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Find out now how to get the Iran visa on arrival, known as VoA. We guarantee you: it is way simpler than people think!

How to get the Iran visa on arrival to see the beautiful Pink Mosque in Shiraz

The beautiful Pink Mosque in Shiraz

Many people are scared about going to Iran, particularly because they think getting the visa is complicated. However, as we experienced ourselves and also heard from many other travellers, getting the Iran tourist visa is actually pretty simple.

In fact, the majority of nationalities, including Australians, Germans, Portuguese, Italians, Brazilians and many others can get the Iran visa on arrival, which means at the airport. This type of visa is valid for 30 days and there is the possibility of extending it for another two weeks once in the country (we will explain it further below). The VoA (Visa on Arrival) used to be valid for only 14 days, but since 2017 you can now enjoy this beautiful country for a whole month.

Countries that CANNOT get the Iran visa on arrival

The only countries that cannot apply for an Iran visa on arrival (VoA) are the US, the UK, Canada, Bangladesh, Colombia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Canadians, Us citizens and Brits can only get the tourist visa to Iran with the intermediate of a travel agency. Also, they must have a guide with them throughout the trip.

Israeli citizens cannot get a visa to Iran no matter what.

How to get the Iran visa on arrival to visit the ruins of Persepolis

Fe in the ruins of Pasargadae

Countries that CAN get the Iran visa on Arrival (VoA):

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

Countries that do not need an Iran travel visa:

Armenia (90 days), Azerbaijan (30 days), Bolivia (30 days), Egypt (20 days, Georgia (45 days), Lebanon (30 days), Malaysia (15 days)), Servia (30 days), Turkey (90 days) e Venezuela (15 days).

Iran visa on arrival

The visa we received on our passport

*Also read
Is Iran safe for tourists?
Iran Travel Guide: a complete itinerary;
How is Tehran, our first impressions of the Iranian capital.

Iran visa policy for the VoA

For those relying on the Iran visa on Arrival, there are a few important steps to follow:

1) You must land at one of the Iranian international airports:

  • 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

*Important: the VoA cannot be requested on land borders.

2) Have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the time of arrival;

3) Show an invitation letter OR a hotel reservation for the first nights of your trip to Iran:

Many officials will call the hotel to confirm the information provided – no one called ours though. You should have a hotel reservation for at least the two or three first nights of your trip.

TIP: It will depend on the type of traveller you are. However, if you are up to a local experience, we recommend you not to book your whole accommodation prior to your trip, as many Iranians will invite you to stay in their houses. To be honest, that is the best part of the trip! We tell you more about it on this article here: the 12 things that happen only in Iran.

Iran visa on arrival

With a family we met in Yazd and invited us to have dinner with them

4) Have a travel insurance covering your total length of stay:

If your travel insurance don’t cover Iran (the majority don’t), do not worry as it is possible to purchase it at the Iranian airport just after you having paid for the VoA. It will cost U$1 per day and there is a minimum of 15 days. The immigration officer will show you where to buy it. The insurance allows you to use any hospitals in the country, both the public and the private ones;

5) You must have absolutely no evidence of a previous visit to Israel:

If you have been to Israel before, you should better get a new passport before visiting Iran. Even if you don’t have an Israeli stamp, a land border visa showing that you entered Jordan somewhere by the Israeli border, for instance, will be enough to prove you visited the country.

6) You have to show your return ticket to prove you will leave Iran;

Obviously your way out ticket must be within the 30 days length of the Iran visa on arrival.

7) Follow the Iranian dress code:

For women: cover the hair with the hijab (a scarf), trousers and the manto (a kind of dress/coat with long sleeves that covers your leg until the middle tights);
Men should wear trousers;

*Read more about how to dress in Iran here.

8) Pay the Iran visa fee:

The Iran visa fee for most nationals costs € 75. Australians pay € 150 euros.

Update: since 2017 the Iranian government put into practice a new online visa system. You don’t have to apply it online, however if you, it will speed things up at the immigration. You can request the E-visa to Iran up to 48h prior to your trip.

Extending your tourist visa in Iran

Iran visa on arrival

Iranian flags in the city of Yazd

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, the Iran visa on arrival allows you to stay in the country for 30 days. If you fall in love with Iran – like we did – and feel like staying longer, you can extend it for another 14 days.

In order to so, you have to go to any Immigration Office (there is one at every major city) and pay around U$10.

At the first contact, the official told us (and might tell you too) he could not extend our VoA. Don’t panic, he will end up doing it as he did for us.

Iran visa on arrival

The so-desired visa stamp!

If you are going to extend your Iran tourist visa, you should bring:

– A copy of the passport and the visa;

– Two passport pictures 3×4.

*IMPORTANT: Women bring a picture in which you are wearing a hijab! We obviously didn’t consider this fact and the official had to cut Fernanda’s picture by the hair to make it look like she had a hijab.

Iran visa on arrival

Underneath the Si-o-seh pol bridge, Esfahan

See how easy it is to get the Iran visa on arrival?

We hope this article helps on giving you that little push you need to embark on this journey to Iran, one of our favourite countries!

However, if still not comfortable, you can always apply for a visa at any Iranian Embassy.

ATTENTION: Credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) are not accepted in Iran as these are American brands! So cash up before you come!