Friday, June 22, 2018

How to Get Visa on Arrival for Iran

Iran is a country that is rising on bucket lists. The allure of culture and history around it, and the common misconceptions waiting to be debunked make it an attractive destination to some. I went to the country recently (April 2018) to explore and discover what it has to offer. Fortunately, Filipinos can get a visa-on-arrival at select airports, my port of entry was Tehran.


The Visa-on-Arrival



You'd have to be eligible for the visa-on-arrival to even think of making this an option.

These are the countries that can get this:


  • Albania
  • Armenia 
  • Australia 
  • Austria 
  • Azerbaijan 
  • Bahrain 
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • China (People’s Republic)
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • North Korea
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Those who CANNOT get a VOA include the following nationals:


  • Iraq 
  • Colombia
  • Jordan
  • Somalia
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Afghanistan

The citizens of the following countries NEED to book a tour with a travel agency to enter Iran are:

  • Americans
  • British
  • Canadians

IMPORTANT REMINDER: You will be denied entry into Iran if there is an Israel stamp on your passport, regardless of your nationality. Although Israel doesn't use stamps anymore, any sign of entry into this country is not allowed. For example, if the immigration officers see a stamp from Taba in Egypt, they will not let you through.




Getting the Visa

My experience may be different from other nationalities. Filipinos have it easy; the process is straightforward and I didn't have to get a photo or bring other documents other than my passport and flight ticket. As soon as I arrived at the immigration office, I bought the insurance, filled out a form and just waited (it took quite a while almost 2 hours). After waiting, there was no sticker visa or anything, I just went through the gate and got the arrival stamp on my passport.

When filling out the form, have the address and contact information of your hotel or hostel ready. I only wrote down the accommodation I was staying at in Tehran (I went to other places as well such as Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd). I had my reservations on hand, but they didn't ask for them (if my memory serves me correctly). The form will ask your occupation and other pertinent information, which was not a problem or difficult to answer.

I didn't have to get a number beforehand or go through an agency to get an invitation letter or whatever, my experience was based on a trip I made in April 2018.

Fees:

  • US$69 for the visa (valid for 30 days)
  • US$16 for the insurance
  • US$85 total
You can also pay in Euros and BRING THE EXACT AMOUNT, they may not have change.

The visa fee will vary depending on your nationality, some had to pay more than US$100 to get theirs.


For other nationalities, I found this post helpful: Getting an VOA in Iran.



Where Can I Get the Visa-on-Arrival?

You can only get a VOA from certain airports, which include:

  • 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

For Filipinos, the process of getting a VOA was easy, not much fuss, just pay and be patient.



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