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Iran Visa – Easy Extension in Esfahan

The internet and the Lonely Planet is full of horror stories for Iranian visa extensions, so we were a little uneasy about doing it in Esfahan.  But turns out we were pleasantly surprised and thought we’d share our experience.

We have 2 weeks left on the visa but plan to spend three weeks here, so if they issued us an extension today, the 30 days would cover the rest of our trip.

Passports

Our Passports

We were expecting to have to wait at least a day to get the passports back and also that the 30 days would start from the date of issue (i.e. today).  We made sure we had all of our documents:

  • 2x passport photos
  • 2x photocopies of passport, current visa, entry stamp & any other extensions you’ve had
  • your passport
  • 300,000 Rial for the visa
  • 8,000 Rial for the folder and forms

We jumped into a taxi early to get to the Office of Foreign Affairs by 8am.  Breezing through security with a few friendly questions and answers, (you have to leave your mobile phone and camera with them by the way) and up to the processing office where we were asked a few questions on what our plans were, then directed to a man in a booth outside the front of the building who we paid 4,000 Rials each to get the forms, (one page… basic questions).

We then left the compound to go to the Melli Bank, a taxi driver waiting out the front took us there and filled out our deposit slip in Farsi, (handy!) for a small fee before speeding us back to the compound.

After going between a couple of windows, (don’t worry about finding them – enough people there speak English and will be only too happy to point you in the right direction) we sat down to wait as our, (and other peoples passports) were ferried between offices, for… well, I’m not sure what; but we got them back within 30 mins.

All in all the process took under 2 hours and best of all they gave us 30 extra days from when the original visa expires… NOT from when they issued the extension – so 60 days in total if we want it… bounus!

Obviously it may not happen like this for you, and busier parts of the year may mean a longer wait. But for what it’s worth, the process was fine for us.

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