Find out now how to get the Iran visa on arrival as well as how to apply for the evisa Iran (article updated for 2023). We have travelled to Iran twice already and guarantee you: getting the Iran tourist visa is simpler than people think!
*Iran open for tourism: Travellers must be fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine (approved by WHO) and have a negative PCR test made up to 72h prior to arrival (children under 12 y.o. do not need it). Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram as we are always updating you on the latest travel news!
*The Iranian protests: Since the death of Mahsa Amini, in September 2022, for not wearing the compulsory Islamic headscarf correctly, the country has been taken by huge waves of protests. The situation was very tense for months, but we have recently spoken with local friends and partners who told us things have since calmed down and the streets are slowly going back to normal. We can’t say for sure about the current situation in Iran as we are not there, but just sharing the most up-to-date information we’ve received with all of you searching on how to get the Iran tourist visa.
How to get the Iranian visa in 2023: Iran visa on arrival x Evisa Iran
The process of getting an Iran tourist visa is actually simpler than most people think. Surely, there are a few requirements and precautions to take when applying but we will outline everything in this article.
Applying for an Iranian visa before the pandemic was easier, as many nationalities could apply for the VoA (Visa on Arrival) on their arrival at any international airport. Tourists had to follow a few prerequisites, such as having purchased a return ticket and a hotel booked for the first days. However, it was still very simple: you would arrive at the Iranian airport, talk to the immigration officer, pay the Iranian visa fees and that was it – “Welcome to Iran!”
After they reopened for tourism in October 2021, things changed a little bit. Now, the Iranian government requires all travelers to Iran to apply for a visa before arriving. It doesn’t have to be the visa itself, but a simplified version called an E-Visa (meaning an online visa). You can apply for this Iran electronic visa up to two days before arriving, according to the government’s official website.
How to Apply for the Iran EVisa (Iran Electronic Visa) in 2023
Applying for the Iran Electronic Visa is quite simple and the whole process can be done online.
For this, you will need to:
Have a passport valid for at least six months;
Not having evidence of entry to Israel (if you have already visited Israel, it is better to issue a new passport. And be aware that even if you do not have an Israeli stamp, any evidence of entry into the country is considered. For example, if you have a land entry visa for Jordan at the border with Israel);
Be from one of the countries eligible for the EVisa Iran (most Europeans and other nationals are. Below we will give you a full list of countries eligible for the Iranian Evisa);
Present the full itinerary of your trip to Iran;
Other documents and information may be requested by the Iranian Ministry of Tourism, if they deem it necessary to issue your Iran electronic visa.
It is worth mentioning that, although they ask for at least two days in advance to apply for the E-visa, I would recommend at least 10 days. The rules in Iran are always a little confusing and it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.
Remember that to enter the country you must be wearing accordingly: Women must cover their hair, legs and arms and men must cover their legs. Find out all the details on how to dress in Iran here.
Iran Visa Fees
The cost of your Iranian tourist visa will depend on your nationality, but in general, it goes from €70 to €80.
Some examples of Iran visa Fees:
Iran visa price for Europeans (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, etc): €75
for Australians: €145
For Brazilians: €80
Issues with the E-visa to Iran
Apparently, the E-Visa system can be quite unreliable and we actually heard from a few travellers and readers that their application was denied without further explanation.
Our recommendation then for those who want to feel more secure in the process is to apply for the Iranian EVisa through a local agency, such as the 1st Quest company.
This is an Iranian travel agency that allows travelers to book things online. As you probably know, due to the sanctions you cannot use any debit or credit card in the country as they are mostly American brands, such as Visa, Master Card, American Express and so on.
With tourism really picking up in recent years in Iran some local online travel agencies have started to operate to facilitate this.
It was with this in mind that during our last visit to Tehran, we went to visit the 1stQuest HQ to see in person if we could trust them. We really liked what we saw and since then we have been recommending their services to readers, friends and clients. So far, everyone’s feedback has been very positive
As part of their services, you can apply for the Evisa Iran. They will take care of the whole process for you for about €17. In case it gets denied they will tell you why, so you can arrange amendments and try again. Bear in mind though they have a 98% approval rate.
Once your Iran EVisa is approved, you have three options:
1. To receive it at your home (costs on your own); 2. To pick up at the nearest Iranian Embassy; 3. Or to pick up on your arrival at the Iranian airport. In this case, you will receive an official letter by email saying that your order is approved and with this letter, you can board the plane without any problems. Once you arrive at the airport, your Iran tourist visa will be handed to you.
ATTENTION: Most credit and debit cards are not accepted in Iran – Visa, Master Card, American Express, and so on – So cash up before you come! But, if you don’t feel safe walking with lots of cash in your pocket, you can ask for a local debit card for travellers. It’s simple and safe!
Applying for an Iranian visa in an Embassy
If you still don’t feel confident in applying for a visa online, you can always do it through the Iranian Embassy. The process takes a little bit longer as they ask for more documents than for the E-Visa, but it is still a possibility!
TIP: If you are looking for a true Iranian experience, don’t book your accommodation for the whole trip. Eventually, you will very likely be invited to stay over at people’s houses. Don’t hesitate! That’s the best part of the trip as you get to know how Iranians truly are. You can see more about these unique experiences in this article: the 12 things that happen only in Iran.
Compulsory travel insurance to Iran to apply for the visa
One of the requirements for getting an Iranian visa is to have travel insurance. Due to economic sanctions, no international travel insurance will cover you in the country. Even if you have one of those worldwide travel insurances, you can check they don’t cover Iran.
However, this is not an issue, as it is possible to purchase one at the Iranian airport upon arrival. Travel insurance to Iran costs €14 for 30 days and the immigration officer will show you where to buy it. This insurance entitles you to use any hospital in Iran, both public and private, and is mandatory for anyone applying for an Iran tourist visa.
If you want to have everything arranged before so as not to have to deal with bureaucracies once you are at the airport, you can buy your travel insurance to Iran beforehand for the same price or even cheaper. We recommend doing it through 1st Quest.
TIP: We have heard that, because of the new sanctions against Iran, it is getting hard to make exchanges and payments with US dollars. Even though we didn’t feel that at all, it might be safer to give priority to Euros over US dollars for your trip to Iran.
What are the countries that CAN get the Iran Evisa (Iran Electronic visa)?
Almost every nation can, in theory, can apply for the Iranian Evisa. That includes Australians, Germans, Portuguese, Italians, Brazilians and so on.
The full list of countries that can have their visa on arrival in Iran:
Albania, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, North Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romenia, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
Countries that CANNOT get the Iran Evisa
The only countries that cannot get their visa on arrival in Iran are Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Canada; Colombia; Iraq; Jordan; Libya; Nepal; Pakistan; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Tajikistan; United Kingdom; United States and Yemen.
Also, British, Americans and Canadians can only travel to Iran with a travel agency. And they must have a travel guide with them at all times. Israelis are forbidden to enter the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Countries that do not need a visa to Iran
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), China (21 days); Hong Kong (21 days), Macau (21 days), Oman (30 days) and Syria (90 days).
As mentioned before, 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 30 days! That’s exactly what we did, and we paid US$16 for the extension.
Necessary documents required to extend your visa in Iran:
A copy of the passport and the visa;
Two 3×4 photographs.
*IMPORTANT: Women, bring a picture where you are covering your hair! 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. It sounds strange, but it worked!
Bespoke itineraries to Iran
Hey, we are Tiago and Fernanda. We have been in Iran twice already, adding to about three months over there. Iran has completely won over our hearts and will very gladly help you organise your trip to Iran. We create bespoke itineraries, with tips and information about the places and what to do in the cities! Also, our itineraries have recommendations of places to eat and to sleep that will fit your pocket.