// Iran Visa

General Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Trabzon, Turkey
(Not sure what the address is, but we’ve pinned it on the map below. It’s about a five minute walk up the hill from Meydan ((the square with the Ataturk statue))

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Iranian Consulate Trabzon, Turkey

Opening times 9am – 12pm, 14.30 – 16.30
Monday – Friday

These are the opening times on the plaque outside the front door, but I think they might even be open until 17.00 as we heard several other people being told to return to collect their visa clad passports then. This sounds obvious, but make sure you ring the door buzzer, otherwise you’ll be waiting ages. Also, the consulate was closed on the two Turkish national holidays while we were here.

€105 for one single entry 30 day tourist visa for us Brits. I’m not sure how fixed this price is because the Swedish and English guys who both successfully got their visas the week before only paid €75.

€55 per authorization code. Express service
If you’ve been researching then you’ll have already found out that British, Australian and Canadian citizens (maybe others too) all require an authorization code to be purchased through an online agents. There are loads out there, but we went with the first, and cheapest, we found – www.iranianvisa.com. We had read mixed reviews about the success rates of this company, however we found them to be pretty efficient and got our codes approved and sent to us within five working days. We had to pay an extra £30 for each code to be resent from the Iranian Consulate in Tbilisi to the Consulate in Trabzon, as we changed out minds where we wanted to pick them up. Be aware that Thursday and Friday and non working days in Iran, and will therefore not count as working days affecting the duration of the processing of authorization codes.

Complete the application form supplied by the Consulate. The form says you need three passport photos, although one was given back to us. Mary did where a headscarf to the consulate and in the photos, as we’d heard mixed reports of wether or not this was necessary. She was the only one of three girls applying for a visa that wore a headscarf to the Consulate, so I guess it’s not necessary.

We had to give fingerprints, unlike the English chap the week before.

As seems the protocol for visa payments, you’ll be given bank account info and sent to pay the € payment and return later to collect your visa and passport. Our visas were ready in two hours.

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Go to TEB Bank to take out € and $, it’s the only bank we could find that would do this. Türkiye İş Bankası, the bank we had to pay the money into, is pretty much opposite.

Note that we originally tried to get the visas without the authorization code (as the Swedish guy and Japanese couple had successfully done the week before), and whilst not unfriendly, we were told it was not possible and return when we have the codes. A few days later, in Batumi, Georgia, we strolled past the Iranian Consulate there and thought we’d try our luck again. Apart from a nice chat about England and Iran and a cup of tea, we left with no visas and were told that it would be very difficult with our nationality.

Visa extention

Cost 300,000 Reals
Duration – 30 days

You need two passport photos and copies of your Iran visa and passport. You can get the copies done on the ground floor of the passport office and there’s several photography studios within a ten minute walk to the office.

The whole process took about two hours including going to a near by Bank Melli Iran to pay in the money. The Police were friendly, and (apologies to the hundred or so Afghan people queuing for their visas) we were jumped to the front of the queue. We were asked a few questions, but the whole process was pretty quick and fairly painless.

I know this isn’t all that useful, but we’re still not totally sure if the extension begins from the end of our existing visa or from the date we got the extension. The Lonely Planet says the extensions begin the day you get them, whereas the Policeman in the passport office told us it began from the end of our existing visa.

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Passport office, Shiraz