The procedure is to email Vali all required info before embarking on the 1000km ride from Tehran to Mashhad, where upon arrival you should be able to pick up your visa.
It took about 7 days to receive a confirmation email from Vali that our letters of invitation had been approved and processed. The cost of Vali’s help was $10 per visa.
Annoyingly when Vali went to pick up our approved visas the Turkmen consulate had some ‘computer problems’ and we were told to come back 4 days later, which would have eaten into our Uzbek visa time. A few hours later we went to the consulate to see if the problem had been fixed. No joy, but the consulate was very friendly and when we insisted that we needed to get our visas asap he checked through the paper work to find our LOIs. He told us that it wouldn’t be a problem to pick up the visas at the border with our reference number (beginning with IM….), he even said he’d call the border control to confirm this. Vali had told us that in the past people had been refused entry with this, but we were welcomed by a friendly customs chap and got our visas in a about an hour with no problems. We even got them about $20 cheaper than the consulate had quoted.
At the time a 5 day transit visa for a British passport holder is $85 plus about $6-10 processing fee at the border. Everything needs to be paid in crisp, un-marked $.
In Mashhad transit visas are usually only issued on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am – 12pm.
Here’s the info for Vali’s Home Stay (taken from Vali’s email)
Vali + Family.
Vali’s Non-smoking Homestay
Malakoshoaraya Bahar 38 (6th alley off Enqelab-e Eslami St), House 277
If you are trying to find his address and are having problems locating him, look for the small mosque (there is a sign in English saying Mosque) on Malakoshoaraya Bahar near Metro Imam Khomeini Station. The homestay is at the bottom of the small alley beside it.
0915 1001324 (cell phone)
How to find the homestay:
GPS location: Lat 36.28222 Lng 59.59411
Click the link below to see where it’s located. /copy an paste/