Renewing an Iranian visa
It’s straightforward and cheap to extend an Iranian visa. The general rule is that you can extend your visa by its original duration at least twice without much trouble, so an initial 30-day visa can give you up to 90 days months in Iran.
The second time you go to extend your visa, you may have to attend an informal interview about your reasons for staying in the country. It’s nothing serious.
Extensions are issued from the day you turn up at the visa renewal office, not the end date of your visa. If you need a full extension plan to show up on the last possible day.
The cost of a visa renewal is 100,000 Rials plus 3,000 Rials for the forms and a folder. In addition you will need two passport photos (ladies must be wearing the hijab in their photos) and a photocopy of the bank deposit receipt, your Iranian visa, any previous extensions and the photo page of your passport.
The best places to get your extension are the main tourist centres of Shiraz and Esfahan. Both of these issue extensions on the same day. Of the two, Shiraz is slightly easier as the office is closer to the town centre, the Bank Melli where you need to make a payment is nearby and it’s a less chaotic office. Both offices open early and close early.
In Shiraz, two men take care of the process in a small office and even serve tea while you wait. The whole thing was complete well within a morning. The government building which takes care of visa renewals is about a 20 minute walk from central Shiraz, not far from the huge roundabout known as Valiye-asr Square. It opens at 7am and you should be there by 10am at the latest. To find it, walk down Karimkhane-Zand street, through the Valiye-asr Square traffic circle and on to Modares Boulevard. Cross to the left side of the road and look for a small side street veering off to the left. The building is on this side street, nearly on Modares Boulevard. There may be an army or police guard outside, a good sign you’ve found the right place. To complete your application, you’ll need to make a payment at a nearby Melli Bank. The officials may direct you to the main Melli Bank near the citadel but you can make your payment at a smaller branch near Valiye-asr Square.
In Esfahan, go to Rudaki Street (also spelled Roodaky), just west of the town centre. It’s easy to get there by bus. Cross to the south side of the river via the Si-o-Seh Bridge. You’ll see a bus stop to your right. Ask for a bus going to Amirieh and get the driver to tell you when you get to Roodaky Street. Your stop is shortly after the bus goes around a large roundabout. Walk a few hundred meters down Roodaky Street and the police station is on your left. To make life easier, pay 100,000 Rials at any Bank Melli in advance to Siba current number 2171150206006. If not, you’ll have a good walk to get to the nearest Bank Melli.
Tabriz is also known as a good spot to get your visa renewed and Nasser at the tourist office can help guide you through the process. Yazd is worth a try too although it may not be a same-day process.
Tehran is notoriously difficult. You may luck out in the capital but equally we’ve heard tales of people who’ve asked for a full month and only gotten a partial extension, depending on the whims of the person in charge.