If one had been to Iran after March 2011 but one's passport was replaced in the meantime, how risky would it be to visit the USA without mentioning said trip to Iran? Let me clarify there's no sketchy motives here. The reasons for the question are: 1) Avoiding a $160 visa fee; 2) Decreasing the risk of being rejected on entry, despite having a visa just because visiting Iran could raise flags.

To put it differently: is there any way of telling you've been to Iran other than having a stamp on your passport?

  • 2
    What's your country of citizenship? Do you want to travel on VWP/ESTA?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 12:13
  • 1
    What's your country of citizenship? This matters.
    – smci
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 11:26
  • @JonathanReez the OP tagged the question with us-visa-waiver-program, so it seems that he wants to travel on ESTA. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


No, there is not.

Also, a Iranian stamp should be no reason to reject your entry into USA when you have a valid visa. The Trump travel-ban only targets Iranian passport holders. That being said, border officials can basically deny you for any reason (e.g. your Iranian entry stamp; your weirdly shaped nose; your shirt), so there is never 100% certainty.

If you want to use the visa waiver programm (ESTA) it will indeed by a problem as you are not eligible anymore, see this information from a US embassy: https://se.usembassy.gov/united-states-begins-implementation-of-changes-to-the-visa-waiver-program/


If you simply want to visit the US once, then that's your call and your risk. I'm not going to advise you to take that risk.

But be aware if you might ever apply for a H-visa/F-visa/naturalization, the H-visa application form (post-2004) requires you to list all countries you have visited in the last ten (10) years, and that lying (/omitting/misrepresenting) can cause your visa/naturalization application to be denied (/revoked at a later date). I do not know if they retrospectively check this against prior VWP/ESTA/visa applications, and how closely, but just because they might or mightn't do something today, is no guarantee they will not start doing it in the future. So, if getting denied or excluded from the US for potentially 10 years up to the rest of your life is something that potentially matters to you, personally I wouldn't, just for the sake of saving $160 visa application fee and the time and trouble of applying for a visa instead of VWP.

Be aware that they radically changed the H-visa application form back around ~2004, prior to that IIRC it only asked for the previous 5 years. Noone can guarantee you they won't change it again and ask for say 15-20 years travel history, or to list all trips in your lifetime to a specific watchlist of countries.

And by the way for naturalization they ask for scans of all passports dating back to the date you were admitted (although they might even want them back to the date you applied for whatever US visa you first came in on). And again, maybe they'll change that to be even further retrospective. Noone can guarantee you they won't.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .