How to get an Iran visa as a US, UK or Canadian citizen
Americans, British, and Canadians can travel to Iran and enjoy their visit if they get an Iran visa before planning a trip. Obviously, applying for an Iran visa is the first step to take whether you want to travel to Iran with the purpose of visiting its UNESCO sites, trekking in its vast deserts and dense forests, mountaineering, or skiing and snowboarding in the best ski resorts of Iran. Though getting an Iran tourist visa as a US, UK, or Canadian citizen is simple, it is time-consuming and takes a lot of patience. Due to the Iranian government’s regulations, the visa process will take longer for ABC nationalities, but it does not mean that they can not travel to Iran.
If you are from the US, UK or Canada, you are ineligible to get an Iran visa on arrival (VOA); therefore, you should apply for your Iran visa in advance 60-90 days prior to your departure. Moreover, as a US, UK or Canadian passport-holder, you must be on an organized licensed tour accompanied by an authorized tour guide in order to visit Iran. Therefore, you should book a tour to Iran and hire a licensed tour guide before applying for an Iran travel visa or booking flights to Iran. Though many foreign tourists and travelers can explore Iran independently, American, British, and Canadian tourists cannot travel to Iran without a guide. It means that an approved tour guide must accompany them all through the trip. Fortunately, there are many cultural and adventure tours to Iran to satisfy every taste. Moreover, being accompanies by a knowledgeable tour guide will inform travelers of Iranians’ culture and lifestyle and let them see Iran through the eyes of a local.
Read the following article to know how to get an Iran visa as a US, UK or Canadian citizen.
Table of Contents:
- Is it safe to travel to Iran as an American, British or Canadian citizen?
- How to get an Iranian Visa with an American, Canadian, or British Passport?
- 5 steps to get Iran tourist visa as a US, UK or Canadian passport holder
- Where to collect Iran visa as a Canadian, British or US citizen?
- How long does it take to get an Iran visa in advance?
- What documents are required to collect an Iran visa as an American, British or Canadian citizen?
- Iran Visa requirements for US, UK, and Canadian citizens:
- How much is an Iran visa fee for US, UK, or Canadian citizens?
- Can I get an Iran visa on arrival (VOA) as a US, UK or Canadian citizen?
- Can a US, UK, and Canadian citizen travel to Iran without a guide?
- Tips for getting an Iranian visa as an American, British or Canadian tourist
Is it safe to travel to Iran as an American, British or Canadian citizen?
Before applying for your Iran visa, you need to know whether it is safe to travel to Iran or not. Fortunately, the answer is yes. You will have a safe trip to Iran as an American, British, or Canadian tourist and you will not feel unsafe or threatened because of your nationality. Our advice to you is to avoid making any public political statements. Instead, find out the truth that political problems between the governments have nothing to do with Iranians’ hospitality toward travelers. Iranians have the warmest feelings for western travelers, and they are not anti-Americans either. Travelling to Iran will provide you the chance to socialize with Iranians and see how friendly and well-educated they are.
How to get an Iranian visa with an American, Canadian, or British Passport?
As it was mentioned earlier, Americans, British, and Canadians can not apply for an Iran visa on arrival. Therefore, they need to apply for an Iran visa in advance (Iran visa before arrival), if they wish to visit Iran. Moreover, the three nationalities need to reserve a full tour to Iran before applying for a visa. In fact, the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) makes it necessary for American, British, and Canadian nationalities to make a tour to Iran from arrival to departure. Moreover, tourists from the US, UK, and Canada need an approved tour guide to accompany them all through the trip on a daily basis.
To get your Iran tourist visa as an American, British or Canadian passport-holder, you should ask a reliable travel agency that offers visa services for ABC nationalities to help you through the visa process. The travel agency will ask you to provide the required documents such as your passport copy, passport photos, and some personal information. Then, it will contact the Iranian MFA on your behalf and wait for an authorization code(Letter of Invitation). It takes 30 to 60 working days (it might take more or less time) to receive the LOI. When the travel agency informs you of your authorization code, all you need to do is to collect your visa from an Iranian embassy or consulate.
Please note that you should book the tour, hotels, and guides before applying for an Iran tourist visa. Usually, when you book a tour to Iran, it includes hotels and guides as well. It is also recommended that you book your international flight ticket after receiving the authorization code. In order to understand the visa process for ABC nationalities, see the following five easy steps:
5 steps to get Iran tourist visa as a US, UK or Canada passport holder:
- Book your tour to Iran through an authorized travel agency (make sure hotels and guides are also booked through the process).
- Fill out the visa application form, attach your Job CV, and pay the visa service fee.
- Wait for 30 to 60 working days to receive the authorization code.
- Go to the Iranian embassy or consulate you have determined in your visa application form.
- Submit the required documents, get your Iran tourist visa, and get ready to enjoy your tour to Iran.
Where to collect Iran visa as a Canadian, British or US citizen?
After receiving an authorization code issued by the Iranian MFA, It is time to collect your Iran tourist visa from an Iranian consulate/embassy in your country of origin. British citizens can collect their Iran visas from the Iranian embassy in London. However, Iran has no embassy or consulate in the USA and Canada. American and Canadian citizens should refer to Iran’s interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC or the Permanent Mission of IRI in New York to get their Iran tourist visa. It is not necessary to collect the visa by yourself; therefore, it is possible to mail your passport plus the other required documents and wait for delivery.
Another way to collect your visa as an American or Canadian tourist is to get your visa from an Iranian consulate/embassy in another country such as Turkey or France. Your visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue; therefore, you have 90 days to enter Iran after collecting your Iranian visa.
How long does it take to get an Iran visa in advance?
Apply for your visa at least three months before your departure date. Though the visa process takes about 4 weeks, you should consider unpredicted delays. The season you apply for your Iran visa, the number of applicants and Iranian national holidays are some of the factors that make the visa process take more than 2 months. For instance, if you plan to travel to Iran in late March and early April, you need to be aware of Nowruz as an Iranian holiday lasting for two weeks. Many applicants also prefer to experience Iran in the spring. Therefore, it will take longer to collect your Iranian visa during this time.
What documents are required to collect an Iran visa as an American, British or Canadian citizen?
The following documents are required to collect your Iranian visa as a US, UK, or Canadian citizen. Please note that each embassy or consulate has its rules and regulations to issue a visa. Therefore, you need to check what exact documents the embassy/consulate you have determined in your visa application form requires for issuing your Iran visa.
Iran visa requirements for US, UK, and Canadian citizens:
- Passport with at least 6 months of validity
- A passport photo to be attached to the Iran visa application form
- A travel itinerary provided by an approved guide as well as hotel bookings
- A Job CV( including your job details of the last 10 years)
- A personal information document (including your name, birth date, etc.)
- The Authorization code or Letter of Invitation issued by the Iranian MFA
- Visa stamp fee that varies depending on the applicant’s nationality
- Travel insurance covering your travel to Iran
How much is an Iran visa fee for US, UK, or Canadian citizens?
The visa fee must be paid at the Iranian embassy/ consulate upon your visa collection. It might cost you 50 to 150 euros depending on your nationality. Therefore, it is better to check the latest prices before referring to the embassy/consulate.
Can I get an Iran visa on arrival (VOA) as a US, UK or Canadian Citizen?
Regarding the political issues between the governments, getting an Iran travel visa as an American, Britain or Canadian citizen is not as easy as for other nationalities. Americans, British, and Canadians are ineligible to get Iran tourist visa on arrival(VOA), while nationalities from around 180 countries are eligible to get Iran visa on arrival for a maximum of 30 days at one of the international airports in Iran.
Can a US, UK, and Canadian citizen travel to Iran without a guide?
Americans, British, and Canadians are not allowed to travel to Iran without a guide. In order to visit Iran, ABC nationalities are supposed to get an Iran visa before arrival, book a full tour to Iran, and be accompanied by a licensed tour guide on a daily basis.
US, UK, and Canadian tourists cannot travel to Iran independently or go around without a guide. The US, UK, and Canada passport holders must book a tour to Iran and be accompanied by an approved tour guide during their travel. While the British and Canadian travelers can have different tour guides for each city they visit, Americans cannot hire several guides through their trip to Iran. Therefore, only one tour guide who is specially authorized to guide US tourists in Iran must accompany US travelers. Maybe you could find a way not to hire a tour guide or join an organized tour to Iran, but we do not recommend it.
Traveling to Iran with a tour group will give you the opportunity to see more cultural and natural attractions based on a perfect itinerary. It also gives you the chance to be in touch with a local guide who gives you a better understanding of Iranians’ culture and lifestyle.
Tips for getting an Iranian visa as an American, British or Canadian tourist
- Apply for an Iran visa in advance 60-90 days before departure.
- Note that the US, UK, and Canadian tourists are ineligible to get an Iran visa on arrival.
- Collect your Iran visa from Iran’s interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC or the Permanent Mission of IRI in New York, if you are American or Canadian.
- Check what exact documents the embassy/consulate you have determined in your visa application form requires for issuing your visa.
- Book an organized licensed tour before applying for an Iran visa.
- Do not travel to Iran without hiring an authorized tour guide.
- Note that you cannot travel to Iran independently. You should travel based on a detailed itinerary determined by your travel agency.
Now you know how to get an Iran visa as a US, UK or Canadian citizen. Then, all you need to do is to book your guided tour to Iran, get your tourist visa, and travel to Iran to experience a journey of a lifetime. If you still have questions on getting Iran tourist visa, Iran visa FAQs will help you.