Iran is probably the most friendly, safest and most hospitable theocracy in the Middle East . Unfortunately, it also has the reputation of being the most confusing, frustrating and bureaucratic. Travelers land in Tehran and find themselves in the presence of glittering mosques and shady palm trees … which will inevitably clash with the visa application process on arrival. We can assure you that it is a procedure that would make even an adult man whine! Moreover, currencies become so complex that buying a packet of chips is like trying to invest in the stock market.
Then there are some rules for the dress code that you absolutely must know before leaving.
None of this should stop you from living what is, honestly, one of the most magical places in the world . There is a reason why the tours in Iran have increased in recent years. It’s a stable and welcoming country (don’t be surprised if some old ladies invite you to their home for a warm Chelow kebab). It has an incredible historical legacy (our favorites are the Naqsh-e jahàn square in Esfahan and Persepolis ). And most importantly, it does not resemble what is described in night bulletins. Iran is a surprise, pure and simple : for a traveler there is nothing more exciting than this.
To enter Iran, most foreign travelers need a visa. It is best to embark on this practice by keeping your eyes wide open. It may take a long time and could be frustrating. We can’t say otherwise! T who can help you and guide you through the practice.
In general, it may take 6 to 8 weeks to apply for a visa for Iran , so plan accordingly. If this wasn’t fun enough, the cost of a visa changes regularly and may depend on your country of origin. This makes the authentic alerts a bit deceptive, but your travel agent will surely be able to give you the latest information.
The practice to request a visa usually involves 2 steps:
- The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs must issue an authorization code for your visa;
- The visa for your passport can then be obtained at an Iranian embassy once the authorization code has been issued.
The duration of the procedure may vary and the documents requested depend on your nationality. If you come from England, the United States or Canada, the practice may take longer and may be a bit more complicated. Fortunately for most other nationalities, it is possible to obtain a visa upon arrival once the authorization code is received, which makes the practice much easier.
Of course, it is not the most fascinating part of the journey, but it is important to direct your expectations to the appropriate level. The plumbing in Iran (just like the rest of the Middle East) is different from what we know. Most of the toilets are Turkish and for our habits, they could be a nuisance, as well as misleading and inconvenient. Especially for women who are already juggling to prevent their scarves from unrolling and ending up in them.
Honestly speaking, it is a system used by almost half of the planet, and it fits everyone. . And even if you had a “throne” in western style (in hotel rooms) don’t throw the paper in the toilet. Yes, that little basket is used to collect your toilet paper.