I am a dual Dutch-American citizen that is planning to visit Iran in the upcoming week. I have both a Dutch and an American passport.

According to the Wikipedia page for Iran's visa policy, "British, Canadian and American citizens are required to be escorted by a government approved guide at all times. Independent travel for these citizens has been banned due to the closure of Iranian foreign missions in these countries."

However, I asked an Iranian friend who said that I should have no problem as long as I enter on my Dutch passport, and this seems consistent with what I have read here.

As Iran has a visa-on-arrival program for Dutch citizens, I assume that I can just show up at the airport in Tehran, show my Dutch passport, get a visa, and walk out of the airport and into Tehran.

Is this correct?

[edit 11/08/16] I've contacted the embassies of both countries and posted my answer below. My flight is tomorrow morning and I land in Tehran around 1am Thursday. I'll let everyone know what happens.

  • 3
    Sounds right, but I'd also advise leaving your US passport at home. Just in case. Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 21:15
  • 2
    Tough call Owen. If you can find or know of literally a number of folks who have done EXACTLY what you are suggesting, and they had no problem, you can probably "go for it". Note that opinions, ideas etc mean nothing. "American citizens are required to be escorted by a government approved guide" you ARE an American citizen. It's a tough call.
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 21:31
  • Check my comment on another Iran Q, it might not be a good time to take risks. Contact your dutch embassy in Tehran. And don't rely on a forum entry from three years ago.
    – mts
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 22:28
  • And take a look at the Rijksoverheid Reisadvies Iran
    – Giorgio
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 1:19
  • 1
    @OwenVersteeg How did it go?
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


So I've now done a bit more research and called both the Dutch embassy in Tehran and the Iranian embassy in the Hague. The Dutch embassy in Tehran told me that I should be fine if I present only my Dutch passport, even with my NYC birthplace. The Iranian embassy staff in the Hague very quickly told me that it would not be a problem, and that I could apply for a visa on arrival. Although I have my doubts that it'll go as smoothly as they say, I'm going to take their word for it and book my flight.

I have recordings of both conversations with the staff of both embassies, which I'll be bringing with me in case there are any problems. I've also got a "backup" vacation planned in Kiev (in case Trump gets elected, says something really stupid and starts a third world war.)

  • 3
    Thanks for coming back and answering with your research, +1. I suppose you can safely accept your own answer!
    – mts
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 17:43
  • 1
    @OwenVersteeg we believe you :)
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 17:44

With the exception of dual Iranian nationals, Iranian immigration apply the rules for the passport you present. Meaning, if you apply for entry as a Dutch citizen, you will be treated as a Dutch citizen, and as such can get a visa on arrival.

Several travel agents have reportedly contacted the MFA, who have confirmed that it is the passport used for entry that counts

Besides, how should they even know you're also a US citizen if you present a Dutch passport?

  • 2
    > Besides, how should they even know you're also a US citizen if you present a Dutch passport? - I'd be very cautious with this assumption these days, past Snowden. Perhaps Iran is not yet there but who knows really what data they stole and what perhaps the Chinese passed along. Who knows. That doesn't alter the fact that a Dutch citizen is a Dutch citizen but assuming they can't know is no longer a safe one.
    – user4188
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 23:37
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    @chx anyway, as we've leaned in the comments, Owen's Dutch passport reflects his US place of birth, so it will be very easy to suspect that he is an American citizen. Anyone who knows anything about US nationality laws willknow that it's extremely unlikely for someone born in the US not to be a US citizen.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 7:13
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    Do you have a source for this statement?
    – mts
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 7:42

I went to Iran as a dual UK / Irish citizen. I used my Irish passport and left my UK one at home. My Irish passport gave my place of birth as England but only in Irish: Sasana; no one realised the meaning. I was quite welcome: "Ireland, Iran's friend". Many thought that Ireland was at war with Britain and my enemy's enemy is my friend.

However, this story is very old. My latest passport gives my place of birth as GBR which might be more comprehensible.

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