There are several websites saying that we’re still visa-free in Iran, but almost everyone I know who has been there opted to get their visas in advance so as to avoid hassles at the airport. I decided to do the same. Let’s make this simple, shall we? First stop, you need a visa authorization code, which you can get through a travel agency. Iranianvisa.com will be the first in a long list of Google search results. Avoid that one like the plague. I got mine from Caravanistan, and I am really satisfied with their service.
The fee is EUR30. Processing takes around a week. Once they send you the authorization code by email, you can then retrieve your visa at the particular Iranian embassy you indicated at the form you filled out. In my case, it’s Rabat. The embassy is just 10 minutes away from our school so it was not a hassle to go there. I went at 11 AM and came back for my passport at 3 PM. The embassy will also levy a fee, MAD428 (~PHP2,140) in my case. Add the other EUR30 and you get a rather steep total.
Well, it’s still better than taking risks. By the way, I wasn’t able to transfer the EUR30 because I don’t have a bank account here in Rabat, and getting one is difficult, so the travel agency assigned to me (Key2Persia) agreed that I can just pay them when I land in Shiraz. I appreciate their trust. The only file I sent them was a copy of my passport’s front page. I also remember giving them some other details like arrival and departure time and with which carrier, although I never sent copies of my actual plane tickets.