How to Get Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA) in 2019

I have a lot of countries that I’d love to visit, but there’s one thing that keeps putting my plans off – visas. Some visas are quite difficult to obtain and require a lot of documents. Some even require you to send your passport to the Embassy which means that you can’t travel while waiting for a visa. And for a person constantly moving like me, it’s quite difficult.

Thankfully, that’s not the case with Iran as you can Iran visa on arrival for tourist purposes, at least if you’re an EU passport holder. Especially if you’re traveling to Iran as a solo female traveler, visa on arrival is easier to obtain than at the Embassy at some countries.

I decided to get my visa on arrival after my friend Kamila told me that she was refused a visa at the Embassy, as the consul didn’t want her to travel solo, while upon arrival she got it easily.

How to Get Iran Visa on Arrival in 2019 (Updated for 2019)azadi tower

Visas on arrival for any country can often be problematic. The most popular reason why a lot of people don’t like visas on arrival is that they’re afraid that they might not be granted a visa. But even with a visa, an immigration office might refuse you to enter the country (even in the US), so I’d say don’t worry. Iranian visa on arrival is one of the easiest.

Another reason is that airlines need to put a disclaimer that they might refuse boarding to any person without a valid visa, even if you can obtain it on arrival. Don’t worry about that too. I was asked if I had a visa for Iran in my passport, but when I told the airlines representative that I’ll get it upon arrival, no additional questions were asked.

Iran visa on arrival (VOA) or Iran airport visa, refers to that kind of Iran tourist visa received by eligible nationals traveling to Iran for tourist purpose. Diplomatic passport, official passports, etc. cannot apply for this type of Iran visa.

Visa on arrival can be issued at major international airports in Iran. You cannot get this visa on the land borders. List of airports where you can get Iran visa on arrival:

  • 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

Iran visa on arrival is valid for 30 days since January 2017. It used to be only 14 days, and some airlines are still misinformed claiming it’s only 14. Some airline representatives might be trying to tell you that your return ticket must be within 14 days, like it happened in my case. Tell them it’s not true and not to worry.

Visa on arrival can only be extended if Iranian Foreign Affair Office finds it necessary. In that case, usually maximum 14 days extension is possible and it’s not an easy process. If you’re planning on staying longer than 30 days, make sure to get your Iran visa at the Embassy instead.

IMPORTANT: Visa on arrival doesn’t mean that it’s a visa-free country. Iranian visa isn’t just a quick stamp in your passport, like in for instance Japan. In order to get this visa you still need to have the necessary documents. 

Who Can Get Iran Visa on Arrival?

Countries whose Nationals 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), Serbia (30 Days), Turkey (90 Days), Venezuela (15 Days).

Countries whose Nationals CAN Apply for the Iranian Visa on Arrival:

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China (People’s Republic), 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 whose Nationals CANNOT Apply for Iran Visa on Arrival:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

American, British and Canadian passport holders also cannot get a visa on arrival. Citizens of these countries also can’t ‘just go’ to Iran and are only allowed in when on an organized tour with a guide.

If you’re illegible to travel on your own, you can consider taking the Discover Persia 14-day G Adventures tour, which I’ve heard good things about. The tour doesn’t chaperon you 24/7 and you’ll have some free time, so even if you’re not a group trip person, you’ll be fine. Click here for the latest Discover Persia tour prices and itinerary.

Another option would be Iran tours from Intrepid. They have a few options available, so check the latest dates and prices here.

Iranian Visa for US Citizens

If you’re a US citizen or resident I suggest contacting HQ Visa service. They’re the best and quickest when it comes to arranging visas online, not only to Iran.

Regardless of the nationality, you cannot have an Israeli stamp in your passport. And while Israel doesn’t stamp passports anymore, you also can’t have any evidence of entry in Israel. For example, an Egyptian stamp at the border city of Taba could result in denied entry.

Iran visa

Requirements for Iran Visa on Arrival

Official documents required to obtain an Iran visa on arrival are:

  1.  A valid passport with at least 6 months validity
  2.  A confirmed return ticket within a 30-day timeframe
  3.  A photo to be attached to the Iran visa application form
  4.  Visa stamp fee, which is payable to the Iran Visa & Passport Office at the airport. Iran airport visa fee depends on the applicant’s nationality.
  5.  An invitation letter or hotel reservation voucher. The invitation letter has to be sent from the Iranian travel agency to Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 48 hours before your arrival to Iran airport.
  6. Not officially listed but mandatory: travel insurance valid for Iran. Printed.

Let me explain these points to you in details.

1 & 2 – pretty self-explanatory.

3 – When I went to Iran I read that you’re required to have a photo with you. Women should follow Iran’s official Islamic dress code and wear a headscarf in their picture. While I had a photo with me, no one asked me about it at any point and instead, they used a photo from my passport.

4 – It’s a fee that you need to pay at the cashier upon arrival. I read that it should be paid in USD, but since Trump’s travel ban no one wants dollars in Iran anymore. While it’s still acceptable, it’s better to bring Euros. My visa was 75 euros, but it costs double – 145 for Australians.

5 – Regardless whether you have an itinerary and pre-booked every hotel or not, you must have a confirmation at least your first night. I booked accommodation for the first 2 nights online and received an email from them stating that I’m staying with them (below):

iran hotel confirmation

However, I was just required to put an address of my accommodation. Noone has asked me to show this email.

6 – You won’t be granted a visa without a valid travel insurance. And in case you’re wondering EU insurance cards won’t work in this case, as they do check whether your policy is actually valid for Iran. While you can technically buy an insurance at the airport, you’ll have to stand in another line to do so. While I normally recommend World Nomads, they don’t cover Iran anymore. In this case go with First Allied, as they specialize in covering ‘difficult’ places that no other insurance wants to cover.

UPDATE ABOUT E-Visa Application:

Filling an e-visa application online is NOT necessary, but it might speed up your process upon arrival. How to apply for an Iranian visa is completely up to you. If you are a planner type then definitely go with E-Visa procedure. It’s fairly simple and time-saving and lots of different agencies in Iran and also Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs offer this service on their websites. The procedure is simple, this is what you need to do :

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Wait for the application receipt confirmation and application fee payment instructions.
  3. Pay the service fee.
  4. You will receive the visa authorization code after the application is processed.
  5. Refer to the Iranian consulate you have selected and collect your visa.

READ MORE: What to Know Before Visiting Iran

Now, how to actually get Iran visa on arrival once you get off the plane?

Once you get off the plane, with your scarf on if you’re a woman, you’ll see a sign that says visa on arrival. If you don’t see the sign, staff will direct you.

You’ll need to fill a simple piece of paper with all your information, get your travel insurance validated and stamped in another window, pay the fee in another window, and leave your passport at the counter.

I was not asked a single question and had to show anything. But remember, they might ask you some questions regarding your trip and documents.

Then you’ll have to sit and wait for about 15-20 minutes. Once your name is called you’ll pick up your passport and proceed to the immigration.

urmia lake

Lake Urmia, West Azerbaijan Province

Other important info

Journalists and reporters on a mission cannot get Iran visa on arrival. If you’re a blogger, it’s a gray area. I put ‘online marketing’ as a job and didn’t have any problems.

While you can enter the US with an Iranian stamp in your passport, but you won’t be eligible for the US Visa Waiver Program. 

This means that you’ll have to apply in person for a tourist visa next time you want to visit the States. But fear not, I actually have a tourist visa for the US and thanks to that I can actually stay in the country up to 180 days, unlike people on visa waiver only 90 days.How to Get Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA)

Voila! Now you’re ready to go to Iran. Read up on safety in Iran and enjoy it, as it’s a beautiful country. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to post your comment below!

Want to read more about Iran? Check out my ultimate guide to Iran page.


  1. Apr 27, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Great info Anna – sad that one can still not get in through VOA as an American. It’s been on my list for some time, and unfortunately have waited too long. Now have to wait 3 yrs or an impeachment, which ever comes first : (

    • Anna
      Apr 27, 2017 / 5:14 pm

      I actually heard that after the travel ban was lifted you can now apply for a visa. There’s no info about it anywhere, but I heard something like this when I was in Iran. I doesn’t hurt to try I guess? 😉

      • sujith
        Dec 4, 2018 / 5:16 pm

        Hi Anna,
        i am Sujith, from INDIA. can you tell me about host visa.?

    • Sara
      Sep 19, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Hi Jon,

      I was writing a blog post about how to obtain Iranian Visas for our company and I was searching up the web to see what is missing out there to provide for our clients.

      Few months ago we were able to get visas for our American clients, they summited Damavand. The process is time taking and requires a lot of information, but it is doable. You don’t need to wait for three years 🙂 , you are more than welcome to come to Iran anytime you wish.

  2. May 12, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Did they accept your non-Iranian insurance? Boy next to us had the one issued before and although covering Iran (some UK insurer), they didn’t accept it at the border – maybe it’s up to the official at the counter but it’s really confusing, especially when you have to pay so much for your insurance covering Iran. I think anyway it’s better to pay for Iranian insurance anyway – it`s super cheap and I heard a lot of good about stories about claim handling of foreigners (they really care).

    • Anna
      May 12, 2017 / 4:33 pm

      I didn’t have any insurance, so I bought the Iranian one. But everyone else had World Nomads, or some Dutch one, and no issues – the guy just had to check if it covers Iran. The price was the same – $15 for a month.

  3. Jul 5, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Thank you so much! I was wondering if I could enter Iran with a VOA as a Dutchie but now I know I can and what to bring with me 🙂 Looking forward to visiting Iran!

    • Anna
      Jul 5, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Totally! Enjoy Iran 🙂

    • Bart
      Mar 25, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Hi Edwin,

      What was your experience with the VOA ?

      Kind regards,


  4. Bianca
    Jul 22, 2017 / 6:01 am

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for your detailed post about the Visa, it’s really helpful. Unfortunately point 2 about having a confirmed flight ticket brought up a question 🙂 I though of exiting Iran via land which seems impossible after what I’ve read.
    So my plan is to exit via plane from Tehran to Yerevan, Armenia. BUT I’m gonna fly in from Cambodia. Here’s my question: Does the confirmed flight ticket include any kind of flight as long as it proofs one leaves the country or does it need to be a RETURN ticket?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Take care

    • Anna
      Jul 22, 2017 / 5:42 pm

      Hey Bianca! Yes, you’ll be fine. I also found out when I was in Iran that you can have a flight leaving from Erbil and it would be fine. I actually wish I did that because I only got a one-entry visa to Iran so if I visited Iraqi Kurdistan I’d have to buy myself another flight from there. Everyone was super friendly and helpful at the airport when I was getting my visa, so don’t worry!

      • Elizabeth nelson
        Nov 30, 2018 / 12:45 pm

        Hi anna im travelling too iran on an irish passport , i have been invited by friends and will be living at their home during my stay , what must i provide as proof of my accomodation , the friends will be at the airport too collect me on my arrival , do i need show hotel reservations , as i eill not be st hotel only their home during my stay , regards liz .

        • Anna
          Dec 1, 2018 / 9:39 am

          You need to show an invitation from your friends.

  5. Marian
    Jul 24, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    Hi Anna.

    I have two questions.

    On the official iranian e-visa site they mention even if you want to get the VOA you have to apply for the e-visa to obtain the Tracking code, print the document and show this at the counter at airport in Tehran. Do you think this is necessary? Isn’t this the new 2017 rule to obtain VOA?

    I have applied for the visa electronically via the official iranian e-visa site with issuing it at embassy in Vienna..just to have it in advance, even if I have a nationality eligible for VOA. After more than one week, the site still says my application is “waiting for verification”. I fly to Tehran on August the 9th and I am a little nervous after reading some stories of long time for issuing a visa.
    Do you think you can try to obtain the VOA even if you already applied for a visa via the electronic system with issuing at an embassy?

    Thanks for your opinion 🙂


    • Anna
      Jul 24, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      I didn’t do that and noone ever asked me for it. Weird. Time of issuance depends on how many people are waiting in line, but it shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes.

    • Sarah Sprenger
      Sep 5, 2017 / 5:33 pm

      Hi Marian,
      we did also apply for the e-visa, because we didn’t know beforehand, that it might not work. After 6 days our status changed to “accepted”. Which is great! Buuuut, we don’t know what we can do with this information, as we neither got a confirmation or an email or anything. I tried to call the french number below, but got no answer… But I read, that they tried to install that e-visa for making the process easier, but somehow this didn’t start properly… I don’t think it matters that we applied for this visa..

      Did it work with the VOA?? And did you have any issues because of the e-visa?
      Thanks for your answer, Cheers Sarah

      • Xochitl Alvarez
        Oct 8, 2017 / 4:37 pm

        Hi Sarah,

        I would like to know if you got the VOA ? I am planning to go to Iran in December and I have read on the Islamic Republic of IRAN Ministry of Foreign Affairs that you have to apply for the E-visa even if you want the VOA. That I think is what you did…?

      • Sofia
        Dec 9, 2017 / 9:06 am

        Hello Sarah

        I would like to know if the visa photo you use for the e-visa, did you cover your head with a scarf? or did you use a normal picture??? It does not say anything on the webpage for female pictures.

        Thank you !

  6. Akina
    Jul 24, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    Hi Anna, I’m a dual-national (American and German). I was wondering if I go to Iran on my German passport while I currently live in the US and was also born in the US, if I’ll have any problems getting into the country. I’m assuming they should treat me as a German, but it is very obvious that I’m both German and American.


    • Anna
      Jul 24, 2017 / 6:30 pm

      No problems at all. Also, you don’t have to be scared to tell people in Iran that you’re American. They definitely don’t have anything against Americans from my experience everywhere 🙂

      • Peter
        Feb 1, 2018 / 5:21 am

        Please advice 🤣 Im a little bit confused… 😜 Really have no idea what to do. I have a dual citizenship, Polish and USA. Arriving to Tehran from Canada this April. Some people say I should apply for the Iranian visa now, and some say I can get it at the airport in Tehran. Someone said that the airline would not allow me to travel without the visa in my passport😜
        Now I don’t know what to do. I can apply for the visa but then should I say I have dual citizenship? Or simply not even mention my US citizenship?

        • Anna
          Feb 1, 2018 / 7:32 pm

          You’re eligible for visa on arrival on your Polish passport. If an airline asks you for a visa, you tell them you’re getting it on arrival. No problem at all, that’s the law. Do not mention your US citizenship, or you won’t be able to travel on your own without a tour as US citizens have to go on a tour.

          • Peter
            Feb 1, 2018 / 7:42 pm

            Thank you much! That’s exactly what I am going to do😜! Greetings!

  7. Lyve
    Jul 29, 2017 / 3:15 am

    I got visa confirmation.And they want m to sent my orignl pasport to washington.Is there anything more i need to pay just to mark my visa in my passport? Thanks

    • Anna
      Jul 29, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Nope, you’ll enter Iran with it 🙂

  8. Jonas
    Aug 24, 2017 / 12:13 am

    I am planning a trip to Iran and have a few questions about the Visa on Arrival…

    Official documents required to obtain an Iran visa on arrival are:

    5. An invitation letter or hotel reservation voucher. The invitation letter has to be sent from the Iranian travel agency to Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 48 hours before your arrival to Iran airport.

    Is it correct that the invitation letter is only needed if you are picking up a pre-approved visa?

    And what about the hotel reservation voucher? Will a hotel booking confirmation from be enough?

    • Anna
      Aug 24, 2017 / 7:32 pm

      Once you book your hotel, they’ll send you an email (like the one I posted) confirming your reservation and that’s enough.

  9. Jonas
    Aug 24, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the reply! I booked a hotel via several weeks ago, but havn’t received any e-mail direct from the hotel, only the automatic mail från Do I have to contact the hotel to ask them for mail directly from them?

    • Anna
      Aug 24, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      I’d do that for sure. Or even try calling them!

  10. Jonas
    Aug 24, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    I will!

  11. alan
    Sep 2, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    Hi Anna,
    was wondering if all this VOA activity is done before or after you collect your luggage, if this visa process can take several hours if busy then where does your luggage end up?

    • Anna
      Sep 3, 2017 / 2:21 am

      Before you get your luggage. You bag will end up at next to the luggage belt that’s located before another security check-point so don’t worry!

  12. Sarah Sprenger
    Sep 5, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Hey Anna, we’re travelling to Iran at the beginning of October and are pretty excited about that! I contacted a visa-agency today and asked about the need of this referrence number. He told me, it’s necessarry for the VOA. When I told him that things might have changed as I read in several blogs and reports as yours, he said well, this could be possible. So it’s true we don’t need that referrence number beforehand, nope? We are 3 Austrians and 1 German, so we’re in the list of countries for the VOA. We have the booking confirmation and are organizing a confirmation of our insurance. That’s enough, alright?

    Thanks for your help and thanks by the way for your valuable information above!
    Cheers from Austria, Sarah

    • Anna
      Sep 5, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      You’ll be fine! 🙂

  13. Phuong
    Sep 23, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Hi Anna,
    Which hotel have you stayed for the first two nights in Tehran, and website to book it.
    Does the website accept payment by visa or master card?
    Thank you

    • Anna
      Sep 23, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Like the letter said I was staying at Persian Hostel (not a hotel, they have private dorms with shared bathroom though): . You pay on arrival, because they can’t take cards.

      • Phuong
        Sep 24, 2017 / 3:47 am

        Thanks a lot Anna!

    • Ivy Le
      Nov 24, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Hi Phuong,
      Did you make you visit to Iran yet? I’m from Vietnam too and i’m going to Iran in December as a solo traveler. Would you mind sharing with me some experience on how you got your visa (I supposed you have had your trip done as far). I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

  14. Mitchell Armstrong
    Sep 26, 2017 / 4:50 am

    Hi Anna,

    This was the information I needed!!! Thanks so much. I will be traveling on an Australian passport and was a little hesitant as the information on their embassy website was not helpful and someone told me the VOA can take up to 24 hours to process. I am arriving at 4AM – From your experience do you know what times etc I can get my visa?

    Thanks in advace,


    • Anna
      Sep 26, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      I arrived late evening and it took 2 hours. I actually heard from a friend that 4am is the best time, as it’s not too busy and it should be even quicker 🙂

  15. Jonas
    Sep 26, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I arrived at Tehran airport from Baku at 11 pm last Thursday. Insurance took 30 seconds and visa took no more than 15 minutes. Everything was really easy, hardly had to fill in anything apart from name, passport number and hotel address. Very friendly and welcoming staff, no questions about anything, no photo or hotel booking confirmation needed. I had all of it, but they never asked for anything. Insurance cost 14 euro, visa 75 euro – Swedish passport holder.
    The only confusing thing was the time. Iran was 30 minutes ahead of Azerbaijan, where I can from. But at midnight Iran switched back from summer time to normal time, which meant that Iran suddenly was 30 minutes behind Azerbaijan…and all this happened before I even had reached my hotel…
    I can also tell you that the new metro line from the airport opened in August. It will be operating 24/7 in the future, but is still only open 6.00-14.00, so I was unable to try it…

      • Anna
        Oct 1, 2017 / 8:27 pm

        No, you definitely don’t need it. It’s not an electronic visa – it’s a visa on arrival.

    • Vic
      Oct 5, 2017 / 1:27 am

      Jonas, I believe you flew with Azerbaijan Airlines from Baku to Tehran. I am planning to do the same. My question is: Did Azerbaijan airlines ask you anything regarding if you have the Iranian Visa already? Because on their website it says that they might deny boarding if you don’t already have the necessary visa. What about proof of return ticket ?

      • Jonas
        Oct 5, 2017 / 8:18 am

        That’s correct, I flew with Azerbaijan Airlines. At the check-in at Baku, all non-Iranians was asked about their visas, but it was enough to say that you get it on arrival. No more questions aksed, no proof of anything was needed.
        As long as you come from a country that can apply for Iranians visa on arrival, you will be just fine. Same thing at Tehran. The whole process was very easy and quick. They didn’t ask for return tickets, hotel booking, photo or anything. just buy the insurance and fill in the visa application card they give you.
        You don’t even have to fill in everything, your name, passport number and hotel address is enough.
        You will be surprised over how easy it is to get an Iranian visa these day!

        • Vic
          Oct 5, 2017 / 2:12 pm

          Sounds great! Thanks again 🙂

    • Jerzy
      Jun 11, 2018 / 10:30 pm

      Hi what about metro today (Jun2018)? I mean working hours?

  16. Martin
    Oct 4, 2017 / 7:51 am

    Hi there! Anna, great web!

    I have the same question that Bob; no paper copy of an electronic application is asked when you proceed to get the VOA as stated in the official website? I know its a VOA and not an electronic visa, but thats what it says on the official website.

    I did the electronic application but Im still waiting for the verification code. Does someone know how long does it usually take to be sent to the email?


    Best regards,


    • Anna
      Oct 4, 2017 / 9:22 am

      I didn’t need any of that, neither did my friends. They might have changed something last month, but none of the embassies I looked at mentioned it on their websites.

  17. alan masson
    Oct 5, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Has anyone had a VOA iran refused through an agency yet been allowed in by just arriving at airport and applying?

    • Anna
      Oct 5, 2017 / 8:28 am

      As I mentioned in the article, my friend Kamila got visa refused at the Embassy and got it on arrival quickly and without any issues.

  18. Oct 6, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Thanks a lot for the info. I am heading for my dream trip to Iran in 5 days and you clarified a lot of the doubts. Will report how the entry goes. I am Ecuadorian passport holder and supposedly I can get VOA, though your list does not include it. I wanted to get the visa from an embassy just in case, but since they were pushing us to pay money to agencies, I decided to try to VOA. Only thing is I don’t have a return ticket since I plan to enter Oman by ferry. Hope I can sell the plan to the visa officer.

    • Anna
      Oct 6, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      I thought the lack of return ticket would be an issue, but I met people who had flights out of Iraq or no return flights and they still got a VOA. Good luck!

  19. Vic
    Oct 9, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Hey guys,

    Just an update on my Iran VOA. I arrived in the country yesterday, Oct 8 2017, via flight from Baku, Azerbaijan to Tehran airport.
    Prior to my arrival, 3 days before, I applied online for the e-visa and printed out the submission note. It is an easy process that you do online on the Iranian MFA’s E-Visa website. After you filled it, you just print the submission document straight away and you’re good to go – there is NO NEED TO WAIT for anything whatsoever from the system. As a matter of fact, I asked at the airport if it is really necessary to fill out this e-visa online, and they said it speeds up the process a lot, but if you haven’t done it, it will just take longer at the airport (and possibly you have to provide a picture of yourself and fill out more information) – so I highly recommend you do it 2 days BEFORE arrival.

    As soon as I arrived, I was informed by a very friendly airport staff member that I had to buy a Iranian travel insurance – for around 14 EUR (valid 30 days). The second step was to pay for my Visa, 75 EUR (EU passport holder), and fill out a short form, with my name, passport number, and my address in Iran. Afterwards I handed this form, together with my passport at the Visa issuing counter, and after 15 minutes it was ready. THAT’S IT!

    No proof of return ticket needed, no pictures, no questions, no nothing. It was one of the easiest and fastest Visa-on-arrival experiences of all the 50+ countries I’ve visited. Forget what you heard in the news, or read in the travel books and blogs. The Iranian government changed the rules earlier this year, and everything is different and super smooth now. Don’t worry about VOA and just go, its a great time to visit the country. Good luck!

    P.S. I also recommend ‘Hi Tehran Hostel’ in Tehran – it’s very clean, nice, friendly staff, there’s lockers, etc. (15 EUR/night, incl. breakfast)

    • Vic
      Oct 9, 2017 / 9:34 am

      I forgot to mention that there’s a newly build metro terminal at the airport that opened at the end of August 2017. It currently runs from 6.00 am to 14.00, and there’s a train every 1 hour – it costs 8.000 riel (20 US cents approx. ) – and it takes you all the way to the city center. You will have to change once on the way. So no need to pay for expensive taxies, etc.

    • Anna
      Oct 9, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks for the update Vic! Cleared things up about the e-visa 🙂

    • Xoch
      Nov 3, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      Hi Vic! I’m going to Iran on December. I plan to apply fI’ll in the form 3 days before my departure. My question for you is that if you sent your itinerary? It’s one of the documents they ask (if you have it) … I only plan to book the first 2 nights and that it but I don’t want to get in trouble or similar because I won’t have any further reservations … !

      • Anna
        Nov 5, 2017 / 5:45 pm

        If you’re from the country that doesn’t require going on an organized tour, first two nights is fine. Everyone traveling in Iran, including myself, did things that way, regardless of whether they got a visa at the Embassy beforehand or on arrival.

      • Vic
        Nov 5, 2017 / 5:57 pm

        You don’t need any itinerary – unless you’re from the countries that require an organised tour. I had no itinerary, nothing booked, and didn’t know how long or where I was gonna go. No questions asked whatsoever.

    • Cor
      Nov 21, 2017 / 7:15 am

      Hi Vic, I filled the online e-visa application and had to wait for a verification code through email. But got no email als checked spam but no email. Did you receive an verification code in order to print the document.
      Greetings cor

  20. Vic
    Oct 9, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Also, the newly build metro system will run 24 hours in the future, it currently is in testing phase as of October 2017.

  21. Lis
    Nov 13, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Hi Anna,

    thanks for the really helpful information.
    I have joint citizenship (Austria and UK) I was born in UK and live in London but will be travelling on my Austrian passport so I assume that I would qualify for VOA?

    My query is with the letter of invitation/hotel reservation. I will be travelling with an Iranian friend and will be visiting her family. Would I need to get an invitation letter from them or would it be better to book a hotel for the first night?

    • Anna
      Nov 14, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Yep, you qualify for the VOA.

      You can do either, it’s more of a formality. As long as you have something you should be fine.

  22. Rico
    Nov 21, 2017 / 11:43 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Great blog!

    I’m going to Iran in January to visit my family. My father is Swedish so I don’t have a Iranian passport. I’m wondering if it’s possible for me to get a VOA without a return ticket, the reason is that I want to stay as long as I want (not more then a month.


    • Anna
      Nov 22, 2017 / 2:26 am

      Hi Rico, officially you can’t since you have to state how many days are you staying in the country and prove it by having a return flight. Also, airlines might not let you fly without it (it’s actually a rule for many countries that airlines won’t let you fly on a one-way ticket). As long as you have A ticket you’ll be fine though – I met a guy who had a flight from Iraq as he was crossing the border and it was fine, but you need to have something. The best option would be to get a changeable ticket or use FlyOnward service.

      • Rico
        Nov 22, 2017 / 1:47 pm

        Thanks Anna for the quick reply. I will buy a return ticket.

        Br, Rico

  23. Ivy
    Nov 27, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Hi Anna,

    Great post, Anna! How long is your stay in Iran? My friends and I will be travelling to Iran next month for about 21 days. Was told that VOA is only valid up for 14 days travel, does it means we won’t be able to do VOA?


    • Anna
      Nov 27, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      I was told so too and this is why I only stayed 14 days. But upon arrival, I received a visa for 30 days and immigration officers were really puzzled and told me that VOA is always for 30 days, so you’re all good 🙂

  24. Jordan | Inspired By Maps
    Dec 20, 2017 / 10:57 am

    Hi Anna,

    Quick note that World Nomads 100% does not cover Iran – You really should remove your link ASAP because it could really ruin someones trip… I checked with them via email as I have their police and then triple checked on their website now

    “Sorry, we’re currently unable to provide cover for Iran. Please remove it from your quote.”


    • Anna
      Dec 21, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Oh, that must have changed very recently! Thanks for letting me know!

  25. BK
    Dec 21, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    Hi Anna, hope you’re well!

    I’m intending to visit Iran soon using an Australian passport. Will I need to sign up for a guided tour or am I free to travel completely independently?


    • Anna
      Dec 24, 2017 / 10:35 am

      You can go without a tour 🙂

  26. Kate
    Jan 19, 2018 / 3:49 am

    Hi Anna,

    I plan on visiting Israel (among others) after Iran. What if Israel is listed as a country on my travel insurance. Could this lead to visa denial?

    thank you!

    • Anna
      Jan 19, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      What do you mean by having it mentioned on your insurance? If it says that you have been in Israel then yes, but if it just says that it’s valid for Israel too then it’s not a problem.

  27. Mari
    Feb 5, 2018 / 6:37 pm

    Hi! Thanks for your post, it really helped a lot! Could you tell me one thing: when you get off the plane first you collected your luggage and then bought visa? Or first visa? I heard sometimes people wait for e hours for visa and I am worried how to manage it well. Greetings from Poland 🙂

    • Anna
      Feb 5, 2018 / 11:41 pm

      You always pick up your luggage after you get your visa. Same like in the US. My luggage was actually at another terminal in Iran, but there was no problem, it was put aside for me to pick up later.

  28. niloofar
    Feb 7, 2018 / 10:31 am

    hey dear ANNA
    i have confusion, india is written in both countries that can and can not get VOA!
    could you expand on that a bit pls?

    • Anna
      Feb 7, 2018 / 6:37 pm

      Hi, you need to get your visa in advance. Sorry!

  29. raza
    Mar 21, 2018 / 4:42 am

    I am panning to iran and I Australian national. can I get VOA at Tehran airport, I have a confirm return ticket, and booking at Musafir Khana Tehran, Mushhad. I get the email from them to confirm booking. I also apply for evisa and when I check after 5 days only status say “accepted” If did not received visa confirmation can I get visa at Tehran airport with these two documents i.e. return confirm ticket and musafir khana booking . one more thing its is necessary to inform MFA for the musafir khana booking.

    • Mar 26, 2018 / 3:47 pm

      Looks like you’ll be alright based on this. I haven’t done the e-visa process before so I don’t know what the confirmation looks like, but you’ll still need to go to the visa office at the airport. By MFA do you mean a foreign affairs ministry?

  30. Cody
    Mar 26, 2018 / 11:25 am

    Hey Anna. I know a few others have asked but I just want to be clear-

    Are you saying that (as an Australia passport holder), I DO NOT need an authorisation code and could theoretically book a flight leaving in 2 days time and as long as I could prove 1 night of accommodation(and everything else you mentioned) I should be accepted for VOA?

    Also, if I book a tour and get an authorisation code through them, then I wouldn’t need the proof of 1 night stay?

    • Anna
      Mar 27, 2018 / 11:53 am

      If you’re going on an organized tour then they arrange everything and will tell you where you’ll be staying. Either way, you don’t need an authorization code.

    • Enio
      Apr 3, 2018 / 7:27 am

      Hello Cody,

      Could you share your experience with te VOA. Was it possible to get it at the airport WITHOUT an authorisation code?

      I am planning to go on my own (without a tour) and have no time to apply online.


  31. ewa
    Mar 26, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Thank you for this post – it made me decide to finally buy the ticket – flying in on the 8th of April!!! I am super excited

  32. Phil
    Apr 1, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I have very good friends in Tehran who I met in Turkey whilst travelling. They want me to go and visit them but being British I have to book a tour, which I don’t want to do. Can I visit Iran if invited by them, and then go travelling with them and after; by myself?

    • Anna
      Apr 2, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Officially no, unless one of them is a licensed tour guide. Especially since legally you can’t even enter your Iranian friends’ houses as a British citizen. There are ways around it though. For example, you can pay a private tour guide to issue you some papers to obtain a visa.

  33. Yassin
    Apr 17, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I’m a Bulgarian citizen but live in the UK and I bought my return tickets via Istanbul. So is it going to be a problem if it shows that I live in London?!


    • Anna
      Apr 17, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      Nope, as long as you use your Bulgarian passport it doesn’t matter where do you live 🙂

  34. Sara
    Apr 17, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Is still possible to apply for VOA and get accepted without the E-visa in 2018?
    I’m an EU citizen. And have always been accepted (VOA) but now it seems like you only can get E-visa on arrival?
    I have tried applying but the site doesnt work for me. Do you think i will get a visa without the e-visa?
    And what about you other guys who traveled to iran without E-Visa? Did they send you back to your country? Or did let you in when all your documents where in place? Did they let you fill in application papers instead?
    Im really scared about this. Real anxiety, cause im going in a few days.

    • Anna
      Apr 18, 2018 / 3:08 am

      Some people here reported back that you can and the visa is granted on arrival. E-visa can just speed up the process if there’s a line.

  35. jack
    Apr 27, 2018 / 12:30 am

    iran is beautiful and have good people too and my suggest is travel to iran

  36. Rajib
    Apr 28, 2018 / 10:05 am

    Dear sir
    I’m now in Iran. I can be 1 month. How can I increase the period of stay. Heard the information will benefit.

  37. Rajib
    May 3, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    Dear sir
    I’m now in Iran. I can be 1 month. How can I increase the period of stay. Heard the information will benefit.

  38. Patryk
    May 9, 2018 / 7:43 am

    Świetna robota Anka!!!
    I’m so glad that my fellow polish made the move, went to Iran and gave us a very comprehensive guide. Seriously, it’s more informative than what’s available of Iranian MFA website!

    Fellow Polish planning on visiting Iran,

    • Jerzy
      Jun 11, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      Polecam byłem w 2015;) I strongly recommend visit Iran. Persians need us!

  39. Boon
    Jun 7, 2018 / 1:20 am

    Hello Anna
    I hold a Singapore passport. Can I get my visa at the airport?.
    Any information is greatly apppreciated.

    • Anna
      Jun 7, 2018 / 11:03 am

      Yes you can according to the information I have.

  40. Radek
    Jun 18, 2018 / 12:26 am

    Hello Anna,
    Nomad insurance doesn’t cover Iran anymore. Do you have any other suggestions?

    • Anna
      Jun 18, 2018 / 2:05 am

      In that case buy your insurance at the airport 🙂

  41. Antonio
    Jul 11, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Hello Anna,
    heard about someone who entered without an exit flight ticke (I’ll take a fly from India to Shiraz and then exit from Iran by bus through Azerbaijan).
    Thank you so much

    • Anna
      Jul 12, 2018 / 3:21 am

      I heard about one person who had a flight out of Iraqi Kurdistan and it was fine, so you should be fine as long as you have a ticket out of Azerbaijan.

      • Antonio
        Jul 14, 2018 / 3:55 pm

        So an exit ticket is requested for sure? Because some say no, others say the opposite.

        • Anna
          Jul 14, 2018 / 8:39 pm

          Officially yes, but it’s really on a case by case basis. Iranian immigration officers were seriously one of the friendliest in the world. But people were fine if they had a flight from other neighboring countries as then it’s clear you’re planning on leaving.

  42. Annemarie
    Jul 18, 2018 / 10:01 am

    Hey Anna,

    Nice to read your stories of Iran! So looking forward to it 🙂 I have one question, was it really necessary to have a picture attached to the visa form with a headscarf for women? Maybe stupid, but didn’t think about this at all :’)


  43. Yasmin
    Aug 1, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Hi I’m British and I can’t get visa on arrival I tried many of websites and it didn’t work
    Can you tell me how can I get a visa please?

    • Anna
      Aug 1, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Hire a guide from Iran or sign up for a tour and get your visa at the Embassy.

      • Yasmin
        Aug 1, 2018 / 9:57 pm

        How do I hire one?

        • Anna
          Aug 1, 2018 / 10:04 pm

          Lonely Planet has a few contacts in the guidebooks. Otherwise just see what’s available online. Check these guys as they’re recommended

          • Yasmin
            Aug 1, 2018 / 10:13 pm

            Ok thanks. How do I apply for a visa because British people need a authorisation code. How do I get one of them?

  44. Sridhar Koona
    Aug 6, 2018 / 12:34 pm


    Is Iranian VISA ON ARRIVAL (VOA) facility is available for Business visits also or only for Tourists ?

    Please confirm.

    • Anna
      Aug 6, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      I’m not sure, but I’ve never heard of any business visas to be available upon arrival. I’d call the Embassy.

  45. Zaman
    Aug 30, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I am a Pakistan national currently living in China having 1 year visa. Can I get VOA ?

    Please Confirm
    Thanks & Regards

    • Anna
      Aug 31, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Hi! The fact that you’re living in China doesn’t impact your visa, since you’re not a Chinese passport holder. According to my information, you CANNOT obtain a VOA and must apply for a visa in advance.

  46. any
    Sep 2, 2018 / 1:46 am

    hi. i have a romanian passport which qualifies for VOA. but when i called the embassy of the country i am living in right now they told me i need to follow some other procedures,since i am not going to iran from Romania. is that true? confused right now

    • Anna
      Sep 2, 2018 / 5:31 pm

      No, it’s not. I went from London and I’m not British and had zero problems.

    • Vic
      Sep 2, 2018 / 11:26 pm

      It’s not true. I travelled to Iran on Romanian passport without any problems – please see my detailed post above for more info.

  47. Yuko
    Sep 3, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Hello Anna,
    Thanks for all your information, it is extremely helpful. I am Japanese National; according to your website, I can get VOA.

    Do I need to apply for VOA prior to the visit?

    Appreciate your advice! All the best,

    • Anna
      Sep 3, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      You can, but you don’t have to. Supposedly it makes it quicker upon arrival if you get this electronic thing.

  48. Yuko
    Sep 3, 2018 / 10:47 pm

    Thank you, Anna!

    • Sara
      Sep 19, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      The visa code makes it easier.
      As an Iranian tour guide if we apply for a visa code, we can follow up all the steps and make sure you enter the country smoothly.

      Like any other country, Iranian government makes sure the tourists would not stay beyond their visit. Having a tour guide makes the process much easier.

      Please do not hesitate to leave a message or contact me at [email protected]

  49. Kirsha
    Sep 9, 2018 / 10:44 am

    What about South Africa? Can we get a VOA?

  50. Andrej
    Sep 21, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    My last travel to Iran:
    – nobody wanna see my insurance this year, but One year ago they check it. It was not acceptable if confirmation from insurence company was without – Valid in Iran. They dont accept – Valid all around the world 🙂
    – Never they need photo for visa aplication form
    – this summer finally they change on IKA airport place for visa. New nice office with many officiers, comfortable chairs and system with numbers like in bank
    – Nobody wanna see my flight ticket, they dont ask for it
    – every year they ask less information inside visa aplication form 🙂
    – imigration officiers are really very helpfull

  51. Dex
    Oct 12, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    ..and according to Iranian newspapers starting in late September 2018 no more visa stamps in your passport! This should mean that you might have an Iranian visa but not a visa stamp, which is the criteria for not being eligible for the visa waiver for great satan.. I suppose some people got a visa but did not travel to Iran… anybody who entered Iran after 23 Sep 2018 let us know!

  52. Herman
    Oct 19, 2018 / 3:42 am

    Hello Anna and everyone, I am trying to arrange a last minute vacation starting next week, 27th October.

    I can get my mandatory yellow fever vaccination only 5 days ahead. It will officially work after 10 days. Will this be a problem getting a visa at the airport, apart from possible health risks?

    • Anna
      Oct 19, 2018 / 3:56 pm

      No one has ever asked me for a yellow fever vaccination. I didn’t have it for sure.

  53. ALEXY
    Oct 20, 2018 / 1:41 am case of CHILE ..its possible get VOA?

  54. Danny
    Oct 21, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I find it weird that there is no African country on the list of countries eligible for VOA.
    let me know if a Rwandan can get a VOA in Iran and let me know if getting a travel insurance at the Iranian airport is possible for a tourist in no rush, I would not mind long lines to get one.


    • Anna
      Oct 21, 2018 / 8:04 pm

      I think Rwandans can get a VOA since they’re not on the list of countries who can’t get it. But I’d also double check. I got my insurance at the airport.

  55. shamim
    Oct 24, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    hi. good day
    i have a question can indian citizens have visa on arrival now?
    and do they need to fill E visa form?
    thanks ,

    • Anna
      Oct 25, 2018 / 1:20 am

      It says in the article that Indian citizens are eligible 😉

  56. Elizabeth nelson
    Nov 30, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Hi Anna , i have been ivited too iran by my friend and their family , i will ve staying at their home during my visit , they will deal with invitation , do i just give the address of my friends home where i will be staying ?

    • Anna
      Dec 1, 2018 / 9:38 am

      Yes 🙂

      • Elizabeth nelson
        Dec 1, 2018 / 5:44 pm

        Thankyou anna , i wish you a safe trip on your next adventure 😊

  57. José
    Dec 5, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Hello Anna,

    First, let me say congratulations for all the organized information you’ve shared here. I have a question regarding some processes.
    I’m arriving in TEH Airport next DEC 15th, already carrying my E-Visa applied by a travel agency in there. As I live in Brazil, I couldn’t find any travel insurance here valid for Iran. Even so, I got one which basically covers whole Asia, with 2 problems: this information isn’t clear on its certification / receipt at all, as well as in case I come across with anything there, I must pay by myself then ask for a refund later. Do you think I will have any problem at airport (border) ?
    Also, I haven’t booked any hotel/hostel room, instead, I’ll be staying at some friends’ home. Have you ever heard about a similar situation? Will they ask me different questions or sth like these during the process?
    Once again, thanks for all the information provided here and congratulations for that.


    • Anna
      Dec 5, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      Regarding the insurance, it’ll depend on the officer, but you should be fine. Do you have your friends’ address? Have some sort of email or address of your friends and it should be a problem. They really care about having ‘something’, but I had mine for the first night only and it was fine.

  58. AS
    Dec 22, 2018 / 10:40 am

    How much is the insurance at Iran airport? I’m coming from Singapore and my travel insurance excludes Iran.

    • Anna
      Dec 22, 2018 / 11:59 am

      For EU citizens it was around 30 euros.

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