1. The traveller has both UK and Iranian passports; therefore no visa required to enter Iran
  2. They travelled from London to Tehran a few weeks ago with both passports and entered Iran with no issues.
  3. They applied in Tehran to renew their Iranian passport, which had expired. However, the replacement Iranian passport has not been received yet.
  4. They are due to travel back from Tehran to London in a few days’ time but currently only have in their possession their UK passport, with no Iran visa in it).

My enquiry is: Will they be able to pass through Iranian border control to exit the country with only their UK passport with no Iranian visa in it? Or do they have to delay return until new Iranian passport is issued?

1 Answer 1


According to the UK FCDO

Under Iranian law, all Iranian nationals must travel to and from Iran using an Iranian passport.

Hence, I do not believe they should attempt to leave Iran until they have a new Iranian passport. And once they do

In order to return to the UK you’ll need to demonstrate to the Iranian authorities that you have a right to return. At present, the Iranian authorities are accepting the presentation of a British passport on departure if you don’t have a UK visa in your Iranian passport. However, the Iranian authorities could change their position on this and it’s officially illegal in Iran to hold two nationalities.

Therefore, to avoid advertising their British citizenship to Iranian authorities, they may wish to travel via a third country which permits Iranians to travel there with minimal difficulty, such as Oman or Qatar. This way, they won't need to prove they are allowed to enter the UK when departing Iran.

If they do take this route, they should book travel using separate tickets. Potentially it may be safer to book a return flight to the third country and then book their travel to the UK once they've arrived there (and don't use the return leg back to Iran, obviously).

  • Thank you, Mjeffryes! I did submit my query to the UK FCDO and they replied very promptly that I would need to ask the Iranian immigration authorities about any aspect of their procedures or documentation to enter, reside in or leave the country. I have replied to them and directed them to the more precise and useful guidance you have quoted above (from their very own travel advice pages). Thanks again.
    – Starman
    Dec 15, 2022 at 15:35
  • 1
    @Starman I guess the UK FCDO response might have reflected caution that Iran could change its rules at any time, making the advice on the UK website (which can be easily located via a quick Google search) obsolete.
    – Traveller
    Dec 15, 2022 at 17:26

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