Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

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bwv812
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Re: Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

Postby bwv812 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:55 pm

I personally would wary of asking a private Iranian citizen to invite you, as they are essentially vouching for you and this can result in potential difficulties for them down the road.
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Tim Ansell
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Re: Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

Postby Tim Ansell » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:15 pm

As a British passport holder, based in Dubai and hoping to drive my Dubai registered overland truck through Iran and on into Europe, I am intrigued by the possibility of having a personal invitation for a visa rather than applying for a Tourist Visa through an agency.

I used to travel to Iran on business a lot, for almost 20 years, but not for the last 8 or 9 since I can no longer do business there due to sanctions. But I have trusted friends there who would, I'm quite sure, make a personal application on my behalf at the MFA. But I would like to understand a few things.

1) I'd like to visit for between 30 and 60 days - no point getting to Iran in an overland truck and not exploring the place fully! Obviously I'd not want a guide nor a fixed schedule tour. So what visa do I apply for. I'd be coming as a tourist, but then that implies as a Brit I'd need the guide / schedule. So can my friends simply apply for a 'Visit' visa with no other explanation? Not a "Tourist" or "Business" visa?

Assuming I don't get myself into trouble in any way - I've lived in the Gulf 25+ years and know the pitfalls of saying or doing the wrong thing to the wrong person or at the wrong time - what do you mean bwv812 when you mean it might cause difficulties. I, nor my friends there are not naïve, but do you actually know of issues in the past? Not trying to be difficult with my question, just want to understand all the angles.

Has anyone actually done this successfully?? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for any feedback. I'd pretty much abandoned the idea of heading out via Iran, at least without an expensive guide, but maybe this is my chance?
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steven
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Re: Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

Postby steven » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:47 am

Hi Tim,

that's a good question. I personally do not know the answer. I don't think, with your experience, you will get anyone into trouble. I think the only way to find out wht the options are is for your friends to go to the migration police or whoever is responsible for the invitation and ask around. I am sure the rules are confusing and the officers in charge don't know all the details.

So perhaps there is a possibility. In my opinion, it will require some digging from your friends in Iran to find out what is and what is not in the cards.
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Tim Ansell
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Re: Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

Postby Tim Ansell » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:17 pm

Thanks Steven. Guess that's the next step.

If I have any luck I'll report back....
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bwv812
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Re: Iranian visa for US, UK and Canadian passports: Q&A

Postby bwv812 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:20 pm

I guess I'm more cautious than Steven, but my feeling is that if there's any chance that your actions can have negative repercussions for your sponsors, then it's better not to do it.

The reality is that you're one of the nationalities that normally requires a tour, and we do know that some of the agencies who have tried to skirt the tour requirement have been caught and punished. From staying with friends in Iran I also know they were reluctant to let me do some things while I was staying with them, for fear of drawing attention. At the time I thought they were concerned about my safety, but in retrospect I think they were more concerned about causing issues for themselves, especially since they said they did things like attend mosque regularly just so that they could maintain their ability to get a government job (such things can and are checked by the government).
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