Iran Airport Visa (VOA - visa on arrival)
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 29, 2012 6:41 AM Last Post By: almondy23
Nov 20, 2012 10:29 AM
Iran Airport Visa (VOA - visa on arrival)Hi - I am an Australian Passport holder and need some advice on getting an Iranian Airport Visa (visa on arrival).
I fly out of London (via Istanbul) and arrive at Tehran on 17/Dec early morning. I plan to visit Shiraz, Tehran and Mashhad. After about 10 days in Iran, I plan to take a bus from Mashhad to Herat (afghanistan). My whole trip covers Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
The Iranian Embassy Website in Australia states that to get an Airport visa at tehran IKA, i need to have the following:
**a confirmed return ticket** (i do have a confirmed return ticket, but it is from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I will be leaving Iran by bus/taxi into Afghanistan)
**Hotel Booking confirmation for duration of stay in Iran** (I will be using couchsurfing in most places - will I need to provide details of the couchsurfing hosts to airport immigration?)
**an invitation letter** (is this something the couchsurfing hosts need to provide?)
**also states that an e-visa "can" be applied for by travel agents** (is this a necessity? I've spent a bucketload on my visas for Central Asia and would be happy to give this a miss if it is not required)
Can you please advise
P.S. some websites state that the airport visa is quite risky because the Iranian Immigration staff reject applications for the smallest inconsistencies. is this true?
Nov 20, 2012 11:37 AM
1We got an Iranian visa in Beijing, so the info I give you is not for sure applicable for the landing visa.
I would book a hotel one night and show them the reservation. Then I would tell them that you haven't booked the other hotels yet.
I would not tell them about couchsurfing.
It might be best if you already have an Afghan visa ready.
Good luck with your trip
Nov 20, 2012 1:53 PM
2hi clonton, is this a anglo aussie name?
well, please listen. carefully. should you provide your couchsurfing details (host info) to iran airport immigration desk, you will either be deported outright or they will call your host in tehran, even at 2 or 3am, to verify your info and perhaps to ask him/her to go to the airport to pick you up while signing an affidavit. or something like that. they will ask him or her how u two know each other.... and if he or she is willing to sponsor you, even verbally over the phone, that is. should either of you say that you have only known each other only through social network web sites such as facebook and couchsurfing, that could be enough for you to find yourself on the very first flight back to UK or Turkey! very simple.
so, to make along story short, you should brief your host friend to say the 'right things' or better...just book a inexpensive hotel and get the mobile number of the hotel receptionist or manager in case the airport immigration chooses to call him, even in the middle of the night. at least make sure, you would have the hotel's correct name and complete address with you because im pretty sure airport immigration want to know where/with whom u will stay your very first day in, for example, tehran. good luck. amir in tehran.
ps let me know if you have more questions. u may send me a pm.
Edited by: amiriniran2
Nov 21, 2012 2:17 PM
3Please do NOT mention couchsurfing. Please do NOT give immigrations, i.e. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs details of the Iranian people you are going to visit. I personally know people who have been questioned in not so nice circumstances about their connection to the foreigners they hosted. And I don't mean simple "questioning"!!
As the last entry suggested book a hotel for a night, show the confirmation (escanhotel.com is supposed to be pretty good with good rates, too), if they ask (and only if they ask) tell them you'll stay there longer. You are dealing with the Iranian government here, avoid telling them about connections to Iranians and only tell them what they ask for. If in trouble you get away ok, your host might not. About 2 years ago CS was on the list of government-monitored sites, i.e. they suspected "infiltrations" through that source.
Sounds like you might want to do some reading about what not to do in Iran before your trip (e.g. photos, filming etc. is not always a good idea unless you have extra time, so to speak).
Dude, trust me on this, I do not kid you.
Nov 26, 2012 1:02 PM
4Thanks Alobar, Amiriniran - it is really useful information. I have decided to book a hotel for my stay in Shiraz, Mashhad (i'll probably be staying there for 2 nights max in each place anyway) and in Tehran for 1 night and hopefully the remaining days at a CS host's place
one last question - since, I dont have a return ticket (I will be taking a bus/taxi from Mashhad into Herat, Afghanistan) - will this be an issue for getting a visa at the airport?
The embassy page specifically asks for a copy of the return ticket. And I cant find any websites for Iranian Bus companies where I can book my Mashhad - Herat bus ticket online
Nov 28, 2012 10:12 AM
5Having 2 Iranian visas in my passport from the past, I was refused a VOA in my dutch passport, last month. I had a hotel booking confirmation (@ Tehran Firoozeh Hotel), but it didn't work and the officer was not interested to issue a visa to me at all.
I tried to get a visa before my trip, but I made a big mistake (trusting an agent in Iran who claimed to provide the visa code before payment) which wasted my time and probably caused the refusal.
Nov 28, 2012 10:57 AM
Nov 29, 2012 2:03 AM
Nov 29, 2012 6:41 AM
8Really get your visa beforehand if you can mate, its just makes things so much easier once you get there, at least when I got mine last year (In New Delhi), I didn't have to worry about any of those things when I arrived, just got a stamp and I was in Iran.
Also, do heed #3 advice about not mentioning Iranians you might know, really i think most immigration places in the worldwide wouldn't think much of web-based couchsurfing as an 'invitation' or 'Hotel Booking Confirmation' of any sort, but especially so in Iran!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$169.26 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$21.84 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$2426.55 per night