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My Japanese friend found it impossible to get a visa for Iran in Tokyo, and decided to try and get it at the border from Pakistan to Iran.

Is it even possible?
Wikitravel says visas on arrival are possible at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, but no mention about coming by road or train.

It would be for a two-weeks touristic stay.

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to IATA's TimaticWeb database which most airlines check visa requirements against (which I accessed through Delta Airlines' site), visa-on-arrival in Iran is available for:

Holders of normal passports traveling as tourist can obtain a visa on arrival, for a max. stay of 15 days, provided:

  • holding an e-visa pre-approval code obtained via e-mail from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: www.mfa.gov.ir; and
  • arriving at Chah-Bahar (ZBR), Gheshm (GSM), Kish (KIH), Mashad, (MHD) Esfahan (IFN), Shiraz (SYZ), Tabriz (TBZ) and Tehran Imam Khomeini International (IKA) or Tehran Mehrabad International (THR); and

  • holding a photograph, a copy of passport's biographical page and fee of between EUR 30 and EUR 80.

It would therefore seem obtaining visa-on-arrival is not possible at land borders.

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I am not familiar with this IATA tool, but maybe it concentrates on airports and does not list all ways to get on-arrival visa? –  nic Feb 1 '12 at 7:03
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The site linked by Ankur gives the address and website of the Iranian embassy in Tokyo. Guess your friend didn't do his research properly:

JAPAN (TOKYO)

سفارت جمهوری اسلامی ایران - توکیو

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tokyo, Japan

Titel of Diplomatic Office:Embassy

Head of Diplomatic Office:

Date of Establishment:1930

Address:3-10-32MINAMI-AZABU ,MINATO-KU

Address:TOKYO 106 JAPAN

P.O.Box:34489022

Country-Area-Code:0081

Tel.:033 - 34468011-34468015-34468014-34468013- 3446801

Fax:033 - 34462383

Emergency-Tel:

Consular Section:34468021-34468023 FAX CON.3448902

Homepage: tokyo.mfa.ir

E-mail:SJEI@GOL.COM

Online visa applications seem to be down at the moment, but the embassy should be able to help him out. If they say he can't get a visa, I doubt he'll get one by just turning up at some dusty border checkpoint and asking (and if they let him through after paying a few hundred dollars, he's going to have trouble with the first police or other security checkpoint that asks for his papers).

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I don't know the details but I am sure she has been to this embassy at least a few times already. –  nic Feb 1 '12 at 8:10
    
if the embassy can't help her, I doubt she can get a visa (but do try to contact an embassy or consulate in another country, maybe the ROK, they might have other avenues). –  jwenting Feb 1 '12 at 13:34
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My Japanese friend tried this week in Islamabad (not near the border but better than nothing), at the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Conclusion: It is hard to get, but not impossible!

  • The first time she tried, she was turned down.
  • The second time she tried even harder, and that worked!

She paid a Rs. 5000 visa fee.

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