Iran Visa Policy

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Iran has so much to explore. But, before going ahead in your Iran tour planning, you first come across the Iran visa policy. Iran offers a different set of visa policies to its visitors, depending on their eligibility and citizenship. Iran Visa Policy Rules make it easier for every traveler to opt for the right type of visa which suits him/her. Iran is great tourism as well as an educational hub for many people around the world. Thus, the Iranian government has created over ten types of Iranian visas to go through while applying for the perfect visa for your purpose of visit to Iran.

With each visa comes a different policy checklist every tourist or investor is expected to adhere to. Some Iranian visas are specifically meant for a singular community (say foreign men or Muslims) as people of these categories travel to Iran frequently. Each policy of the Iranian visas is mentioned with its eligibility criteria and exceptional key points.

Countries which require an Iranian Visa beforehand

Countries that are not included in the list of Iran Visa-on-arrival and Iran Visa-free stay must have an Iranian visa before they arrive in Iran. For example, if you are a citizen of India, then you have to mandatorily obtain an Iranian Visa before taking your flight to Iran. India is included in neither the Iran Visa on arrival nor the Iranian Visa-free countries list. 

Countries that can easily travel to Iran and stay there without a visa (visa-free) are:

Bolivia Turkey Syria Azerbaijan
Malaysia Venezuela Georgia Armenia
China Egypt Iraq Hong Kong
Lebanon Macau Oman  

Countries that can apply for a visa on arrival for Iran

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece
Hungary Italy Ireland Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden Yemen Zambia Tuvalu
Zimbabwe Albania Algeria Angola Anguilla Antigua
Argentina Armenia Azerbaijan Bahamas Turkmenistan Belarus
Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia
Botswana British Virgin Island Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon
Cape Verde Cayman Island Central African Republic Chad China Uganda
Comoros Congo Congo Brazaville Cote d'ivoire Cuba Djibouti
Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea
Ethiopia Eritrea Fiji French Guiana Gabon Gambia
Georgia Ghana Greenland Guatemala Guinea Guyana
Haiti India Indonesia Turkey Vanuatu Jamaica
Uzbekistan Kenya Kiribati Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon
Lesotho Liberia Libya Macau Macedonia Madagascar
Malawi Maldives Mali Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania
Mauritius Mexico Micronesia Moldova Mongolia Montserrat
Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal New Caledonia
Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North Korea Palau Palestine
Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands
Puerto Rico Qatar Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent Samoa Sao Tome Senegal Serbia Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands Venezuela South Africa Vietnam Sudan Suriname
Swaziland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand
Timor Leste Togo Tonga Trinidad Tunisia  

Countries from various continents are allowed to travel to Iran through a visa-on-arrival. The important key points to keep in mind while opting for this Iranian visa are:

  • An Iran visa on arrival expects you to land to one of these international airports.
  • These 7 airports are the only ones in Iran which offer a visa on arrival service for foreigners.

Iranian Airports welcoming International Flights and providing an Iran Visa on arrival

  1. Mashhad International Airport (MHD)
  2. Tehran Mehrabad Airport (TEH)
  3. Isfahan International Airport (ISF)
  4. Tabriz International Airport (TBZ)
  5. Kish International Airport (KIH)
  6. Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA)
  7. Shiraz International Airport (SYZ)

Other important Visa on arrival Policies to adhere to:

  1. You are supposed to bring with you your original documents along with one to two copies of each of them. These are to be presented to the authorities whenever required.
  2. If you were rejected by an Iran Visa at some point of time in the past, you cannot receive an Iranian Visa on arrival. No exceptions are considered in this policy.
  3. People born in Iran but living overseas are not granted this visa. Natives of Iran will have to opt for an Iran visa before they arrive in their home country.
  4. People who are coming for work, especially occupations related to mass media and television services are not eligible to choose this visa. Instead, they are given an option of an Iran Media visa to travel.

Countries that are not allowed and are banned to opt for an Iranian Visa on arrival:

Afghanistan Pakistan Canada United States of America
Iraq Bangladesh Somalia Colombia
United Kingdom Sri Lanka Jordan  

Policies of the Diplomatic and Service Visas

A Diplomatic is given by Iran to individuals who are government employees, agencies, organizations and are traveling to Iran with the purpose of working in their occupation. 

In order to apply for a Diplomatic Visa, you must complete the following criteria:

  • The native country you belong to must be included in the list of countries that are eligible for an Iran Diplomatic Visa.
  • The traveler must hold a diplomatic passport given to him/her by their native country. 
  • Thus, the document list must hold a copy of both their tourist and diplomatic passports. 

Counties eligible for obtaining this visa for Iran for their diplomatic services are:

Iraq Egypt Malawi Montenegro
Ghana Congo Armenia Bolivia
Lebanon Venezuela Nicaragua Burkina Faso
Afghanistan Brazil South Korea Sierra Leone
India Cyprus Cambodia Hungary
Benin Russia Romania Ukraine
Switzerland Turkmenistan Kazakhstan Brunei
Mali Belarus Kenya Tajikistan
Serbia Malaysia Ecuador Indonesia
Tunisia Portugal Zimbabwe Syria
Poland Guinea Bosnia Japan
Bulgaria Guyana North Korea Greece
Senegal Philippines Moldova North Macedonia
China Cuba Oman Azerbaijan
Pakistan Kyrgyzstan Croatia Turkey

Iranian Media Visa for Journalists and similar occupations

If you are coming to Iran for media coverage then a unique Media Visa is something to look out for. However, the eligibility criteria are restricted for this visa for Iran:

  • People involved as a job in the media, press, international news, film producers, journalists, and reporters not belonging to Iran can apply for a Media Visa.
  • This visa is only granted when you do have reasonable work to do in Iran.
  • If you are in one of the above-given occupations, yet, you are coming to Iran for a vacation, then you cannot apply for an Iranian Media Visa.

Policies of an Iranian Education Visa

Only the following set of people can apply for education visa to Iran:

  • People who are students and have got an admission in one of the Iranian Universities.
  • Apprentices of religious studies. Know that you will have to draft an apprenticeship letter from your teacher in such a case.
  • Children who are of schooling age can apply for an Iranian Education Visa as well.

Policies and restrictions for foreign men (Marital Visa)

  • A Marital Visa is specifically for foreign men who are married to Iranian Women and they wish to arrive in Iran.  
  • Note that the marriage must be mentioned under the Iranian Legal System and must be a mutual decision between the couple.
  • Children of this family can also apply for this visa type by mentioning their relation to their parents.

Iranian e-visa procedures and policies

An Iranian e-visa allows a traveler to apply and receive his or her visa in a soft copy online. It is a convenient and simple way of filling your visa query and check it status from time to time.

  1. Your verified email address is required for this process to be carried out properly.
  2. You will receive your e-visa in your inbox.
  3. The document list to be submitted remain the same, yet, all of these need to be a canned, colored copy.
  4. You can check your Iranian visa status online through various platforms. With Tourist visa online you can easily check your visa status by providing your application number of the visa and your official passport number.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between an Iranian Diplomatic and Investment Visa? 

An Iranian Diplomatic Visa is meant for people involved with work-related directly with the government of Iran (i.e. conferences, consulate offices, etc.). 

An Investment Visa of Iran is specifically for investors and merchants who arrive in Iran to expand their business in the investment sector. This investment can be related to a private organization and not the government necessarily. 

Q. Can I opt for a Marital Visa if I have an Iranian wife yet I am under criminal records?

No. Any foreigner involved under criminal charges of any kind is not granted a visa for Iran. Having an Iranian wife also does not allow you to apply for a Marital Visa as it will be immediately denied under the reason for criminal charges. This will not allow your offspring to apply for an Iranian Marital Visa either as this visa type is applicable through the husband only.

Q. Is it possible to extend my visa for more than 30 days?

Almost every Iranian Visa is applicable for one month. After that, the extension of a visa can be done provided the reason for the extension is viable and agreed by the Iranian Government. The maximum extension period differs with each Iran visa.

Q. Can an Indian opt for a visa on arrival to Iran?

As per 2018, India was included in the Iranian country list for a visa on arrival. With the increase in friendly and supportive diplomatic relations of the two countries, Indian passport holders are also eligible for multiple entry visas to Iran.

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