In this series about the procedure to get an Iranian visa for the three unlucky nationalities which cannot get a visa for Iran on arrival, we’ll be looking at how to get an Iranian Visa in the UK and more precisely, how to get a visa for Iran in London.
Of the three nationalities that are in Iran’s bad books: USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, we must say that the Brits have it somewhat easier. That is, contrary to Canada and the United States, the United Kingdom does have a (functioning) Iranian embassy.
For other nationalities, the visa on arrival process is easier and you can follow our guide to it here!
Getting the visa code
To get the visa for Iran as an British citizen, but also for Americans or Canadians that would like to apply here, you will first need to get a visa code. It is also often referred to as a Letter of Invitation (LOI) or an Authorisation Number. In order to get that, you will have to book a tour to Iran. Funnily enough, Iran is one of our most popular tours in the Middle East and we can provide visa codes. That visa code is tied to a specific embassy so when you are sending us your documents for the tour, you should request in the visa form to apply in London. If none of our scheduled group tours fit your schedule, we can also arrange independent tours. You should apply to get this visa code at least three months before your planned trip as bureaucracy can be extremely slow.
With your visa code in hand, you’ll be ready to go pay a visit to the Iranian embassy in London. Please do so very soon after you have received it, as visa codes have an expiry date.
The Iranian Embassy in London
The Iranian embassy in the capital of the UK is located on Princes Gate, but that’s not where you’ll want to go. The place you want to go is the consular building, at the 50 Kensington High Street, more specifically here. It is a short walk from the High Street Kensington tube station. Please note that the consular building is only open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 to 5 PM. As it gets really busy in there, you’ll want to be there around 1 PM or even earlier, as the queue can get quite long.
Documents to bring
If you do not want to come and go between the embassy and your home, you are better to come prepared. Here is the list of the things you will need at the embassy.
- A colour printed copy of your visa code (authorization number)
- Cash for the payment, only UK pounds are accepted (165 GBP for standard service, 250 GBP for same day/rush)
- 2 passport photos (women need to cover their hair)
- Completed and printed out application form (downloadable here)
- Your passport
- An addressed Special Delivery envelope (available from post offices) if you are not doing the same day express service.
Once you’re in, submit your documents and pay the fee. You can either pay more and get the visa a few hours later or get them to send it to your home, a few days later.