We had our Iran visas issued in Yerevan, Armenia. If you follow below steps thoroughly, you will not encounter any problem doing the same. The employees at the embassy and especially the lady at the visa desk are very friendly and can be quite funny as well. Plus, they have free water, juice, tea, candy and cookies at the embassy! Iranians really seem to be a hospitable bunch.
What you need
- Filled in application form available at the embassy. We used the general application form from iranianvisa.com which was accepted without any questions. Just do not buy the reference code on their website. It is basically a scam.
- One passport photo. We saw women apply in Yerevan with passport photos without a headscarf. Wearing one, however, is the safer option.
- Your passport, valid at least six months from the desired entry date. It may not contain an Israeli stamp. Also note that you may encounter serious questioning, if you try to enter the US with a passport that contains an Iran visa.
- Copy of your passport.
- Copy of your health insurance voucher valid in Iran.
- A visa reference number. We got ours from key2persia and could not recommend their services more. They even had our reference numbers sent to the embassy again, free of charge, when we did not make it to the embassy within the 30 days period.
- Visa fee payable in Euro. The fee for German and Polish citizens was 50/75 € for normal/express processing time in September 2016. The normal processing time is one week. If you choose express, it will be ready the next open day. There is a money exchange counter in the bank where you have to pay the fee. So it does not matter too much if you show up with Dram, Euros, US Dollars or Russian Rubel.
The tourist visa is valid for three months from the day it was issued. You may enter Iran any time during this period. Then you are allowed to stay for 30 days. But you can extend these 30 days once you are in Iran.
What you do
- Follow the steps at key2persia around two weeks before you are planning to go to the embassy. This way, your reference number will be there right on time.
- Visit the embassy at 1 Budaghyan St and bring your reference number. If you do not already have an application form, you will receive one from the lady at the visa desk (desk 3). She will also check if your reference number has arrived. The entrance to the visa office is around the corner from the main gate. Ring the bell and they will let you in. Opening hours for visa applications and pick up are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2 to 4 pm. NOT 9.15 am to 13 pm as it used to be. Arrive at 2 pm in order to complete your submission the same day!
- Pay your visa fee at Mellat Bank (6 Amiryan St, near Republic Square, UPDATE: it is now at 5 Tumanyan St!)). The bank counter is where you actually decide upon your processing time. Just walk up to the counter left of the entrance and say you want to pay the visa fee to the embassy and give them the respective amount when they ask for it.
We chose to take a taxi from the embassy to the bank instead of driving ourselves. Taxi drivers know how to avoid traffic and you do not have to go through the hassle of finding a place to park (parking is not an issue at the embassy, but around Mellat Bank). Plus, you can use the 15 to 20 minute ride to complete your application form or check your documents one more time. The taxis cost us 1000 AMD there (no meter) and 1400 AMD back (with meter). You can, of course, share the cost with other travelers applying for an Iran visa. Taxis are easily found on each end, but you might as well hire a driver for the whole return trip.
- Return to the embassy and submit your documents including the receipt of payment. Note that the visa desk closes at 4 pm!
- Pick up your visa. Opening hours are again Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2 to 4 pm. Depending on the processing time you chose, you can pick up your passport either the next open day or after one week.
Places of the action
The Iranian embassy is a good place to get your visa for Iran! Especially if you are planning to enter Iran through the land border with Armenia. The staff is professional and very friendly. And the sweets and beverages at the embassy are a big plus 🙂 If you want, please share your Iran visa experiences in the comment section!