Everything you need to know about how to get the Iran visa on arrival.
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’, authorisation codes and embassy interviews that have 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.
We visited Iran in November 2017 and managed to collect our visas on arrival with no issues at Tehran airport. Here is our guide on how to get a visa on arrival for Iran.
Table of Contents
- What You Need To Get An Iran Visa On Arrival
- The Process To Apply For Your Iran Visa On Arrival In Tehran Airport
- Where Can I Collect My Visa On Arrival In Iran
What You Need To Get An Iran Visa On Arrival
There are a few things you need to have pre-organised 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.
- Proof of funds to support your trip.
In our experience the only things we were asked for was proof of travel insurance and the first night’s accommodation.
For the travel insurance you need to have “Islamic Republic of Iran” specifically outlined on your policy. We are with 1Cover, and had them email a new copy of our insurance policy that said, ‘Countries Covered: Islamic Republic of Iran”.
If yours 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 – 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 government advisories.
For our confirmed itinerary we booked our first few nights at Iran Cozy Hostel, and they emailed us a letter (in English and Persian) saying we were confirmed to stay there. This was adequate when asked by the visa officer.
We weren’t asked for our proof of onward transport, passport photos or proof of funds, but it’s worth having these on you anyway.
Have them printed, not just saved on your phone.
The E-Visa For Iran
According to some sources it is ‘mandatory’ to complete an e-visa application 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.
We did not do our e-visa, and had no problems. The officer did ask if we already had it, and when we said no he just asked us 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 like us.
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 or her questions with a smile. For us we had none of these, and said we wanted a visa on arrival.
You will be handed a small form to complete basic information (names, passport number, address in Iran, occupation etc) and another piece of paper with your visa cost. For us it was only necessary to complete one person’s details on the form for both travellers.
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.
IMPORTANT – 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 took us about an hour of waiting to get our passports back, although we saw another person who had been waiting over three hours to get theirs. 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!
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.
I Am From The USA/Canada/UK – Can I Apply For A VOA?
At the moment all passport holders from the USA, Canada and the UK must be accompanied by a licensed guide for all travels in Iran.
This essentially means that unless you hire your own private guide for your entire duration of your visit, you must join an organised tour.
Citizens from these countries may be able to apply for a visa on arrival, as long as they have an authorised letter saying they will be on tour, and their guide is waiting for them in the airport.
However we strongly suggest you have your visa already before travelling to Iran. The man who was waiting over three hours for his visa on arrival when we were in the airport was from the USA, and we can only imagine his delay was due to the officers calling a tour company to confirm he was actually booked on a trip.
IMPORTANT – If you are from the USA, Canada or the UK you must be on an organised, licensed tour to visit Iran, and they will assist with your visa application.
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 Mashad and instead look for immigration offices in other destinations.
The Lonely Planet Iran guidebook has good information on where you can extend your visa.
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.
IMPORTANT – 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!
85 thoughts on “How To Get An Iran Visa On Arrival”
Hi thanks a lot for your post, I don’t know how to get my Iran visa, in advance or on arrival, because I hear that there would be a risk of rejection, what do you think about it?
Hi, I and my family traveled to Iran in April 2018, we all applied in advance through an agency that name is (website removed) and got our authorization code in 3 days.
Hi Miranda, it is best to contact your nearest Iranian embassy for any enquiries. We are not too sure.
Does anyone know if you can get a visa at the Embassy in Armenia? Especially if you are a foreigner (Australian) traveling in Armenia?
Thanks very much for any advice/assistance.
Hi Ben, not too sure. Maybe check with an Iranian Embassy. All the best
Hi, as I’ve been using this article as a reference (thanks for the helpful tips!!), I thought I’d make a contribution too.
I got in a few hours ago (25/4/19) into Tehran IKA, without applying for the e-visa beforehand. It was pretty straightforward. The guy in charge (who speaks perfect English), pointed me to the travel insurance booth (the insurance was 16 EUR), and then gave me a little form to fill in. It was literally tiny, you only had to write your name, your father’s name (why, by the way?!), passport number, occupation, and the point of contact in Iran. (I filled in the details of my hotel in Tehran)
After handing it over to the guy behind the counter, it was about 45 mins before I got it back. They never asked for any proof of onward travel, hotel booking, or photo…etc. The only thing they asked for was the payment receipt. It was 75 EUR for my European friends, but 145 EUR for me (Australian). On top of that you have to pay 5 USD extra as processing fee. I handed over 5 EUR, and they actually bothered to give me 20,000 rials change back.
By the way, there was no mark whatsoever on my passport. No visa sticker, and no stamp on the passport. I did read an article elsewhere that the government was trying to make it easier for people go to other countries, thought I’m not sure if that helps too much, as there’s bound to be electronic records.
Hope that helps anyone else who got inspired by this article to go for the landing visa without applying for the electronic one!
Thank you for your comment, Phoebe. 😀 I will leave Australia for Iran on 30 April 2019, but I am not entering with an Australian passport. I wish you a good trip. And of course, many thanks to Alesha and Jarryd. 😀 Thank you so much, everyone.
Hi, This article is very well written and helped many of our guests entering Iran, We always recommend them reading this post.
Glad to help. Thank you.
I’m going to Iran in July
I’m Romanian but living in uk
I have to many Iranian friends and I will stay in one of my friends family house
Do I need a letter invitation ?
Hi Nicoleta, we are not to sure. You will have to contact your local Iranian embassy for advice on this. All the best.
You do not need a letter of invitation, but the details and contact info of the host with whom you’ll stay.
They will literally call them up and confirm, even if midnight lol.
I am an Iranian living in the UK and did the same 2-3 times for my girlfriend. I left my parents’ info as hosts and they received a 1 minute phone call and confirmed.
Very helpful article btw guys!
Thanks for the info Mati. I am going to Iran late August and staying with friends. I’m also from US. Any idea how this factors into E Visa/ also Visa on arrival thanks everyone?!?
Great information and looking forward to going to Iran next weekend. Do they still place the visa page stamp in the passport? Would be great to have as a souvenir.
Hi Mike, you do get an entry and exit stamp in your passport along with the full page visa. It is definitely a great souvenir.
I’m going to Iran on Saturday
I applied for evisa to speed things up at the airport. By it has been rejected , they are asking for an invitation or a tour operator
. I have a Spanish passports, so I’m not sure why they are asking for that, maybe cos I live in the UK? I have got not time to do any of these, should I Just arrive and try to do it at the airpprt?
Hi Dan, if you put down a UK address this is why they are asking for the letter of invitation. You will have to call your local Iranian embassy for advice. All the best
I am an Iranian living in London. Same thing happened to my girlfriend who’s a UK resident but not British. The online application was randomly rejected, but we decided to show up at the airport anyway.
They didn’t ask any extra questions and approved the visa.
Whist every case is unique, from experience (and being familiar with the Iranian bureaucracy) must likely somebody didn’t read your application properly and rejected when they saw “UK”.
I would just show up at the airport and not apply for authorisation prehand.
Any idea if they care where you’re traveling from? I’m a dual US/Polish citizen and was hoping to travel from JFK to Istanbul to Iran on my Polish passport. I’m curious to see if they will see JFK and scrutinize me more or will they just see the Istanbul-Tehran connecting flight and not care?
If you enter Iran on your Polish passport you should not have a problem. I do not think the visa area even checks the passports for prior stamps when issuing the visas. As long as you have done everything correct with the form and payment then they’ll issue you a visa. There may be a wait. Once you have the visa then passing through immigration is quick and not many words were spoken. It has been a couple of years since we have been to Iran but we have not heard of things changing or the customs getting any more strict. All the best
Thanks a lot for all the well documented details! Going this october for a month, can’t wait! Having these platforms has so facilitated backpacking from the days of the 70’s and 80’s.. you cannot imagine how much! Albeit with a price.. the unknown is a way less unknown before you get there.
Glad we could help. Have a great trip Karen. Happy travels
I’m going to Iran in October for 2 weeks and I was wondering about the money situation. I’m Australian, can I change AUD over there or is it best to change it to another currency for exchange over there?
Hi Christobel, So exciting. You will have a blast. It is an amazing country. I won’t rely on changing AUD over in Iran. It would be best to bring USD or EURO for exchange as this is the most popular. Have a great time. 🙂
Hi guys, I am Iranian and travel Iran every two years.
I take Australian currency and have no problem changing it to Iranian money. It will save you time and money exchange commission.
Thank you so much Mansour. We came from London so getting euro was easier for us. Didn’t realise that about AUD. Good to know. Cheers for your comment.
I am a uk passport holder and have a tour booked to Iran for mid April. However my tour company ( touradar) has just informed me that the visa process has been suspended for April and May and I must now change my tour dates accordingly,. Have you heard of any visa suspension news. How hot do think it is likely to be in June, I’m travelling overland as far as Isfahan and am unsure of sitting in a mini bus in stifling heat .. thanks, Mario..
Hi Mario, that’s strange. Maybe contact your local Iranian embassy and ask if this is correct. If it is hot in June, the buses do have air conditioner. You tour company would have air con for their guests I’d think. Have a great time. It is a beautiful country.
I’m holding palestinian passport can i get visa on arrive ?
You will have to contact your local Iranian embassy for that information. All the best
Hi can you tell me how much price for Iranian visa for UK passport
Hi Hussain, we are not sure. Best option is to contact your local Iranian embassy. Do note UK passport holders have to travel on a tour. All the best
About the passport photo. On the official Iran visa homepage , it acutally says NO HAT/SCARF , so i really doubt that woman need to wear scarf on passport photo ?
Thanks Robert. We went to Iran when VOA was new. They have changed it looks like. We were informed when we went, that passport sized photos had to be with a head scarf. This is for the visa. As it is a VOA now they have changed it. They just embed your passport photo now for the visa. Our photos were never used. Good to know. Cheers
When you arrive with your visa application already granted and printed in your hand, it will take only minutes to pay and to get your passport back with the visa, of course depending on the number of tourists which just arrived and collecting their visa. Don’t forget your confirmation letter of your travel insurance company which has to state that your insurance is valid in Iran. If you don’t have… don’t worry they will sell you an insurance for Iran for 18€ immediately.
Thanks for sharing Willy. 🙂
Do you have any info for people living in Canada but having dual citizenship (poland), are we able to use our Polish passports to enter Iran and get visa on arrival? We are planning to go to get medical treatments.
Hi Anna, You can use your Polish passport. Our friends that we went with were originally from the UK where they have to go on a tour. They both used their Australian passports and there was no issues at all. Make sure you put a Polish address down when you fill out your visa on arrival and not your Canadian address. All the best
hi there ,
I just came across your post Wonder with your friends who hold dual passports (Britz and Oz) , did they get visa on arrival or did they apply online with the tour confirmation? Did Iranian officer check their British passport ?
They got a VOA with their Australian passport. The British passport was not pulled out at all during the stay there or mentioned. Officers never checked as they never knew. Only reason they had it was onwards travel afterwards they need this passport for another countries visa otherwise they would have left it home.
Thanks for the very useful post. Just one thing has concerned me: I have an Irish passport but I live in London.
I noticed that you advised the person from Canada with a Polish passport to put a Polish address in the VOA form.
Are you suggesting that I need to have an address in Ireland as well as an Irish passport?
Personally, I would put an Ireland address as you have an Irish Passport. Who knows if you put down the London address what customs will do. They may be fine as you have an Irish Passport or they may ask a lot of questions. For quick processing and hassle free go the Ireland address. All the best and have a great trip.
Just wondering what you did with this in the end? I will be in a similar situation shortly. Cheers.
I am thankful for the informational post. I am also thinking of going in the Spring.
I am Canadian and worried about whether the visa on arrival will work.
Can I ask what country you are from. I would like to do visa on arrival opposed to the long e-visa process but want to be 100% sure.
Also on the form does it ask what countries you have been to?
You are welcome Tina. We are glad it helped. We are from Australia. As a Canadian, unfortunately you need to be on tour. If you arrive without a tour pre=organised and a letter from them, we don’t know if they will grant you entrance. If you have the letter for a tour and papers, an visa on arrival will be no problem for Canadians. There are companies that can pick you up from the airport and be your guide for a day or two then you are on your own. We do not know any contacts for these companies sorry.
Your best bet is to call your local Iranian embassy and ask them your question as things change and they will be able to inform you. All the best and have a great trip to Iran. It is an amazing country
Do you think is it possible to ask for VOA stamps in another paper? (Not in passport)
Not too sure. Best to contact your local Iranian embassy. All the best
Excellent post plus great information! This submit is very handy and for us. Thanks for giving valuable information and facts.
Thank you. We are glad the article was helpful. 🙂
Accurate information made simple from 100+ countries traveller
Glad we could help. Thanks
Hi Alesha & Jarryd,
Thanks for deatiled info on visa.
We plan to travel to Iran in April 2019 for 7-8 days.–visit Tehran, Shiraz, yazd and Isfahan.
can you suggest must see places at each of these places. Decent hotels and hostels, local transport company ( from Shiraz to Yazd to Isfahan to Tehran), English guide.
Great places to eat at each of their places–traditional Iranian food ( sorry we are vegetarians),
Any place we can listen to great Iranian music or performances.
Your trip is just around the corner. How exciting. Do check out our other posts.
Things to know before you go to Iran
Things to do in Tehran
Visiting Shushtar Hydraulic Dam
Things to do in Shiraz
As for guide, music, restaurants and transport, your hotel will be able to help with all that.
All the best.
I am planning to travel on Iran someday together with my wife. Any idea how to get some Visa for the both of us?
Hi Alex, That is awesome. You will have a blast. It is a stunning country. This article is a great start for the visas. There are links within it that will go through to the e-visa website and you can get your visas there if you are eligible. This all depends what country you are from. All the best.
Thanks for sharing these useful tips about Iran visa.
Glad we could help. 🙂
Thanks for your detailed information. Do you know by any chance if it would be ok to put down one of my friend’s address as the place to stay instead of booking a hotel for the visa as I’m planning to stay with them.
Thank you again
I am sure it will be ok. If you are worried put a hotel address down. If you have questions about it please contact your local Iranian embassy.
If I get a VOA when I fly into Tehran – but then leave Iran overland to Turkmenistan – is this VOA still ok at the overland exit point? I have heard that there may be difficulties with this?
Hi, I am not too sure about this. Definitely contact your local Iranian embassy and they will be able to help.
Hello Dear on Duty
This is Mohammad Tariq , i would like to apply for Iran Visit Visa but i don,t want to go Iran by airline so i want to with car, any permission is for me please
Hi Mohammad, it is best to talk to your local Iranian embassy about your situation. They will be able to help you. All the best
Ive tried to ge the E-VISA to get the visa in the embassy, but the e-visa was rejected.
Can i still get the visa on arrival?
Sorry Diogo. It is best to talk to the local Iranian embassy. We can not tell you this answer. All the best
Much appreciated guys for your helpful tips. I found the answers for what I’m looking for.
Glad we could help. Have a great time in Iran 🙂
Someone has news about the exit flight ticket? I would like to exit from Iran through Azerbaijan.
Not too sure Antonio. As for entering Iran we never got asked for our exit flight. All the best
Maybe haven’t an exit flight ticket is an issue for the airline company you travel with?
Maybe. Contact the airline for that information. They would be the best people. All the best.
UPDATE: We just flew in to Shiraz, Iran. We started the eVisa process online & paid for & collected our VISAs at the airport. We asked for 60 days & got it. It seemed as though we could have whatever length we wanted. We are NZ citizens are were also charged 150 euros each (we were told that was the price for “1 day, 2 days, 60 days”. We were not asked for exit flights or insurance. Hope that helps someone.
Awesome. Thank you so much for the update Jess. Hope you have a great time in Iran. We loved it there.
Also, I forgot to add. Nowhere in the VISA application process was I instructed, told or required to wear a head scarf for my passport photos as is indicated in your article. Yes, as a woman, you are required by the Iranian law to wear a headscarf while travelling there, however there is no need to spend money on different photos to what you would already have and use.
Hi Guys – very helpful post.
If I get a VOA when I fly into Tehran – but then leave Iran overland to Turkmenistan – is this VOA still ok at the overland exit point? I have heard that there may be difficulties with this?
Hi Angus, We never got asked about exit flights. If they asked, I guess explain that and hopefully that will be enough. All the best,
I am planning to go to Iran this coming October. I think I will fly from Yerevan, Armenia to IKA, Tehran, Iran.
1. Due to new VOA policy, I am still confused, do I have to apply e-visa and fill online application before I go to Iran? or I can follow VOA process at the airport by filling Visa form/section manually?
2. I plan to exit Iran by overland to Turkey. How should I specify for onward travel as I will not have returned ticket surely.
3. This question is not about Iran in case you can advice. Is it possible to cross border overland from Russia to Georgia at Karbergi? I hold Thai passport. Free visa to Georgia.
Thank you very much
Hi Play, thank you for your message.
1. With the VOA, you don’t need to fill out a form prior. Don’t stress if you don’t get that done. Yes it does move the process along a lot fast so you can print it off and fill it out if you want,
2. When we entered they never asked for our exciting flights nor any other information. If they do ask, just explain you are going over the border by land.
3. I am so sorry we are not sure about going over land from Russia to Georgia at Karbergi. W
We wish you all the best. Have a great trip.
Thank you so much both of you.
Thanks for sharing a very detailed and entertaining description of your experience. Because of a late booking my wife and I will need to get our Iran visa at Tehran Airport on arrival and are somewhat concerned about how this actually works – so your description is very welcome. I wonder if you could let us know how you prove you have sufficient funds (other than showing them your cash) and what happened to your checked baggage while you were waiting for the visa process to complete. I assume that the wait was a few hours?
Hi John, That is awesome you and your wife are heading to Iran. The visa took us about an hour and a half. There were some people waiting longer. You collect your luggage first so you will have that with you while you wait for your visa. As for the funds, they never asked us. If they did, we would have told them how much cash we have for the amount of time there. No ATM’s will take your card and you can not use your credit card anywhere, so by showing them funds in an account wouldn’t be helpful. We did a small budget before going and between 2 people for 3 weeks we spent $1790 USD for the both of us. I will do a budget post the next couple of days so you can see the breakdown. Have a great time
Thank you for you detailed explanation!
I have one question. Do you know by chance what is the window time between taking another visa on arrival. Let’s say I have my first time extended, and I would want to move out and move in again with a new visa on arrival. Do you think it’s possible to make right away? Or I should stay out of the country for a certain amount of days?
Thanks in advanced!
So sorry Emma but we have no idea. We are guessing it is possible as you are doing everything legit.
If you are in the country and want to extend you can. When we were in Tehran, we meet a New Zealand man that extended his visa there. I think it took 3 – 5 working days to be processed and I am not to sure how much it cost. He didn’t need to leave the country. All the best.
Hi There! Thanks for another informative and useful article. Just to confirm, in the additional passport photos that are / may be required in the VISA application process, woman must be wearing a head scarf IN the photo, even if they aren’t in their actual passport photo? Thank you!
Hi Jess, no you do not need extra photos for woman with a head scarf. Alesha got them just in case and never used them. They will take the photo from you passport front page and that will be the photo on your visa. Have a great time