Getting Iran Visa for Americans, Canadians, and UK citizens is a real burden but not impossible! For entering Iran, almost citizens of all countries need to have a visa. The process for Americans, Canadians, and the British to obtain Iran visa is a bit more complicated than it is for other nationalities. However, even if a bit hard, visiting Iran which is home to 22 UNESCO world heritage sites and many ethnic groups with unique cultures is totally worth it.
Here we simply answer the most frequently asked question regarding the Iranian visa for American, Canadian and British passport holders.
When should I start applying for Iranian Visa?
The very first point to consider is that you will need to start applying in a sufficient time before your trip date. Iran Foreign Ministry will not process requests with close arrival dates. Make sure to apply 2 months before your trip date.
How long does it take to get my visa?
The process used to take between 6 to 8 weeks. Currently, in most cases it takes a month or less but the more time you put in here the safer it is.
Can I pick up my visa on arrival?
Unfortunately, visa on arrival is not available for Americans, Canadian and UK Tourists.
Is there any limitations about the countries I have been to?
There should be no Israeli stamp in your passport. So renew your passport if there is Israeli stamp!
How long should my passport be valid?
The passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay and must have at least one blank page.
Do I need to have a tour guide accompanying me?
All American, Canadian, and UK nationals visiting Iran need to have a registered tour guide escorting them at all times during their trip and have a pre-approved itinerary. However, if you happen to have a family member or relative in Iran, they could host you and there would be no need for a tour guide or pre-approved itinerary. They should contact (in person) visa section of Iran Foreign Ministry to get more detailed information on how to host you.
Can I apply for Iranian visa on my own?
You can only apply through local travel agency in Iran or a website like PersiaPort.com which offers services of trusted Iranian travel agencies.
How is the application process?
- Find a reliable travel agency in Iran;
- Send your documents to the agency;
- Wait for agency to inform you about your visa status (approval or refusal);
Note: Grant or refusal of the Iran visa is at the sole discretion of Iran Foreign Ministry.
- If approved, you will receive a code, called visa authorization code or visa reference number, via the agency.
- Pick up your actual visa from an Iranian embassy/consulate.
What documents should I submit to agency?
- Application form: the agency will send you the form or you can fill out the e-form.
- Resume: This must be a document that lists or explains your education and employment history – similar to what you would prepare for a job application. Due to heightened security measures, the name of your father and his employment history is also required.
Note: Canadian and UK citizens do not need resume to apply.
- Passport Photo: the photo should be recent. Females aging 9 and above should wear Islamic head cover (hijab). Hair and Neck must be covered. Here is an instructions about a standard photo.
- Trip Itinerary: The itinerary should show the person’s name, exact date of departure and arrival, and flight information (there is no need to buy the ticket!) and the cities you want to visit.
Note: Details of social media accounts are not required anymore!
For more general information visit our Iran visa information page.