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Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Auckland, Auckland...
Level Contributor
11 posts
Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

This isn't so much a question as a statement. There isn't much up-to-date info on this so I wanted to put it out there.

It IS possible to get visa on arrival at Iranian land borders, despite what many people will tell you. My brother and I did it in January 2016 and there was no hassle whatsoever (with New Zealand passports).

We were a bit worried, and we'd run into a lot of people who told us to go to an embassy in Tbilisi or Ankara to get our visas in advance, but a long series of events led to us throwing caution to the wind and giving the visa on arrival a bash.

You have to arrive between 10am and 5pm, and the guards at the first visa checking station might seem a bit surprised, simply because not many people arrive without a pre-made visa (also the guards on the Armenian side tried to tell us we couldn't go into Iran without a pre-organised visa, but they let us through with a knowing raise of the eyebrows). However, they'll pass you on to the visa issuing guy, who knows all the rules and is not in the least bit surprised that you've turned up wanting a visa on arrival. In our case this guy spoke great English and was very helpful. The process took an hour or so, but the guy filled out all the forms for us and gave us a cup of tea while we waited. He even gave us his phone number in case we needed any help or advice while we were in Iran. It cost 100 Euros (payable in Armenian dram or Iranian rial as well), which as I understand is cheaper than most of the agencies that take you through the process of getting a serial number and a visa in advance. The visa is valid for 30 days and extendable by 15 days.

As I understand it, nationals of any of these countries should be able to get visa on arrival at a land border (usually coming in from Armenia or Turkey): Albania, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore , Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland , Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Just make sure to do a bit of research and follow the rules. ie: wear a headscarf when arriving if you're a woman, make sure there is no Israel visa in your passport, etc.

57 replies to this topic
Tehran Province...
Level Contributor
245 posts
8 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Very useful. Thanks

athome
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616 posts
13 reviews
7 helpful votes
2. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Excellent .. glad someone’s gone and done it first .. and no surprise it was a Kiwi.

Sydney
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500 posts
133 reviews
94 helpful votes
3. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Thanks for that. Very helpful.

2 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Thank you SO MUCH for this information. Have been trying to work this out for ages now (not sure why your info hasn't come up sooner).

If I can ask another question - were you travelling on a public bus / marshrutka? And if so how did that work with the hour wait? Would love some tips on what you did following getting the visa if possible (I will be coming through the Armenia/Iran crossing).

Auckland, Auckland...
Level Contributor
11 posts
5. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

No problem! We were hitchhiking through Armenia, but we got stuck in the mountains in a massive snowstorm, so after a couple of miserable days we ended up taking one of the local minibuses to the border. Make sure you negotiate the price before you get in or they will rip you off and hold your luggage hostage! Southern Armenia is a different world from Yerevan and the people can be a bit mercenary.

On the Iran side you can get a taxi to Tabriz. I can't remember the price, but everything in Iran is very cheap. Also, if you chat to Iranian people who are crossing the border with you they'll likely offer you a lift.

2 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
6. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Many thanks!

Tuscany, Italy
3 posts
7. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Thanks! And there, at the border, what did they have asked to you? I mean as documents: pictures etc..? Did they ask you a confirmation from an hotel/guesthouse for the first night or a ticket to go out or Iran?

Auckland, Auckland...
Level Contributor
11 posts
8. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

They didn't ask for a ticket out or a hotel booking (we told them we were leaving by boat to the UAE).

I'd recommend bringing passport photos and having a hotel address just in case. All of the documents are available at the border, and in fact the official there will probably fill them out for you on his computer.

Tuscany, Italy
3 posts
9. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Ok thanks!! So, thanks so much :). So you haeve payed 100 euro insurance included? And, is it possible to change money at the border? Coz I have read inside Iran it is not

Auckland, Auckland...
Level Contributor
11 posts
10. Re: Visa on arrival at Iran land borders

Definitely not possible to change money at the border or anywhere inside Iran. You must bring rial with you when you arrive. There are apparently some ways to get money when you're in the country, but it's complicated and really only for emergencies.

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