Everything you need to know about an Iran visa
passport holders need to obtain a visa before they travel to Iran. In fact, you
need to lodge an application through the Iranian Embassy in London well in advance. Sometimes, it
takes a long time to get approval for an Iranian visa.
Google, you will come across several agencies claiming that you can apply for
an e-visa or get a visa on arrival after reaching Iran. But you should be aware
that because of the current political scenario, none of these processes are
reliable. Moreover, VOAs are denied at most airports to British citizens.
Hence, the best way is to go for a traditional visa through the consul.
Iranian visa application process
The Iranian embassy normally issues the following short-term visas:
- Tourist visa
- Business visa
- Transit visa
Only personal visa applications are accepted at the consular section of the embassy. Additionally, you must apply for an Iranian visa through an authorized travel agency.
You need to visit the country as a part of a confirmed organized tour. Once you choose your desired itinerary, tour program, and Iranian travel agency, you need to send your documents to the concerned travel agency.
You should note that you will not be allowed to enter Iran in the absence of a confirmed itinerary and an appointed travel guide. In fact, the guide will pick you up from the airport, and you should stay in contact with him/her during your entire stay in Iran.
Once the agency receives your documents, they will send you an authorization code. If your purpose of travel is a family visit or a business trip, you need to follow the same process through your sponsor or partner company in Iran.
In order to get the authorization code, you need to submit the following documents:
- A completed visa application form sent by the Iranian travel agency or the sponsor in Iran
- A scanned copy of the first page of your passport, which holds a validity of at least six months at the time of making the application. Your passport should not contain entry or exit stamps from Israel. Otherwise, there is a high probability that your visa will be rejected
- A passport-size photograph. Women and children above nine years should be seen wearing a Hijab on the photo
- A complete resume that specifies your professional details and education
Once you get the code, you can visit the embassy at the following address to lodge an in-person application:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Consulate Department of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
50 Kensington Court
Please note that the visa section of the embassy accepts visa applications only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Once you receive your visa, please ensure that you check the validity and the permissible stay period. If you overstay your visa, you might be detained or deported. While transiting via Tehran airport, please confirm the visa requirements with your airline and the Iranian Embassy.
Visit to Kish Island
If your itinerary includes a visit to Kish Island, you should know that you can stay in this region for a maximum span of up to 14 days by securing a visa on arrival. But you need to have a certified escort or guide, appointed by an Iranian travel agent.
The travel agent will then inform the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, well in advance, at least 2 weeks prior to your planned travel dates.
Once you get the confirmation that you will receive a visa on arrival, only then you should proceed with your travel plans.
Additionally, your guide needs to share a copy of your hotel reservation confirmation to the Immigration Office at Kish Airport at least 48 hours before you land in the area. He must also be present to receive you at the airport.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
Iranian authorities do not accept UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) at points of entry into Iran. But you can use an ETD to exit from Iran.
This ETD must also be accompanied by an exit visa obtained from the Iranian Bureau of Alien and Foreign Immigrants Affairs.
If you hold both British and Iranian nationalities, you can use an Iranian passport to enter and leave the country. When you return and your passport does not have an UK visa, you can use your British passport during departure. But since it’s illegal in Iran to have dual nationalities, you might face complications while using a British passport.
Traveling with minors
In case, a woman is traveling with her children, aged below 18 years, she must present the permission of the father to take the kids out of Iran.