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What is the most reasonable way to get a visa to Iran without surrendering the passport for weeks? In particular we are Polish nationals living in London.

In this question: How to get a visa for Iran? I saw that one can improve things by using an agency to get a "code", but still it seems that you need to send your passport to the embassy and there are no guarantees on how long the process will take.

Also I read that it is possible to get a visa on arrival on major airports (15 day only though) - does anyone has any experience and know how to guarantee that we will actually get it?

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    Welcome to the world of nationalities-who-need-visa-in-advance. I didn't have my passport for two weeks now waiting for the Moroccan Embassy in London to process my visa. :| – Ankur Banerjee Dec 21 '11 at 10:27
  • You need a visa for Morocco? – hippietrail Dec 21 '11 at 10:50
  • I work with an Indian girl who tried to get her Moroccan visa in person at the embassy but failed after 5 attempts (their website, phone messages and staff all contradict each other about opening times and the like) In the end she got the visa while back in India (hence she couldn't lose sight of her passport for two weeks) – Stuart Dec 21 '11 at 21:12
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    @hippietrail: For Indian passport holders, yes. The list of countries we can visit without having to provide 10 documents is very small. :( – Ankur Banerjee Dec 22 '11 at 22:40
  • "lost" usually means you can't find it (and lots passports require special attention); so updated the title. – Burhan Khalid Aug 15 '16 at 22:06
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As I understand after you applied and paid for the visa and they tell you it is ready to be collected at the consulate of your choice, it doesn't actually take that long.

All they have to do is sticking the visa into your passport. The actually approval process has already been done at that point. So ideally it should be possible with a single visit to the Embassy and not giving away your passport at all.

However I have not been through that process myself yet, maybe a phone call to the Embassy can clarify my assumption.

Edit: In the meantime, I did apply for a Iranian visa but not in London, I had to sent my passport to the Iranian consulate in Hamburg and it took a week to get it back.

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