as long as your visa is valid, but we recommend you don’t leave it for the last days. Issuing an extension usually takes 1 day, but it may be prolonged.

How much does the Iranian visa cost?

The cost of an Iranian visa for a foreign national is based on reciprocal fees. In other words, the national must pay the consular the same amount of money that an Iranian must pay to obtain the national’s country visa.

How many types of visa are there?

In total, Iran has 13 different visa types. However, some of them are for extremely specific cases (e.g. illegal immigrants wishing to return) and they do not apply to usual applicants. The visa types include:
      Entry (A)
      Tourist (B)
      Pilgrimage (C)
      Political (D)
      Study (E)
      Work Permit (F)
      Transit (G)
      Press (H)
      Service (S)
      Multiple
      Joining Family
      Exit & Return
      Exit

What are the requirements for obtaining an Iranian visa?

Based on the type of visa you’re applying for, different documents may be needed. However there are some general requirements which include:
  • Completed visa application form
  • Two recent biometric 3x4 photos (full frontal, without hat, without dark glasses, personal information written on the back)
  • Original passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Payment receipt for visa issuance according to consular costs

How can I apply for Iran visa and what are the procedures?

  • Filling out the application form completely.
  • Paying the application fee.
  • Receiving payment confirmation email
  • Receiving visa grant letter after 3 to 7 working days
  • Collecting visa by providing the visa grant letter at the selected place in the application form by applicant

Which countries can travel to Iran without a visa?

  • Armenia (90-day visa)
  • Azerbaijan (30-day visa)
  • Bolivia (30-day visa)
  • Egypt (20-day visa)
  • Georgia (45-day visa)
  • Lebanon (30-day visa)
  • Malaysia (15-day visa)
  • Serbia (30-day visa)
  • Turkey (90-day visa)
  • Venezuela (15-day visa)
Citizens from these countries will only need to get a permit of entry at the borders (or airports).

How can I pay the application fee?

The application fee can be paid online and at the last step of the visa application form with Pay Pal through All major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.

The debit card that displays the Visa or MasterCard logo can be used for the payment as well.

The Pay Pal account can be made at the last step of the application form incase if the applicant has no Pay Pal account yet.

How long does an Iran visa last?

The length of an Iran visa depends on which country you’re from. Visa lengths are typically from 15 days all the way to 90 days.

Is it possible to extend my Iran visa?

A visa on arrival can only be extended if the Iranian Foreign Affair Office deems it necessary. In that case, there will be a maximum 14-days extension and it’s not a fairly easy process. If the plan is on staying longer than 30 days in Iran , then the visa has to be taken at local embassy instead.

How to get Iran visa on arrival?

On travelling to Iran from one of the countries on the visa on arrival list, Visa On Arrival can be obtained at one of the country’s international airports in Iran including:
  • IKA: Imam Khomeini Airport
  • TEH: Tehran Mehrabad Airport
  • SYZ: Shiraz International Airport
  • MHD: Mashhad International Airport
  • TBZ: Tabriz International Airport
  • ISF: Isfahan International Airport
  • KIH: Kish International Airport
However, U.S, UK or Canada citizens need to allow for 60-90 days to obtain a visa before departure. Citizens from countries on the visa on arrival list can apply for an e-visa to speed up the process.

What are the document requirements for Iran Visa?

Passport:

Actual signed passport should be provided, including one copy of the personal information page of passport. Passport must be valid for the next six months, have at least one blank visa page, not be frayed, torn, separating, or altered in any other way.

Iran Visa Application form:

Fully completed copy of the visa application form. The application form must be typed, include answers for all fields, display full name as it appears in passport.

  • A personnel photo
  • To be taken within the last three months
  • To be taken against an all-white background
  • Full frontal view of head with face centered in the middle and displaying a neutral (non-smiling) expression
  • May wear neither eyeglasses nor headwear except for religious purposes.
  • photo should not be affixed to any application and it may not display evidence of adhesive tape or staples

What ages need visa to enter Iran?

All ages need visa to enter Iran with no exceptions.

General Questions About Iran

What is the dress code in Iran?

According to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both men and women are required to have hijab, though they are interpreted differently.
Women must cover their bodies, including hands, legs and torso. They can do so by wearing long trousers, a long loose shirt and a scarf around the head and hair. They may also use the customary dress in Iran, manto, which is a long coat covering from the neck to the legs. The scarf or veil must cover the hair and neck.
Men must refrain from wearing short trousers.

What is the currency in Iran?

The official currency is the Rial. However the usual currency used in day-to-day transactions among people is the Toman which is 10 Rials.
10 Rials = 1 Toman
To make it easy to remember, removing one zero from the end of a price in RIALS will give you the price in TOMANS.

What kind of meat is available?

All meat served in Iran is halal, meaning it’s been slaughtered and prepared according to Islamic laws. There is a vast variety of meat including beef, lamb, goat meat, fish, poultry (chicken, duck, goose, etc.). No form of pork is served in Iran.

What kind of alcoholic drinks are available?

All forms of alcoholic drinks are illegal in Iran. Carrying and consuming alcohol is considered a crime and punishable by law.

What kind of narcotics are available?

All forms of narcotics are illegal in Iran. Carrying and consuming narcotics is considered a crime and punishable by law.

Which credit cards are accepted?

At the moment, none. Due to restrictions imposed on Iran, no credit cards can be used for payment. So be sure to bring adequate cash.

Can I drink the tap water?

While in some major cities such as Tehran the tap water is drinkable, we advise you to ask in each city. If not, bottled mineral water is available everywhere at a cheap price.

What kind of food is served in Iran?

Iran has a long history in gastronomy. There is a great diversity of food to choose from: kebabs, rice with stew, porridge and soup, etc.

Is vegetarian food available?

Yes. Some vegetarian foods include: kashk-e bademjoon, kuku sibzamini, kuku sabzi, ash-e reshte, etc. Most Iranian food contains some form of meat, so you should ask specifically for restaurants that also serve vegetarian food. They are usually easier to find in major cities.

What language is spoken?

The official language is Persian, also referred to as Farsi. It has a long history and the literature is world-renowned with figures such as Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Hafez, Sadi, Ferdowsi, etc.

Do people speak English?

English is a mandatory course in school. So most of the educated population understand basic English. Most of the younger generations can speak English more or less.

What are the specifications of the electricity?

220 volts, 50 hertz AC. The plugs and sockets use two poles.

Is internet available in Iran?

Of course. ADSL internet is accessible in many houses and companies. Most hotels and also cafes have Wi-Fi. You can also get internet on your mobile if you have an Iranian sim card. Mobile data is now being offered at 3G & 4G standards in Iran.

How can I get an Iranian sim card?

Sim cards are available in most places including airports, kiosks, mobile shops, etc. You can buy a new sim card, register it with your documents and wait a few days for it to be activated. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-registered sim card and start using it right away. The telecommunication providers include:
  • MCI: the state-based company. Good reception almost everywhere.
  • MTN: a private company and the main competitor of MCI. Currently has the highest internet speeds for mobile.
  • Rightel
  • Talia
  • Etc