The borderless global village in which we live has not wiped out the physical borders. A travel ticket you booked online is not always an open sesame to a foreign country. You still need a visa to enter a large number of countries across the globe.
To US citizens, the borders of many countries are open, such as France, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and many others; no visa needed. The Americans, however, do not enjoy such privilege for entering approximately 50 countries. And Iran is among these countries: US citizens are required to have a visa in advance.
Iran is a hotpot of Persian and Islamic art and architecture, rich cultural heritage, breathtaking nature, and kindhearted and generous people. It is no wonder that many travelers wish to know how they can visit the country.
Here’s what all would-be travelers need to know about how you can travel to Iran as a US citizen.
Remember, the conflict between politicians does not essentially represent a conflict between the people. The tension between the United States and Iran has a long history. It has heightened or cooled off continuously over the past decades. Notwithstanding such turmoil, many Iranians have visited the US or ever moved there, and many American tourists have come to Iran. Both countries carry out background checks and other necessary measures.
All you have to do is follow the latest news and stay updated for any possible changes as regards the visa application process.
I will not try to sugarcoat it; US citizens must enter the country accompanied by an official tour.
But what does this even mean? Well, if you were, let’s say, a German traveler or backpacker, with all the wanderlust vibes, you could explore the country on your own, going where you felt like going. You wouldn’t have to plan your journey ahead with a tour. The American travelers though should register at a verified tour. Whereas for other tourists who visit Iran options like Couchsurfing are perfectly available, such an alternative does not exist for US citizens.
You should not freak out though. All the MFA asks of you is a detailed itinerary as scheduled by the tour.
The Iranian tour you embark on must be authorized by the government and directed by a licensed leader. you must provide the Ministry of Foreign Affair with the travel itinerary you are going to follow during your stay in Iran. That includes:
US citizens have to apply for an Iranian visa before they arrive in the country at least 3 months prior to their trip. They are not entitled to an on-arrival visa. So, make sure you apply for a visa before you make any further plans.
This is your essential walkthrough for an Iranian visa application:
As you see, the process is surprisingly straightforward. After you receive your authorization code, which normally takes at least two months, you can collect your visa. Do not forget that the authorization code remains valid up to 30 days. Do not postpone getting a visa at the eleventh hour.
As you might have correctly estimated, the correspondence and the paperwork might take a while. Therefore, it is definitely recommended that you initiate the visa application process at least 60 days in advance.
the following documents are required throughout the process:
Except for travelers who have Israeli nationality, other citizens and nationals are allowed and welcomed in Iran.
There are only about 60 countries that are entitled to an Iranian VoA, the United States is not one of them.
Unlike other nationals, citizens of the US, UK, and Canada must have collected their visa before they get to the country.
Of course. For all tourists alike, Iran has always been considered as a safe country to travel to.
Absolutely not. Such propaganda is spread by those who want to add fire to the fuel of racial and political unrest.
The devaluation of Iran’s currency (rial) against common currencies (euro and US dollar) has turned the country into a favorite, as well as affordable, destination for travelers.
While you can keep your passport and ID somewhere safe (at the hotel, for instance), you should carry a copy of your visa and passport with you at all times.
Reminder: Do not deliver your ID or other documents to just anyone. Make sure the person who asks your ID is a government official and wears a badge.
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