Iran Visa for US Citizens

A step by step guide explaining how US citizens can get Iranian visa

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How to Travel to Iran as an American?

Traveling to Iran has become much more accessible during recent years. People from various countries can quickly get a visa for visiting Iran and enjoy their trip to this ancient country. Most of the tourists can even get a visa on arrival. But, there are some exceptions as well. One of the exceptions is the Iran visa for US citizens. Due to the conflicts between Iran and the US, Iran doesn’t have an embassy in the US. Also, US citizens can’t travel Iran on their own. Following, we will explain how to travel to Iran as an American step by step.

Steps For Getting Iran Visa for American Citizens

Step 1

Choosing An Iranian Travel Agency

The first thing an American should do for getting a visa is choosing an Iranian travel agency (Like Alibabatrek). Booking Iran tours for US citizens is a must do. You have to do it because of two reasons; First, you need the travel agency to apply for a travel authorization number. Getting the travel authorization number is necessary for obtaining a visa.

Furthermore, you should choose a specific tour and set the dates of your travel. Showing the particular details of your trip is very important in the process of getting the visa. Second, a guide has to accompany you during your time in Iran. It doesn’t mean that you cannot go anywhere without your guide. But, your guide has to know where you are.

Alibabatrek iran tour operator who we are alibabatrek office in tehran
Alibabatrek Office, Iran Travel Agency

Step 2

Sending Your Documents To The Travel Agency

In this step, you should obtain an authorization code for traveling to Iran. You should send the documents that are required for the travel agency you have chosen. The process of getting this code happens in Iran. Also, it takes almost 40 working days (about two months) to receive your authorization code. Therefore, you should make sure that you have enough time for this process. In other words, you cannot plan for coming to Iran next month when you don’t have an authorization number. Your travel agency will receive the code and then sends It to you.

 Following, you can see the requirements for getting an authorization number/ visa grant:

  1. You should fill the form your travel agency sends you, Apply Online for Iran Visa
  2. A scan of the first page of your passport ( with high quality)
  3. Your official photo with high quality ( you should be looking at the front in your picture, and the background should be one-color)
  4. Your working and educational resume in the last ten years in a Word file.
Iran visa for us uk canadian citizens suitable personal photo for getting visa code

Standard Personal Photo

Iran visa for us uk canadian citizens suitable passport scan photo for getting visa code

Standard Passport Photo

Step 3

Sending Authorization Visa Application To The Embassy

You can now apply for getting a visa after getting your authorization code. All you need to do is posting/ taking your application form and authorization code to the embassy. As we mentioned above, Iran doesn’t have an embassy in the United States. Therefore, you should send/take your documents to the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani embassy in Washingon D.C. Here are the documents you need in this step:

  1. Your passport
  2. Your authorization code
  3. Passport photo
  4. 120$ USD if you are posting your documents/ 90$ USD if you are taking the documents to the embassy
  5. Return envelope
Iran visa grant Iran visa authorization code

Iran Visa Grant, Visa Authorization Code

Step 4

Getting The Visa

This step in the final step for getting your visa. Also, the process of issuing your permit takes 2-3 weeks. After that, you can receive your visa at your mailbox. After receiving your visa, you will have only three months to start your travel to Iran. You can only stay in Iran for a month, but you can also renew your visa. Your visa renewal will give you 30 extra days in Iran. But, you can only renew your visa during your stay in Iran and only in Tehran.

Pakistani Embassy Washingt DC, US and Canadian Iran visa lodgement
Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C


Some Tips You Should Know

  • The American-Iranians who are traveling with their US passport will need to do all the steps above. But, none of the steps above is necessary if you are traveling with your Iranian passport.
  • The process of getting a visa with Canadian or British passports is as same as an American passport. So, using your other Canadian or British passport will not make the process easier for you.
  • The whole process of getting a visa for a US citizen takes almost three months. Including two months for an authorization number and 2-3 weeks for receiving your visa from Pakistani embassy in Washington.
  •  In case you have the passport of another country, we recommend you to use it for getting your visa. This way, you can avoid the complications of getting a visa with your US passport. You can get your visa from the Pakistani embassy in Washington or get a visa on arrival. To get a visa on arrival, your travel agency gives you an authorization code. In this case, the time you need to wait for your authorization number reduces to only ten days. So, you can get your visa at Imam Khomeini airport.

An Experience of Americans Who Traveled Iran

You can learn a lot about the Iran visa for US citizens by reading about the experience of other travelers. Following you can read the experiences of other Americans getting an Iranian visa.

A couple who traveled Iran in 2011 said that the travel agency would help you with the paperwork. You should fill your application form and inform your travel agency at which consulate you will pick your visa. They believed the only problematic part of the process is getting the authorization number which takes 30-40 days. Also, they thought the process of receiving the visa was relatively easy and painless! They just recommended making sure you have enough time the process of getting the visa.

They also commented on the fact that you would have to have a guide with you during your time. The couple had experienced both private guides and group tours. They believed that you would have enough time for walking in the streets and making connections with the people.

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This Iran tour package is the best choice for those who have a short time for exploring the Iranian culture. So, spend only five days with this Iran tour to visit all the must-visit attractions in Iran. This short time Iran travel tour includes visiting Tehran, Kashan, and Isfahan.

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The best Iran tour for those who have enough time and want to explore Iran completely. During this Iran travel tour, you can visit Tabriz, Ardabil, Rasht, Qazvin, Hamedan, Kashan, Yazd, Shiraz and… By joining our most comprehensive Iran tour package you can visit all of the important cities of Iran.

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Enjoy visiting historical western cities of Iran with this Iran tour package. This Iran travel tour includes visiting Qom, Lorestan, Susa, and Isfahan. So, spend 13 days with this Iran tour to explore the rich culture of Iranian western cities thoroughly.

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Seeking for ancient aspects of Iran? then Iran tour package of Shushtar and Khuzestan is a great opportunity. This Iran travel tour takes you to visit the Iranian most ancient cities in 4 days. Enjoy the wonderful historical and cultural features of Iran with this Iran tour.

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Our Iran Tours Reviews

The accommodations provided by Alibabetrek were beyond thoughtful and considerate. They were flexible to our needs and wants and still managed to get us everywhere we wanted to go. Our experience with Alibabetrek far exceeded even our highest expectations. As a family, we travel quite a bit, and we have to say, this was our best tour experience yet.
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Anousha Rouhanian

United States

Alibabatrek was the most responsive, flexible and cost effective of the four agents I contacted. Within a few days, we agreed an itinerary based on my requirements and their advice on possibilities and practicality. They also convinced me to apply for my visa ahead of time to give me added comfort on arrival.
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Suzanne Lampow-Bernard

United Kingdom

This last September, me and my non-Iranian wife travelled to Iran. We were looking for some adventurous hiking experience (something like climbing Mt. Damavand – the highest pick in the Middle East) and found Alibabatrek using google search.Initially, we were only interested in their hiking package but then we were sold on their cultural tour as well.
Farid Sharif, testimonials of iran tour from Canada traveler
Farid Sharifi


We had very accomplished and experienced mountain guides and climbed both summits successfully and without any difficulty. The acclimatization program and the food were very good. In the second part we made a train journey from Tehran to Sari and then visited Isfahan and Kashan - the guides were exemplary and well informed.
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Judith Schuler


Knowledge of the guide was incredible and we had a lot of good laughs. Before the trip I was a bit concerned about my gluten allergy but Alibaba did everything to make sure the food was arranged. To conclude, I can definitely recommend Alibabatrek for adventure seekers and those who would like to go on a cultural trip.
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Erik in ´t Zand


We spent one week in Iran with Alibabatrek. We visited the Persian Gulf and Yazd... Unique experience Everything was pefect,our guide has been irreplaceable ,prepared,and a good traveling companion. Great professionalism, kindness and availability. Surely for the next trip to Iran we will entrust ourselves to them.
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Albert Gandin