In order to obtain a tourist visa for Iran, all UK passport holders (‘English/Scottish/Welsh heritage’) are required to book a tour and travel in the company of an ‘official guide’ at all times – thus required to join a group or a private tour, with the itinerary predetermined, pre-booked and prepaid.
If you are not of ‘English’ heritage – specifically of Iraqi, Afghan , Syrian or Tanzanian roots, you do qualify to obtain an independent travel tourist visa – this means you do not need to book a tour, or be accompanied by a guide. You can travel freely in the country by yourself – as long as you are able to provide details of an Iranian host.
VISA ON ARRIVAL
European Union passport holders can get up to 30 days visa on arrival. Other nationalities such as New Zealand & Australian passport holders also qualify. For other nationals, please check directly with Iranian Consulate.
You will need to present two standard passport photos (Ladies with a headscarf), worldwide travel insurance policy document and the visa stamp fees in cash, which will vary according to nationality, for example around £60 for an EU passport.
Visa on arrival, is not possible for UK passport holders, even if they already have the visa permit. The visa needs to be stamped in their passport before they arrive at the Iranian border.
Visa regulations for UK passport holders
- If you have an Iranian friend who is actually resident in Iran and willing to act as your host, they can lodge an application in person, directly with the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, and obtain the visa permit on your behalf – this is not the same as sending an ‘invitation’, which does not work for UK passport holders.
- We can also obtain a ‘work’ visa permit on your behalf, for up to two weeks, as long as you can provide contact details of an Iranian national who is resident in Iran & linked to an Iranian company. It takes around four weeks to obtain the visa permit and around two weeks to have it stamped in.
- If you are not of ‘English’ heritage – but specifically of Iraqi, Afghan , Syrian or Tanzanian roots, you do qualify to obtain an independent travel tourist visa – this means you do not need to book a tour, or be accompanied by a guide. You can travel freely in the country by yourself – as long as you are able to provide details of an Iranian host.
- Please note currently we are not able to obtain pilgrimage visas – we can only obtain tourist visas.
- If you are a British man married to an Iranian woman, and able to provide a marriage certificate, then we can obtain a visa as per below.
- If you are a British woman, married to an Iranian man, you can only travel on an Iranian passport and we are not able to assist.
- If your father is Iranian, you are considered an Iranian citizen by the Iranian government, even if you have never been to Iran or lived there in the past. In this case, you can only travel to Iran on an Iranian passport.
- If your mother is Iranian, but your father is any other nationality, you are not considered an Iranian national and you can travel to Iran on a non-Iranian, for example a British passport.
- If you have Israeli or USA visa stamp in your passport, contrary to popular belief, this will not jeopardize your application for an Iranian visa
The American State Department’s current regulations relating to Iran, require that any individual who has visited Iran in the last three years, can no longer qualify for the USA ’visa waiver’ program.
Such individuals will now have to apply for a visa, at their local American Embassy. They will usually be interviewed by the resident U.S. immigration officer, so they can decide if the applicant is acceptable, so they can obtain a visa for the USA. If a decision is made to grant the visa, it is likely to be a ten year multiple entry visa.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN AN IRANIAN VISA?
Provided you qualify to apply for a visa, currently it takes around four weeks to obtain the visa permit, and a further two weeks to get the visa stamped into your passport. For full details please scroll down.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET AN IRANIAN VISA?
To obtain the ‘tourist’ visa permit only, the cost is £145 per passport. In this case you have to collect the visa stamp yourself, at which point you will have to pay the visa stamp fees to the Iranian Consulate depending on your nationality. For example a UK passport holder would pay a further £170 visa stamp fees.
1. Iran Tourist Visa
- We are pleased to offer a visa service to obtain a single entry tourist visa for Iran. We are unable to obtain transit or multiple entry visas. The visa allows you to stay in Iran for up to 30 days, although the duration of your Iran visa is at the discretion of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. At times they may only grant a 12-day visa, even if we ask for 30 days, for which we cannot be held responsible. However, you can easily get a visa extension once you arrive in Iran, at no extra cost, by going to any police station or the Aliens Office in Tehran.
- The visa process is in two distinct parts. First you have to obtain the visa permit, which can only be issued by the Foreign Ministry in Iran. We charge £145 to obtain the visa permit through our office in Tehran, who will apply to the Iranian Foreign Ministry and obtain the permit on your behalf. This process can take around two weeks from the time we receive your application.
- Our Iran visa service fees exclude the visa stamp fees charged by the Iranian Consulate. The Visa Stamp fees vary according to your nationality and are currently around £170 for British passport holders for tourist visas and £220 for business visas (Jan 2018). For most other European passports, the visa stamp fee is currently around £80. Please contact the Iranian Consulate directly for the exact fee.
- Once your visa permit has been issued, we will email it to you together with instructions how to get the visa stamped into your passport. You will then need to take the visa reference number to the Iranian Consulate specified in your application together with your passport, photos, completed Visa Application form and visa stamp fees in cash only, in order to have the visa stamped in. This can take anything from two days to two weeks, depending on whether you attend in person or send someone else on your behalf, on public holidays, or on the particular consulate you attend, as they have different response times depending on how busy or how large they are. Full details for each part of the process can be found below.
2. Visa Stamp fees
The Iranian Consulate charge British passport holders around £170 for a tourist visa stamp and £80 for an EU passport holder. Fees vary for other nationalities – please contact the Consulate directly to find out the precise amount. Payment must be in cash only.
3. Visa application requirements
In order for us to process your tourist visa application, we require:
- Completed Iran Visa Inquiry form submitted online.
- Scanned copy of the main page of your passport (page with the photo) – this should be scanned in colour, on a flatbed scan, so that both pages are clear, and all its four corners can be seen clearly, including the information on the pages. File size should be below 500 Kb.
- Visa service fee of £145, payable at the time of application.
- Scan (file size less than 200 Kb) of your ‘standard size’ passport photo, with a white background (ladies with a headscarf).
- Name, address and phone number of your Iranian Host – unless you are part of a tour group, in which case this is not required.
You only need to send us your passport if we are arranging for the visa to be stamped into your passport. Otherwise the scan is sufficient.
In the unlikely event your visa application is rejected, we will retain £60 of the fees in order to cover our administration costs.
4. Assistance with getting a visa stamped into your passport
- We are able to offer assistance with getting the visa stamped into your passport. Whether you have obtained your visa permit through us, or a different source.
- If you wish to use our service, you need to send us your documents and we will get the visa stamped in on your behalf. This process can take up to two weeks, depending on the efficiency of the Iranian Consulate staff at the time of application.
- We also offer an Express service, in case you wish to have the visa stamped in anything from the next working day, to 5 working days. The exact cost will depend on how rapidly you need the visa stamped in and where you live. Please contact us for further details.
5. Procedure for collecting the visa stamp by yourself
Once your visa permit is issued, you will need to visit the Iranian Consulate in order to have the visa stamped in. You have to do this in person if you are a British passport holder (as finger prints are required). Most other nationalities can send someone else on their behalf to collect the visa stamp.
6. Passport requirements
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months at the end of your trip to Iran.
- Please check you have at least two blank pages in your passport, facing each other. This is for the entry and exit stamps at immigration check point in Iran.
7. Visa periods of validity
You have one month to collect the Iran visa stamp, from the time the visa permit is issued. From the date your passport is stamped with the visa, you have three months to enter Iran.
8. Iranian New Year March 21st and visa disruptions
The Foreign Ministry in Iran do not process visa applications for one month, from around March 5 – April 5th each year. Please ensure your application is lodged outside this period.