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Visiting Iran as independantly as possible as a UK citizen?

Visiting Iran as independantly as possible as a UK citizen?

Old Sep 28, 18, 5:43 am
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Visiting Iran as independantly as possible as a UK citizen?

Hi all, looking for some tips and advice on how my husband and I can visit Iran without being part of a full on tour group. We've done a fair bit of investigation and we understand the entry requirements in terms of needing to book through a tour operator to secure our code. We're not tour people though and would like to strike a balance, finding a tour operator that can provide an itinerary including guides and drivers for just the two of us to certain places (Persepolis,Yazd, Esfahan, etc) but leave us with plenty of free time inbetween. I'd welcome any recomendations for tour operators that can accomodate our request, as well as any insights from recent travellers to Iran. Things have changed so much in the last 2 years that much of our research online has become out of date, particularly for us UK citizens, so i'd love to hear from anyone who has visited recently.

Also, I know its possible to find tour operators that will give you a code to allow you to travel completely independantly, but we'd rather not take that risk, hence looking for a happy medium that means we enter properly but still get to travel as independantly as possible.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by LaydeeSarah View Post
Hi all, looking for some tips and advice on how my husband and I can visit Iran without being part of a full on tour group. We've done a fair bit of investigation and we understand the entry requirements in terms of needing to book through a tour operator to secure our code. We're not tour people though and would like to strike a balance, finding a tour operator that can provide an itinerary including guides and drivers for just the two of us to certain places (Persepolis,Yazd, Esfahan, etc) but leave us with plenty of free time inbetween. I'd welcome any recomendations for tour operators that can accomodate our request, as well as any insights from recent travellers to Iran. Things have changed so much in the last 2 years that much of our research online has become out of date, particularly for us UK citizens, so i'd love to hear from anyone who has visited recently.

Also, I know its possible to find tour operators that will give you a code to allow you to travel completely independantly, but we'd rather not take that risk, hence looking for a happy medium that means we enter properly but still get to travel as independantly as possible.
Sorry to offer only a tangential observation. The World travel Market is coming up, and while it's an interesting enough do for anyone interested in travel, there's always a hefty showing of agents and official representatives on the Iran stand.

International Travel Trade Show - Welcome to WTM London - WTM London
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Old Jul 23, 19, 12:08 pm
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I do realise that this answer, being months after the OP, will be too late for the original poster. I just post this as information for anyone browsing the forum.

However, it is possible to travel moderately independently in Iran even as a UK, USA, or Canadian passport holder.

I believe that how it's done is this. You have to have a licenced tour guide with you, and for your travel plans to be approved. So, you can't really just go there and go wherever you want. However, it is possible to make up your own plan, and then give it to a tour agency for them to make it a reality and supply the guide. If there were, e.g., three people travelling together then you only need one guide, and sharing the cost of a guide between you will mean that it isn't too expensive. in fact, if you get a driver-guide, then that covers your internal transportation as well. However, internal transport in Iran can be very cheap in any case.

For larger groups, I would imagine that it's possible to hire a larger vehicle. I believe that one guide can guide quite a few people, spreading the costs further. It's also, I'm told, possible to hire non-driving guides who will go on public transport with you.

As far as I understand it, what you won't be able to do is suddenly change plans. You'll have to follow the travel plan you submitted. But, you can go wherever you want whenever you want, provided that you decided this before the trip.

(I went on my New Zealand passport and hence didn't have to do this myself.)
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Old Aug 4, 19, 10:23 pm
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For the benefit of future readers of what is a likely stale thread... OccasionalFlyerPerson pretty much gets it right. I'd just add that the only thing "cast in stone" is the city/hotel where you're sleeping each night. Beyond that, you can do whatever you want with your guide each day. The guides also will likely let you go out at night by yourself and give you additional "free time." We went on US passports with a private guide -- see our TR here: 13 Night Iran Trip Report - Americans .
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Old Aug 27, 19, 10:57 am
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Unrelated question - do US residents face any unwelcome scrutiny from immigration on their return to the US from a visit to Iran?
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Old Aug 27, 19, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by puchong View Post
Unrelated question - do US residents face any unwelcome scrutiny from immigration on their return to the US from a visit to Iran?
US residents, as in non-citizens? I have no clue.

If you're a US citizen, it's NBD. I've been to plenty of countries that are US enemies and INS has ever cared one bit (or even noticed), other than coming back from Cuba at US immigration pre-clearance in the Bahamas.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by puchong View Post
Unrelated question - do US residents face any unwelcome scrutiny from immigration on their return to the US from a visit to Iran?
Wouldn't the visit to Iran be disclosed at the time you try to renew your USA visa?
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