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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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Iranian visa for Canadians

Have any Canadians out there had recent (say, the past 6 months or so) success in obtaining an Iranian visa? We are just about to start the process now and are not incouraged by some of what we have read (low success rate, etc.)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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Hey Brian and Marie,

I don't know current status, quite a few long delays last year for people and most gave up but in a conversation with Rene Cormier he mentioned he eventually got one so it's not impossible (or wasn't at that time). You may want to contact him to see if he has any magic tips. Cheers.
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  #3  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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I spent December 07 to January 08 in Iran. I know that's more than 6 months ago, but relations between Canada and Iran were pretty much at an all time low then. Our Ambassador just got kicked out when they finally let me in.

I started the application process for a visa in August of 2007. I sent my passport directly to the Embassy in Ottawa (this was a mistake) and was told it should take about 7 - 10 days to get the visa. After months with no word, I contacted Foreign Affairs Canada and they demanded my passport back. (That doesn't help your chances of getting into Iran.)

Undeterred, I went to a visa agency and finally collected my visa, in December, 2007. There again, they promised a wait time of between 7 - 10 days, but it took months. Unfortunately, because of the unexpected delay, I was forced to leave my motorcycle in Syria and fly to Iran for a little visit. It's tough to get in, but it's worth it when you do!

So, don't bother applying directly at an embassy. I did, and if I skipped that step it would have shaved months off my wait time. You'll need a visa service or travel agent.

I used IranianVisa.com, but I would not highly recommend them. The only problem is that, almost no matter which service someone uses, they usually say that! That said, I checked their site recently and I see that their percentage of successful applications is up (maybe that's because fewer people are trying). When I applied, the success rate for Canadians was 41% but I DID end up getting it through them (though their customer service leaves something to be desired).

Another site to check is Key2Persia.com

The thing is, if you're persistent, you will probably get in... even if you're rejected once already. Try a different service.

I have heard of Canadians getting their visas directly from the Iranian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, but that's a rumour.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...282#post211186
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  #4  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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Thanks for the responses guys

Hopelessly lost, Marie and I had previously read your account of what happened when you tried to obtain your visa. Epic!

We visited Iran in 2000 (without moto, fantastic country and people) and were surprised how easy it was to get our visas back then. We had obtained them from the embassy in Delhi. Times sure have changed! We will probably try at least two agencies and hope this works.

But if not, how do we get to India? We are determined to get there one way or another but short of flying from Istanbul how does one get to India with a vehicle without going through Iran?

Brian
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  #5  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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Update

Here is a little update. This morning we received our authorisation number from the agency. We used key2persia. So, unless we have a problem despite having this number, it looks like we will be getting our visa. Will know for sure when we show up at the embassy next week.
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  #6  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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Holiday

Aren't Iranian embassy staff on holiday? I know we have been told they most probably will be, although my wife might pop down the embassy tomorrow to see. We can't get an answer from the phone line, but this was often the same when not holiday season.

We have our visa number and just want to pick up the actual visa. This is the UK, of course, but I would guess this is the same worldwide.

The only thing I can find on their website is that it is a holiday on 21st and 29th March.
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  #7  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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My understanding was that they were not working this week but would be open next week. But even if they are not, we have the Pakistani visa to go after next (our passports are currently in the hands of the Indian Consulate awaiting a visa) so that should soak up some more time.

How I sometimes miss the simplicity of traveling in latin america, just get on the bike and ride. All of a sudden in this part of the world everybody needs paperwork to be filled out to go anywhere! But still, it's all good here too.
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  #8  
Old 27 Mar 2009
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Ollie, did you use an agency ? I spoke to persian voyages yesterday and sounded them out, but it wasn't a great line and I had trouble understanding her ( I have trouble understanding people with strong acsents were ever there from!). Also followed it up with an email. Due to our time scales, i.e. coming back though Iran after 3/4 months in India we need double entry/ 6 months validity so it's something we want to sort prior to departure.

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  #9  
Old 27 Mar 2009
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Stantours

we used David at Stantours. I had some trouble understanding his initial directions (mainly regarding Turkmenistan), but it was more our problem than his. But I have to say as soon as we approached trouble waters David was there to smooth it over.

We got out visa, but our friend Russ didn't, the only difference is he applied a week after us. I think no matter how well you line up your ducks, there is still a lottery involved.

If you want more cliches - I can provide
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  #10  
Old 3 Apr 2009
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Visa in hand

Alright,

When we first posted our query we had heard that Canadians have a hard time getting the Iranian visa. The success rate about 18 months ago was a dismal 40 to 50 %. So we did some research and decided to go with an agency in Shiraz (key2persia) in order to obtain an authorisation number. There are probably about half a dozen agencies in Iran that do this. We found this agency based on recommendations here on the hubb as well as searching the Thorn Tree forums of Lonely planet to see which agencies seemed to be the best. That is how we chose them (and we are happy we did, good friendly service. Everything was done via e-mail).

The biggest headache however was finding a way to pay the agency. In our case, we were required to make a deposit into a german account (a little complex given that we have no account in Europe).

All told it took us 5 weeks from start to finish (we picked up the visa today). It might have taken less time but we had to wait for the Iranian holiday. As mentioned before, it might be best to avoid this particular time of year to apply for the number.

So if you are canadian, it is possible to get a visa. You just need to be patient and apparently in some cases persistent in your attemps. One last thing. Based on things we read here on the hubb we were careful to avoid making any changes to where we wanted to pick up the visa (you need to tell the agency where to send the letter with the authorisation number). Keep things as simple as possible and expect to send out an e-mail every week or so to the agency just to see how things are going with the application for the number.

Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 3 Apr 2009
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And one more thing

I forgot to mention that the visa we applied for and got is a one month tourist visa (one entry).
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  #12  
Old 9 Dec 2011
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Current Situation for Canadians? Late 2011

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread...

Recently Canada has increased sanctions against Iran. Has anyone noticed any difference in the ability to get an Iranian visa?

We're planning to come from India and Pakistan, is the best place to obtain the visa in New Delhi?

It would be a shame to pay the 250% to add Iran to the Carnet and then not end up using it but I suppose that's a risk we'll have to take when we depart.
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