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.

How to Get Iran Visa on Arrival in 2019azadi 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 purposes. 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 the Iranian Foreign Affairs Office finds it necessary. In that case, usually a 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.
  7. (OPTIONAL) Online visa application form with an authorization number.

Let me explain these points to you in detail:

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 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 the address of my accommodation. No one has asked me to show this email, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

6 – You won’t be granted a visa without 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 I normally recommend World Nomads or First Allied, they no longer cover Iran.

The only insurance that’s valid for Iran is 1st Quest

UPDATE ABOUT E-Visa Application (7):

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.

Pro-Tip: You can get 1st Quest to get it done for you, together with travel insurance as well. My readers have reported that if they randomly get rejected for the E-Visa they reapplied through 1st Quest and got their code within 2 days.

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, before I became a US resident I had a tourist visa for the US. Thanks to that, I was actually allowed to 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.

159 thoughts on “How to Get Iran Visa on Arrival (VOA) in 2019”

  1. 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 : (

    • 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? 😉

    • 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. 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).

    • 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. 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!

  4. 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

    • 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!

      • 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 .

  5. 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 🙂


    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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…?

      • 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. 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.


    • 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 🙂

      • 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?

        • 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

    • 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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

    • 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.

  13. 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,


    • 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 🙂

  14. 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…

    • 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 ?

      • 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!

  15. 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,


    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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!

  18. 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)

    • 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.

    • 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 … !

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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

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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.


    • 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.

  22. 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?


    • 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 🙂

  23. 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.”


  24. 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?


  25. 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!

    • 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.

  26. 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 🙂

    • 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.

  27. 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?

  28. Hi
    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.

    • 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?

  29. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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.


  30. 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

  31. 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?

    • 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.

  32. 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?!


  33. 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.

    • 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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,

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

  38. 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

    • 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.

        • 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.

  39. 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 :’)


  40. 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?

  41. Hi,

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

    Please confirm.

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

    Please Confirm
    Thanks & Regards

    • 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.

  43. 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

    • 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]

  44. 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

  45. ..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!

  46. 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?

  47. 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.


    • 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.

  48. 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 ,

  49. 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 ?

  50. 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.


    • 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.

  51. Thank you Anna for the very clear information on VOA for Iran. We have had lots of trouble trying to get a sensible explanation from our travel agent and in the end gave up on them and did our own research. You summarise it fantastically well and we now feel less stressed and so excited about our upcoming trip to Iran. Thank you!!!

  52. Hi Anna! Do you have any recent info about voa for polish citizens? I’m going to Tehran next week and I’m planning on getting visa from the airport without applying for it in e-visa system.

  53. Anna, great comprehensive blog, however, if you will permit a correction, I have both UK and Polish passports.
    UK US and Canadian nationals DON’T have to sign up to a group tour (especially if that isn’t your thing).
    It is perfectly possible to travel solo on UK passport, I did it in 2014 (visited my grandmother’s grave in Ahvaz) and I’m a female; it’s just that there are more hoops to jump through, although less than in 2014 when I had to travel to Dublin for my Iranian visa as the London embassy was closed. Use my Polish passport now and don’t have the hassle UK passport holders have.

  54. Hey Anna,

    Thanks for this incredibly informative post. By far the best one I’ve read so far regarding the logistics of the VOA for Iran! I was wondering if you know whether Taiwanese passport holders are eligible to apply for the VOA; I saw that you mentioned that holders of the Chinese (People’s Republic) passport are eligible, but given the muddiness surrounding the classification of Taiwan as part of China, I’d really appreciate if you could clarify that for me.

    Thanks again!


  55. Hey up!

    just returned from 3rd trip to Iran. This time I had several problems:

    1) Why are you travelling here so often (3 trips in a year, each more than 2-3 weeks)
    – visa guy was pretty curious, and super authoritative.. I’ve told him I have really good friends there, its not a business trip and I want to stay whole February

    2) This time I tried e-Visa page (, twice got declined, with reason I have to apply via host
    – but since I was always hosted by friends and now also confused by many forums regarding the eVisa page, I just refused to pay extra money to agency and tried my luck (it was day before flight anyways)

    2) Finally got VOA but
    – they told my friend(iranian) that this is not correct way entering the country (nobody have said this to me ever! same guys there all 3 times)
    and now the funniest part:
    I had an accident and had to return home after 13 days.. so my shortest trip ever
    on the leaving passport control at IKA they said, I have no visa for 3 days and I have to go to other counter to fix it
    … spent flying all around the airport next hour with super strong feeling I’ll loose mi flight… officers were super slow, chit-chatting to colleagues,
    I had to pay another fee for 3 days I’m citizen of SVK, paid 75EUR = VOE).. and spent cca 11EUR this fee for 3 days… and payment had to be done only in IRR, no chance to get answer WHY suddenly I have to pay more or if there was any visa-related change (anyways, they could tell while entering Iran)

    it looks like there is serious language barrier(Fa-En) even on such responsible positions

  56. Hi Anna
    it was my pleasure that I noticed that you had been in iran. actually my country.
    I wanted to thank you for being honest about iranian peaple. you have written a lot of good things about my from all aspects. some of your memories from iran was hilarious for me also I know all of it was compeletly correct.
    I wish that I could see you one day.
    I would like to invite you to iran .
    I wish you success and happiness in your future life.
    take care of yourself . good bye
    my name is meysam .
    this is my instagram account please follow me in order I can be in touch with you .

  57. Dear Anna and others reading this,
    It’s encouraging to hear that many people have succeeded with a VOA, but after all it’s still troubling to rely only on anecdotal evidence. It appears that even if all one’s documents are in order, it’s far from a guaranteed thing to get this visa, as it is with say, Turkey, where the VOA is just a formality.
    After reading lots of different material in books and online, I still don’t understand whether I should just show up at the IKA airport and ask for a VOA or apply through a travel agency to get a visa authorization code from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
    One disturbing thing I read was that the code is only valid for 1 month, whereas my travel is 5 months from now. So if for some reason the MFA does not approve the application, I would have to change all my plans just 1 month before departure. But as bad as that is, getting denied entry at the airport is even worse, so should I attempt to get the code, sparing no expense?
    Another complicating factor is the MFA’s website ( They say that to expedite a VOA an application should be made online. I did this and was denied approval. I read that this denial was not fatal to the VOA process,- it just means I will require more paperwork at the airport. However, they also made a crucial statement in their email response – that I should apply via a travel agency. So does that mean I should definitely not risk a VOA without an authorization code from an agency 1 month beforehand?
    My background: EU citizen, living in New York, no Israeli stamps or associations with journalism or government. Since I’m in New York I can’t go to any Iranian embassy. Exit flight and 5-star hotels confirmed; own a home and have a stable banking job in New York. I’ve been to 50 countries and never had a problem with visas.

    • As I said in the post, it was actually harder to get a visa at the embassy in some cases. Iran isn’t also the only country where this is the case, same with Bangladesh. I think you’ll be fine on arrival with your EU passport. Everyone was super nice and helpful at the airport. If you think about it, if people were so easily denied VOA airlines wouldn’t let you fly into Iran just by saying that you’ll get a VOA because if you’re denied than the airline is in trouble too.

  58. Hi. I visited Iran last year. The best trip of my life.
    Before my trip I had similar questions.
    Because I am a citizen of Poland and USA I wasn’t sure what to do. Many people advices that I should hide the fact I am a citizen of the USA and just use my Polish passport and apply for the visa at the airport in Tehran.
    The Polish embassy in Tehran advices me not to hide the fact I am a citizen of the USA. And because of my dual citizenship not to try to get the visa at the airport.
    There is an Iranian interest section at the embassy of Pakistan in DC.
    You can go on line, print out the application form, include a vank check for $75USD and get your visa with no problem at all. That’s what I did. Don’t forget you need the authorization They will help you. Fast cheap reliable service
    Good luck

  59. Howzit! I have two queries:

    1. I will be a South African traveling to Iran, however I was born in England, thus says UK in my SA passport. Will this be an issue when I seek a VuA at the airport?

    2. In theory, after flying in to Tehran, would they still accept me upon my showing I was booked to exit Iran via train to southern Pakistan? Or do they prefer you to fly out still?

    Baie dankie!


    • If your passport is SA then you’re good, it doesn’t matter where were you born 🙂 I actually flew to Iran from London.

      In terms of an exit via train I know people who did that without any issues.

  60. Hello,

    I was wondering if something changed regarding the E-visa application for the Visa on Arrival? Is it still possible in May 2019 to fly to Iran without having the E-visa form?

  61. Hi, I rejected once when I applied through MFA website without any reason, what can I do now? do you have any recommendations? Thanks for your great post.

    • Miranda – I think this happens often. It happened to me and then I went and got a Grant Notice from an Iranian based agency. ( It doesn’t cost much. The Grant Notice seemed vital for both the airline in JFK and visa office in IKA. They didn’t ask for any other documents in IKA and it took two minutes. They issue an electronic visa which is then visible to the passport control people later on. Very welcoming. Then there was a currency exchange and SIM card place. I went in end of August 2019.

    • Hi Miranda, I had the same problem as you, rejection without any reason. So one of my friends told me to apply again through an agency which name is 1stQuest. finally, they told me to cancel my application on the MFA website and then they applied for me again through 1stQuest and in 2 days I received my Iran visa authorization code.

  62. hey there
    i want to know can i send the invitation letter to my wife so she can come easily?iam iranian and she is hungarian


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