Iran Visa

Why you should apply for Visa before your arrival?

Stress-free travel to Iran

Avoid stress and the risk of getting rejected upon your arrival. Only less than 2% of 1stQuest Appliers get rejected.

It’s Cheaper than VOA

Save up to €15 on your visa & insurance fees when you apply both of them in advance. More money for spending on your travels in Iran.

Quick ‘n’ Easy

Skip the queue- no waiting around in visa lines at the airport. We’ll be there to answer your questions through the process.

Pros & Cons:

Obtaining a visa can be a stressful obstacle on the way of traveling to new countries and visiting new places. Getting an Iran Visa is no exception. If you have decided to travel to Iran, you may already know there are different ways to get an Iranian tourist visa. Your online search results may be confusing with conflicting information. The official government website offers very little help as to requirements and timeframes.


Fill out the online form based on your required visa type.

2. PAY

Pay the service fee as per the instructions you receive.


Refer to your selected consulate (or airport) and collect the visa.


You can now enter Iran and start your travel.

Who Needs a Visa?

Visa Free Countries

The holders of the following countries ordinary passports can enter Iran and stay for up to the mentioned duration without a visa :
  • Armenia (90 days)
  • Azerbaijan (30 days)
  • Bolivia (30 days)
  • Egypt (30 days)
  • Georgia (45 days)
  • Lebanon (30 days)
  • Malaysia (15 days)
  • Oman (30 days)
  • Syria for (90 days) (but only if arriving by air straight from Damascus)
  • Turkey (90 days)
  • Venezuela (15 days)
  • China (15 days)

Everyone else needs to arrange a visa in advance or seek a 30-day visa on arrival at an airport. Contrary to popular misconception, US citizens are welcome, but need to pre-arrange a tour or private guide.

Note: Israeli passport holders, and anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport (or exit stamps at the relevant Jordanian or Egyptian border crossings into Israel) will not get a visa.

Important Tips
What You Should Know Before Applying

If you want to apply for a visa, please read the following points carefully to avoid any probable case of denial.

  • Passport Expiration

    To apply for all types of electronic visas, your passport should have at least six months of validity, beyond your actual travel date. Obviously, you are not able to submit your application, if your passport is expiring in less than 6 months.

  • Visa Validity

    The Iranian visa sticker displays some information including the validity of visa. Failure to travel to Iran during the validity of a visa will prevent you from entering Iran and you will need to re-apply for a visa.

  • Visa Eligibility

    The citizens of some countries may not be issued a visa to enter Iran due to political and diplomatic considerations. Citizens of such countries shall refer to the relevant Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran for further information.

  • Email If asked for one, opt for something generic and avoid .gov accounts.
  • Itinerary If you want a 30-day visa, write a 30-day itinerary. Keep controversial places such as Bushehr, Natanz and border regions off your agenda. Once in Iran you can go where you want.
  • Occupation Teachers, nurses and data-entry clerks are more welcome than unloved journalists, military personnel or, according to one reader, anything to do with fashion (very dangerous!). Be aware that the MFA might Google your name.
  • Purpose of your visit Tourism. One guy, applying for a visa on arrival, wrote ‘to see Iranian girlfriend’. He was deported. What was he thinking?
  • Photographs Women will probably need to have their hair covered (any scarf will do) in their visa-application photo. Check embassy websites.
  • Passports

    Iran will not issue visas to Israeli passport holders, and people with an Israeli passport will be turned away at the border (you won’t get on a flight to Iran with an Israeli passport). Similarly, having an Israeli stamp in any other passport will see you turned away or put on the next flight out. And it’s not just Israeli stamps – they check carefully for exit stamps out of Jordan or Egypt at border points that imply that you must have entered Israel.


    Valid Iranian visa required. To be safe, start the process at least two months before you plan to arrive. Some nationalities can get a visa on arrival if arriving by air.

  • Note that all applications stall over the No Ruz holiday period; submit before 8 March to be sure.

Iran Visa Types

Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues different kinds of visa for those who want to enter the country based on the purpose of their travel including Entry Visa, Tourist Visa, Pilgrimage Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Education Visa, Temporary Work Visa, Transit Visa, Media Visa (Press Visa), Investment Visa, Marital Visa, and Medical Visa. Each having their own requirements, our main focus here is on Tourist Visa through which non-Iranian nationals who intend to visit Iran for touristic purposes can enter the country.

Tourist visa Issued for up to 30 days and extendable. Must be obtained before coming to Iran and valid to enter for 90 days from the issue date. This is the surest option.

Tourist Visa

There are two ways to get a tourist visa.

  • Do It Yourself You can go directly through a consulate, which saves an agency fee but takes at least three weeks and often longer. In theory, you download and fill out the application form from the Iran consulate in your home country; you then take or send the forms and your passport, photos, money, and proof of your travel insurance to the embassy and they will send your details to Tehran for approval. Several weeks later you might, if you’re lucky, be contacted with the result. Otherwise you’ll need to contact them, which is not always easy. If all goes to plan, you will eventually either pick up the visa in person (some embassies require women to cover their hair), or have your passport returned in a registered-mail envelope. Exceptions abound. In rare cases this method can take just a few days. However, we’ve also heard of cases where weeks after submission the consul has directed applicants to a visa agency to get the visa authorisation number. With so much uncertainty, if you choose this option, give yourself six weeks or longer to be sure.
  • Use an Agency Visa agencies charge from €30 to UK£120 to get you an authorisation number. In most cases you fill out an electronic form with details of your itinerary and where you’d like to collect your visa, attach digital copies of photo and passport, and the agency sends this to Tehran. The MFA claims that for most nationalities it takes between five and 10 working days to assess the application. When it does take longer, the visa agency often won’t know why, which might explain (if not excuse) the agency being slow to reply to your follow-up emails. There is no refund if your application fails, but few are rejected. Once the authorisation number is received, the agency will forward it to you and your nominated Iranian embassy/consulate. You then need to go through the application process as a formality, and in most consulates the visa is issued on the spot.

If you’re British, Canadian or American, expect both methods to be slower, more costly and more arduous. When it’s open, the Iranian Embassy in London will often request an interview and requires fingerprints from British applicants. For US citizens, allow three months to be safe.

Visa on arrival (VOA) Issued for 30 days on arrival at any Iranian international airport. Convenient but relatively risky, as you may be denied entry. So it would be better to apply for it before your arrival through a travel agency.

Visa Extensions

First the good news: there is usually little difficulty in extending a 30-day tourist visa to 60 days. It’s possible, but harder, to extend again, up to a maximum of 90 days. The following summary of how the extension process works is notoriously prone to change.

Choose Your City

If you want a long extension it’s worth planning your itinerary to be somewhere friendly when the extension is needed. In general, cities familiar with tourists are best: Shiraz has for years been the city of choice, with Esfahan also getting positive reports. Second-string options include Kerman, Yazd and Tabriz, but these don’t always issue the full 30-day extension. Tehran, Mashhad and other cities are less reliable.

The Process

Head for the Police Department of Aliens Affairs (edareh gozannameh). Note that the office might have changed name to the Passport & Immigration Police by the time you arrive. You’ll need:

  • your passport and two or three mug shots;
  • two photocopies of the picture page of your passport, your current visa, entry stamp and any other extensions you’ve had (most offices have a photocopy service);
  • fee for the extension (check the current fee with the office in question, but IR500,000 at the time of research), plus small notes for forms.

Pay for two copies of the appropriate forms. You’ll then be directed to a Bank Melli branch to deposit the cash – just say ‘visa’ and the bank staff will fill in the forms for you. Return with your bank receipt and the visa extension will be issued within an hour or two, though in some cases (hello Tehran) it can take several days.

Timing & Overstaying

In theory, you can only apply for an extension two or three days before your existing visa is due to expire, and your extension starts on the day it’s issued, not the end of your original visa. Cross-check the Persian calendar dates so you know exactly when your visa expires.

If things go awry, a doctor’s note on official stationery stating you were unwell might act as a quasi-extension at the border, or be used for a short extension in the nearest Aliens Bureau. But don’t rely on this.

If you do overstay, even by a few hours, expect to be detained.

Photo Requirements

Your photo is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo. The acceptance of your photo is at the discretion of the I.R.Iran Embassy or consulate where you apply.

We recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements. Please remember that photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way.

Your passport photos must be:
  • In color
  • In JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg) file format
  • Equal to or less than 500 kB (kilobytes) in file size (less than 10 kB is not accepted)
  • In a rectangular aspect ratio (height must be greater than width)
  • Be sized in 400(minimum-width) x 600(minimum-height) pixels, with about 70-80% part of the photo must be filled by the applicant’s face
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
  • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
  • Eyeglasses are not allowed in visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant’s eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:
    • The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
    • There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
    • There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
  • Photos digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.

Change of Appearance

If your photo(s) or digital image does not reflect your current appearance, even if it is not older than 6 months, the I.R.Iran Embassy or consulate will request that you provide a new photo with your application.

Applicants will be requested to obtain a new photo if they have:

  • Undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
  • Added or removed numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
  • Undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain
  • Made a gender transition

Generally, if you can still be identified from the photo in your visa application, you will not need to submit a new photo. For example, growing a beard or coloring your hair would not generally be considered a significant change of appearance.

If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to the normal aging process, he or she will generally not have to provide a new photo. However, the acceptance of your photo or digital image is at the discretion of the I.R.Iran Embassy or consulate where you apply.

Taking photos of your baby or toddler

When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.


Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby’s head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.


Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported.

Passport Copy Requirements

The digital image of your passport is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable digital image. The acceptance of your passport copy is at the discretion of the I.R.Iran Embassy or consulate where you apply.

We recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure the digital image of your passport meets all the requirements.


Your digital image of your passport must be:

  • In color
  • In JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg) file format
  • Equal to or less than 500 kB (kilobytes) in file size (less than 10 kB is not accepted)
  • Only the first page. full-length images are not acceptable.
  • In a rectangular aspect ratio ( height must be less than width )
  • Be sized in 800(minimum-width) x 600(minimum-height) pixels
  • Sharp without any visible pixels
  • properly exposed (too dark or light is not acceptable)
  • In the right position.
  • Clear and all characters must be readable.