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Is Iran safe for American tourists?

After the Islamic revolution of Iran in 1979, Iran and US has been always in political conflict with each other. The situation got even worsen under Trump’s presidency once he withdrew from the nuclear deal. While both sides are in tension, people are living in peace. Lots of Iranians live in America. Many states have large Iranian-American communities. California alone has an estimated 200,000 residents with Iranian ancestry, over 40% of the estimated US total:

is iran safe for American tourists
sourceBusiness Insider / Andy Kiersz, data from Census Bureau

In other hand, with all propagandas of media and difficulties of getting visa, about 1,000-1,500 Americans visit Iran each year.

Traveling to Iran is totally legal for Canadian passport holders if they get their visa in advance (and not on arrival). Read more about Iran visa here.

Can Americans travel independently in Iran?

No, like Canadian and UK passport holders, Americans cannot travel to Iran without a private tour guide or joining in a group tour. It means that American citizens are more under control but not that much strict. You are allowed to get in touch with locals-even accepting their invitation to get to their place-, get through the bazaar, explore the cities and so on.

How Iranians behave to American tourists?

Iranians are world-famous for being courteous and welcoming, and it is not a social etiquette to abide by. Iranian people treat strangers as their dearest guests, and “honoring the guest” is one of the principles of Iranian culture. Political relationship between two countries has no effect on this behavior. People see you as a person who live in their dreamy location. They approach you to make a contact by pronouncing hello or hi, invite you to their place, ask you about your idea about Iran and a lot more.

Don’t trust people who offer you something to buy. Ask your tour guide about the price and everything first!

What media says about traveling to Iran

Despite the travelers’ confession about Iran’s safety, media is still resisting on the opposite. Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries. Based on the independent experts of “International SOS“, Iran has been rated as safe as SwedenGermanyAustralia, and most European countries. This study considers several criteria such as terrorism, unrest, crimes, and point out that risks for travelers in Iran are “Low”:

Is Iran safe?
travel risk map 2020

How to get visa?

How to get visa for American passport holders
How to get visa for American passport holders

All American passport holders must obtain their visa before departure; it means that you are not eligible to get your visa on arrival. The procedure is usually more longer than the usual countries with no tension but it doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to visit Iran.

To get Iran visa, you can go online and submit your request on the official website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of IRAN (MFA). But because of the high risk of visa rejection, It’s highly recommended to ask a licensed travel agency to get your visa on your behalf at a fair price.

Everyone, including citizens of the US, UK and Canada can visit Kish Island for 14 days without entry visa.

Since Iran has no embassy in America, Iran ‘Interest Section’ office which is based in Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC is reserved for visa collection.

Visa Requirements Needed For American Citizens

  1. Iran visa application form
  2. passport photo
  3. personal photo
  4. Travel itinerary (provided by us)
  5. Voucher Of Your Reserved Hotel (provided by us)

Bottom line

Despite US travel state’s warning, demands for traveling to Iran has been increasing. American authorities are worried about the risk of kidnapping, and the arbitrary arrest and detention which is really rare in Iran. Still worry about your safety? Make a connection with people who has been in Iran so far.

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