All the political tensions between Iran and the United States of America make it seem impossible that an American citizen can visit Iran! If you google it you mostly face the articles such as; U.S. citizens visiting Iran have been kidnapped or arrested! But in fact, that assumption is not true: The US government does not have a diplomatic relation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but it does not mean that American citizens can’t visit Iran, they definitely can! The same fact is true for the Canadians as there is no direct diplomatic relation between Iran and Canada. Also, the British citizens need to follow the same process as the American and Canadian passport holders if they want to visit Iran, although the British embassy is active right now in Iran.
Consequently, all these nationalities mentioned above can travel to Iran, though there are a few important things that the American, British, and Canadian citizens have to keep in mind while planning their trip to Iran. Our company, PackToIran, as an Iranian tour operator with years of experience operating incoming tours around Iran, has had the honor of welcoming many Americans, Canadians, and British citizens to Iran in the past years and we would like to share some of the important notes that citizens of this countries need to know before applying for Iran Visa. According to the rules of the Islamic Republic of Iran, American, British and Canadian passport holders can visit Iran as long as they travel with an authorized tour guide the whole time, which means that these nationalities are not able to travel solo in Iran. But for sure visiting Iran with an experienced guide can be more pleasant than visiting this vast country solo. The other important point is that you must have an exact itinerary. Then, If you have any of these nationalities and you are interested in visiting Iran, the first step of planning your trip to Iran would be choosing an Iranian travel agency, which is licensed by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since only the travel agency can request Iran tourist Visa for you, and your exact Iran travel itinerary (including day-to-day sightseeing schedule, the name of hotels where they will stay in each city, etc.) is a major document that they should present to the ministry to start the visa process.
Travelers visiting Jaame Imam Mosque - Isfahan, Iran
The process of Iran Visa for American, British, and Canadian
To apply for the Iran tourist visa you need to submit the following information to the travel agency in Iran:
· A passport scan (800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall)
. Personal photo with white background, showing fill-front face without glasses and hat. (female applicants are not required to send photos wearing
· A complete tour itinerary (provided by the travel agency)
· A personal information document (name, date of birth, etc.)
· A professional resume or cv including information about education and job
Important note: Please note that your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of visa application.
After receiving the documents mentioned above, the travel agency will send them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and this process may take from 4 to 7 weeks, depending on holiday schedules and other factors in your application. Therefore as an American, British, and Canadian, you should start corresponding with the travel agency and your Iran visa process 3 months before your trip.
when your request for the visa to a travel agency is processed, the tour company will receive an “Authorization Code” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and you’ll be able to visit your nearest Iranian foreign mission to submit your visa application and receive your visa.
Travelers visiting Nasir al Molk Mosque - Shiraz, Iran
American Passport Holders
American passport holders can refer (you can just call) to the “Iranian Interests Section” of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC. When they confirm receiving the Authorization Code, you do not need to be present there, you only need to post your passport to be stamped and they post it back to you.
The visa application fee for Americans is:
Canadian Passport Holders
The Canadian citizens should follow the same visa process a travel agency and then they have to mail their visa application and passport to the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC. Pakistan’s embassy operates as the representation for Iran, as there’s no Iranian embassy in the United States and Canada. To obtain the visa, you’ll need to provide the following items in your mailed package and send them to 1250 23rd St. N.W. Suite # 200 Washington, DC 20037:
120 USD as the visa process fee and return mailing fee
After you mail your paperwork, it normally takes 2 to 3 weeks to process, and then it will be sent back to your mailbox again. You can also pay an additional fee to speed up the process, if necessary.
British Passport Holders
If your nationality is British after you reserve an organized tour with a licensed travel company, they will apply for the visa authorization code on your behalf. The visa code is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the cost of application is 100 euros for UK citizens. With the visa code, you can go to the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London and receive your visa. If you are outside the UK at the time of visa application, there is no need to worry. You can collect your visa at an Iranian embassy abroad, as long as you have indicated that location at the time of your visa code application.
Note: The American, British and Canadian passport hplders are not allowed to receive visa on arrival.
Note: The American, British and Canadian travelers with dual nationalities are allowed to apply for iran visa with second passport anf follow the routine visa process.
Travelers visiting Naqsh-e Rostam - Shiraz, Iran