Iran visa for American, British and Canadian nationals

Many Americans think that it is extremely difficult or impossible to visit Iran. This is not true. Americans are allowed to visit Iran by both the United States and Iranian Governments. The Iranian Government does require Americans to be part of a group tour, private tour or tailor made tour and escorted by an approved tour guide with a fixed itinerary.
Americans must get a visa to visit Iran before traveling to Iran. This is a 2-step process:

  • You need to be issued visa authorization numbers by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.\
  • You need to apply to an Iranian Embassy or Consulate to have a visa issued and put into your passport.

Get your authorization number:
Once you have finalized your travel plans, you will send your personal data to Iran Tour Center:

  • one-page application form link to form
  • scan of the personal information page of your passport (40 Kb)
  • Travel itinerary. Our staff will be happy to help you plan your travel and choose your preferred hotels.

We will apply for your visa authorization numbers from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). After the MFA has approved your visa, we will send you the visa authorization number. The MFA will also send the number to the Iranian Embassy or Consulate designated on your application.
American visitors may have to wait up to 35 days to receive their visa authorization numbers.

Visa authorization numbers are valid for one month and you must get the visa put into your passport within that time.
Once you receive the authorization number from us, contact your designated embassy or consulate within the next three working days to make sure they have received the numbers from the MFA. If they do not have your authorization numbers, contact us so they can request the numbers be sent again to your designated embassy.

 

Getting the visa -Americans have two options for having the visa put in to their passports:

The Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan accepts visa applications by mail. You can mail your:

  • Passport
  • One-page form (link to form?) available online at Daftar.org
  • Cashier’s check or money order for visa fee and return shipping
  • Two 2”x2” recent passport photos

To:
Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007

For visa forms and fee schedule: http://www.daftar.org/forms/visas/101.pdf
For more information: http://www.daftar.org/Eng/default.asp?lang=eng
Tel: (202) 965-4990
Fax: (202) 965-1073
Office Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday

OR
You can take your passport, form, two 2”x2” recent passport photos and fees to an Iranian embassy or consulate in a foreign country to have the visa put in. You must designate which embassy you want to use when you fill out the form for the authorization numbers.
Please note that visa authorization numbers are valid for one month. Visas are valid for 3 months from the time they are issued.

Please contact Iran Tour Center or individual Iranian embassies or consulates for the most up to date information about visa issuing procedures, fees and policies.

ONE AMERICAN’S EXPERIENCE GETTING A VISA TO IRAN
When I began making my plans to visit Iran, the one area that concerned me was getting the visa. It seemed so complicated and difficult. Once I finalized my itinerary, I filled out a one-page form and sent it along with a scan of my passport information to the travel agency. They submitted it, along with my itinerary, to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I waited about 3 weeks and then received an email from the travel agency with my authorization numbers.
The next day I called the Iranian Interests Section of Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC to confirm they had received my numbers. Since I had about one month before I was traveling to Iran, I also asked whether I needed to expedite the visa process. The person I talked to was very helpful and assured me that I would have my passport back in plenty of time and that I did not need to pay extra to expedite the process.
I mailed off my form with authorization number written on the top, passport, two 2”x2” recent passport photos, and cashier’s check for $120 ($90 visa fee/ $30 shipping) to DC via registered mail. It took eight days for my passport to be returned to me and it was sent overnight via FED EX.
I can honestly say that getting a visa to Iran was much easier and quicker than I anticipated. Visiting Iran was an incredible experience that justified the effort and expense to get the visa. I look forward to returning soon.

Information for British and Canadian nationals wanting a visa to Iran
British and Canadian nationals wanting to visit Iran will need to get a visa before traveling to Iran. The Iranian Government also requires them to be part of a group tour, private tour or tailor made tour and escorted by a government approved tour guide with a fixed itinerary.
Like Americans, It is a two-step process to get their visa:

  • You need to get visa authorization numbers from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • You need to apply to an Iranian Embassy or Consulate to have a visa issued and put into your passport.

GET YOUR AUTHORIZATION NUMBERS
Once you have finalized your travel plans, you will send your personal data to us:

  • One-page application form link to form
  • Scan of the personal information page of your passport (40 Kb)
  • Travel itinerary. Our staff will be happy to help you plan your travel and choose your preferred hotels.

We will apply for your visa authorization numbers from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). After the MFA has approved your visa, we will send you the visa authorization number. The MFA will also send the number to the Iranian Embassy or Consulate designated on your application.
Canadian and British visitors may have to wait 15 to 20 days to receive their visa authorization numbers.

Visa authorization numbers are valid for one month and you must get the visa put into your passport within that time.
Please note that visa authorization numbers are valid for one month. Visas are valid for 3 months from the time they are issued.
There are a number of visa companies that will take your passport, form, photos and fee and go to a foreign embassy for you. They will have the visa put into the passport for you and then return it to you. A fee is charged for this service in addition to the visa fee charged by the embassy or consulate.

More information about iran visa

As of August 2015, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of reviewing and revising visa policies. Please contact us for the most up to date information about visa issuing procedures, fees and policies.