How to travel to Iran as an American?
It seems that it will be complicated but if you know what to do and who contact within in Iran, It can be simple
What US citizens need to know if planning on traveling to Iran?
Most of the non-Iranians who visit Iran Tourism Center website are US citizens and sometimes they ask “How can Americans visit Iran given the political situation between the two countries?” Well, the good news is you can travel to Iran if you follow few easy rules that we explain here. These rules apply for the visa and traveling style, period! The rest of the travel experience (accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, domestic flights, guidance, restaurants, roads, etc.) are all the same.
The visa process
As anyone who’s gone through the process knows, getting an Iran visa as a US citizen is simple but time-consuming. Some countries have the option of an arrival visa, but not the States. Iranian visas are issued after a two-step process and this will differ according to your nationality (specifically the passport you are traveling on).
Tourist visa for Americans isn’t very different. As I’m particularly going to explain how it’s different for the American travelers, I will introduce the steps Americans should be aware of while planning their trips to Iran:
An authorization code for the visa must be issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Intrepid travel will help facilitate this process with our local operator. Make sure you have enough time before you decide on your journey date. As of today, it takes around 6 weeks to get the authorization number for US travelers. In other words, from the day an Iranian tour operator applies for your visa to the day the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) approves the visa and provides the Iranian tour operator with the authorization number, it will take this much time.
Once you have your authorization code, a visa for the passport must then be obtained through an Iranian Embassy. Make sure you include all the sights you’d like to visit in your itinerary. You won’t be able to change the itinerary and add new routes and cities once your visa is approved. Therefore, work diligently with your tour operator explaining to them where you want to go, what you want to see and what you’d like to do among anything else you’re planning for this trip. Such a carefully prepared itinerary will be given to the MFA before a tourist visa is approved.
What about US citizens with Iranian-American nationality?
US-Iranian citizens who are traveling to Iran with their US passports are subject to the same visa and travel regulations as other US citizens. Therefore, they must complete the same visa process. US-Iranian citizens who are going to travel to Iran with their Iranian passport are not required to obtain an Iran visa. A US passport holder whose father is an Iranian is also under the same visa and travel regulations as other US passport holders/citizens.
What about Canadian or UK passengers?
The visa process for the UK and Canadian passengers is exactly the same as US citizens above.
Based on the official rules, a tourist comes to Iran on a tourist visa to do what a tourist is supposed to do:
- Follow the itinerary,
- Visit sights, cities, museums, etc.,
- Stay in the hotels already chosen.
A guide from your travel agency must accompany you at all times while you are in Iran and will usually meet you at the border or airport. US citizens must stay with their guide. Separating from the guide may result in police intervention and questioning. Make sure to work closely with your travel agency to include every desired destination in your itinerary, since you will not be able to strike out and explore on your own. The agency will include any transportation in the package.
There is no Iranian Embassy in the United States. How will I get my visa?
Although Iran doesn’t have an official embassy in Washington, DC, there is an Iranian “interest section” at the Pakistan Embassy that handles Iranian visa requests. If you don’t live in the DC area, you’ll need to send your passport, application form and passport photos by mail (e.g., DHL, FedEx, etc.) with a prepaid return envelope.
Or, if you are abroad with your American passport you can pick up your visa at an Iranian consulate abroad. You just need to specify which consulate location when you apply for the authorization number. Just consult your Iran travel agent and be sure everything is Ok and they didn’t change any rules.
We invite you to watch this video that one American guy, one American young lady, and one Australian involved the tour in Iran