Visa on arrival in Iran: Reports and Q&A

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Re: Visa on arrival in Iran: Reports and Q&A

Postby bwv812 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:40 pm

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Re: Visa on arrival in Iran: Reports and Q&A

Postby miczel » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:14 pm

On 15-11-2019 at around 3am I've attempted to get a VOA at the international airport in Tehran asking for 4-5 weeks and after 4h of waiting I got only 1 week with no extension possibility.

The officer was giving me several reasons for that, however, I didn't find many of them very convincing. The main reason was that it's against their policy and there is nothing he can do about it. He said that, as I have already stayed in Iran before for 3 months, this time I would need to apply in advance via embassy providing a detailed itinerary with all ho(s)tel reservations etc., or apply via host (no idea how). He explained that 3 months in Iran should be enough to see the whole country (really?). He said that normally they shouldn't let me in but they did an exception for me. Well, this is good but still far to less for what I have planned in Iran. He added that the fact that I'm staying in a private flat of an Iranian friend makes my application even weaker. They even called my host couple of times (between 4-7am!) asking questions about me, my plans, our relation but I guess they could only learn that I'm, indeed, just an innocent tourist without bad intentions. I also didn't have a departure flight booked. My explanation that I couldn't book the flight as I didn't know for how long I will get the visa didn't seem to help. Moreover, I travelled directly from USA which might be not without importance, even though they didn't ask me anything about my trip to the states.

I should also mentioned that my answer to a state-of-the-art question about my reasons to come to Iran was practicing yoga, learning Persian at Dehkhoda institute and visiting Iranian friends. It may, indeed, sound more like living in Tehran rather than travelling in Iran. I didn't know that could be a reason for giving me such short visa. It does make some sense to me now but should they really care what my plans are as long I'm not against the law, traditions etc.? Since when travelling means only moving from one city to other city, sleeping in hotels, taking selfies at touristic places etc.? I guess it's all about politics and where politics kicks in the reason is out ;) In fact, when Iranians intend to travel the world they get into so much troubles with obtaining visas. Maybe Iranian MFA just tries to bring some Hammurabi style just into this crazy little world we live in?

However, just before I got my passport back after 4 hours of waiting since my arrival another officer said that I can extend the visa in Migration Police Department (more information here: https://caravanistan.com/visa/iran/extensions/#tehran) and I don't need to prepare anything special. Just to go there a day before my visa expires. It made me even more confused but gave some hope. I was quite surprised by the problems I run into. I really hope I can still extend my visa for additional 30 days or so as I have planned the whole month in Iran already.

Do you have any suggestions for my next interview (probably November 21)? What should I prepare or what should I explain to them. Any hints greatly appreciated.

There have been another post describing similar problem with re-entering Iran: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3627#p14064
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Re: Visa on arrival in Iran: Reports and Q&A

Postby bwv812 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:20 pm

Telling him that you planned to stay with Iranian friends and naming them seems like a great way to get those friends in trouble with the authorities.
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Re: Visa on arrival in Iran: Reports and Q&A

Postby miczel » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:03 am

bwv812 wrote:Telling him that you planned to stay with Iranian friends and naming them seems like a great way to get those friends in trouble with the authorities.


Unfortunately, you might be right but I wasn't aware of it before coming. Even my host said he did this multiple times for his previous guests and he haven't have problems so far (I guess, he still does not have). And when I was applying for visa last time I also provided an Iranian friend and it went through smoothly. It seems to me that there are no rules, sometimes it's ok, sometimes not. Nevertheless, I will definitely use some ho(s)tels instead of private persons next time when I travel to Iran.
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