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Old 3 Sep 2011
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Visa Denied!

I applied for a tourist / visit visa for Iran. They denied me with a letter. The letter stated "contact a tourist agency".
I'm wondering if there was something I did wrong, or if they only grant visas through an agent.
I am Canadian, 31, no criminal or health problems.
I was planning on ferry from UAE to Iran then exit through Pakistan then East bound.
One question on the application was "
If passing through Iran in transit: Have you obtained entry visa to the destination country?"
I answered "no" because why would I have a Pakistan visa if I didn't have the Iran one? I have to do the visas in a sequence.
I can skip Iran as need be, but I don't want this to be a problem for any other countries. I need to do UAE next and it is $250 so I sure don't want to be denied for that.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 3 Sep 2011
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SoOrange NJ USA
Posts: 297
Obtaining an Iran visa is often "problematic"/ uncertain.

Have you tried calling the Iranian consulate (visa) office in Ottawa, for
clarification/ details ?:

Untitled Page
Tell (Consulate)613-233-4726
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Old 3 Sep 2011
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I will call them next week. The visa department is open 1 hour per day. I missed my windows this week.
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Old 3 Sep 2011
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I suggest you send an email via his website to Reza Poorhoseini, a tour operator in Shiraz Iran who is a specialist in visa applications. Explain your problem and your travel intentions and ask what he would charge for lodging your application. He sorted out the pre-approvals for us really fast.

His website is www.uppersia.com Phone: +989177142602
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Old 14 Sep 2011
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I phoned the embassy and he basically reiterated what the letter said "contact a tourist agency". I will make note of the one listed above (thanks) if I decide to re-apply.
The problem was I didn't have a sponsor. This seems strange because travelling I've done in the past I can go to a city, find somewhere to stay and walk in. But it seems for this part of the world you need a specific itinerary with dates and times and places. It takes the fun out of exploring.
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Old 15 Sep 2011
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try Samira at www.persiatours.com, very helpful, worked for us!
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Old 15 Sep 2011
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A lot of the 'you need a sponsor', letter of invitation type stuff doesn't mean you have to stay there, or visit them - it's a box-ticking exercise. This was certainly true for central asia. I have never worked for or with the Olympic Comittee of Uzbekistan and I didin't stay in the 'Grand Hotel Turkmen' but they invited me into their respective countries.

I'm hoping it's a similar formality for Iran, because I'll be trying next year....

Are you exiting Iran into Pakistan - and have you managed to get the No Objection Certificate for Baluchistan? This sounds a bit sketchy but then again, everywhere does if you read government advice!

Good luck and keep us all posted with how you get on - it seems the sands are shifting at the moment!
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Old 15 Sep 2011
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Getting an Iranian visa isn’t as straightforward as with other countries as there is an additional step at the beginning, and this is what was meant by the words "contact a tourist agency".

You must first use an agency to approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on your behalf and get an application reference number. THEN you go to an Iranian embassy or consulate and apply in the normal way, but quoting this reference no. We went via the consulate at Erzerum, in Turkey. We used Iran Internet Visa Application - evisa – no complaints as such, although we did ask for a double entry one and didn’t get it (and didn’t need it in the end) and there have been a few unkind things said about them on the HUBB since we passed through Iran.

Suggestion – check on which visa agency is currently in favour on the HUBB before applying. Also, if applying from the UK (or somewhere like it), a UK-based co like Magic Carpet Travel isn’t cheap – it’s about £120, compared to the EUR 30 or so you pay to Iranian Visa. And the London consulate charges an £80 visa fee on top – I can’t remember exactly how much we paid in Erzerum, but it was a lot less than £80.

Good luck! overlandcruiser.net
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Old 15 Sep 2011
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Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
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MFA & Pre-authorisation

+1 ... What Mark said.

The Travel Agency has to request a pre-authorisation number from the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affaires) in Iran. Only Travel Agencies are permitted to apply for this. Without the pre-authorisation from the MFA you can't apply for the visa and therefore the visa cannot be issued. This is why the consulate/embassy sent you a letter and rejected your application.

Needless to say, all applications for Tourist visas for Iran specify this so you just need to have read all the details. It's convoluted, but it's their system, if you want to go then you need to jump through their hoops.

Good Luck.
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
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Old 15 Sep 2011
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I've heard of people applying a few times in a row until they eventually got accepted. (These people had their code everything was in order)

Dont give up - just get the code and try again...
Im waiting for my code now.... please come so i can finally (after 6 months) leave Pakistan!

please note -
You do not need a 'No Objection Certificate' for Baluchistan. However you must head south from Quetta before heading north to Multan. DO NOT try to go straight across - this is where you need the paperwork (also where they are having a few problems)
For more information on my adventures, please visit either of the following:
fb. facebook.com/motomonkeyadventures
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