Travel.State.Gov > U.S. Visas > U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country > Iran, Islamic Republic of
Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.
Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.
Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).
Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.
Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.
Please see the Identity Card tab for information on documents that function as Iranian birth certificates.
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Available. The Bureau of Affairs Concerning Documents (Eiarech Ommor Asnad) in the Ministry of Justice assigns notary publics (daftare asnade rasmy) to register divorces and marriages for Muslims and those who practice recognized minority religions (Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism). Marriage and divorce certificates can only be obtained by the current/former parties to the marriage. In addition to marriages and divorces having their own documentation, they should be recorded in both parties' identity certificates (shenasnameh). Amended identity certificates that indicate an individual's correct marital status can be obtained.
In Tehran, each church of a minority religion has several notaries assigned to it, while there are at least one hundred notaries assigned to record Muslim marriages and divorces. Iran's Bureau of Affairs Concerning Documents maintains a record of the location, name, number, specimen of signature, and seal of each notary who is expected periodically to advise the Bureau of the number of marriages and divorces that have been registered. Copies of certificates containing the Bureau's authentication of the notary's signature can be obtained if the name and number of the notary public registering the marriage or divorce are known. Since the practice of officially registering marriages and divorces under this procedure was initiated in approximately 1921, certificates for marriages and divorces prior to that year can be obtained only from ecclesiastical authorities.
Iranian temporary marriages (ezdevaje sigeh or ezdevaje movaghat) are religious marriages that are entered into for a specific period of time. These marriages are performed by ecclesiastical authorities and are not registered with the Bureau of Affairs Concerning Documents. Temporary marriages cannot be used to confer immigration benefits and cannot serve as the basis for IR1 and CR1 immigrant visas. Since a temporary marriage would not be valid for immigration purposes, the applicant should be processed for visa purposes as though unmarried. This means a temporary marriage would not disqualify an alien from qualifying for a fiancé (K) visa and would not be considered a marriage for determining whether an alien met the definition of child (under 21 and unmarried). It is important to inquire about temporary marriages when processing adoption cases from Iran as posts frequently see children born of temporary marriages. While Iranian law considers them to be legitimate children, issues could arise concerning parental consent.
Bahai'i: Iran does not recognize the Bahai'i faith as a minority religion, thus the documentation of such marriages differs from Islamic marriages or marriages of other religious minorities. Marriage between two Bahai'is is registered in two documents. The first is an ecclesiastical marriage certificate issued by the local spiritual assembly-a booklet with the signatures of the couple, the person officiating the ceremony, and nine witnesses. The second is a one-page document issued by the Department of National Registration and Statistics (Edarehe Sabte Ahval va Omar) stating that the couple appeared before one of its officials and provided an oath stating that they are a married couple. Bahai'i marriages should be evidenced with both documents, as well as the registration of the union in both parties' identity certificates. However, when Bahai'is marry persons from any other religion, the identity certificates may not state that the marriage occurred.
Divorces: Divorces are handled by the Family Protection Court (Dadgah Hemayate Khanevadeh) of the Ministry of Justice. If the court determines that the couple cannot reside together successfully, it issues a certificate of incompatibility (madrake adame sazesh). This document is then presented to the Marriage and Divorce Bureau (Eiarech Ommor Asnad), which issues a divorce decree.
Marriage contracts: For the purposes of adjudicating K visas, it is important to determine whether the principal applicant has entered into a marriage contract (aqd) with the petitioner. Marriage contracts are used in all marriages in Iran, except Muslim temporary marriages. Culturally and legally in Iran, a marriage contract is not evidence of a valid marriage until it is registered with the appropriate authorities. However, for immigration purposes, a marriage contract is evidence of a marriage and thus, K visa applicants who entered into a marriage contract are not eligible for this visa classification.
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Available. Identity certificates (Shenasnameh) showing the date and place of birth, parents' names, place of residence, and marital history where appropriate, are issued to Iranian nationals in urban centers by the Department of National Registration and Statistics (Edareh Sabt Ahval va Omar) and in rural regions by district (Bakhsh) offices of the Department. These are accepted by the Embassy in lieu of birth certificates for visa purposes. Information contained in these certificates must be evaluated with the understanding that certain data, particularly dates and places, may be inaccurate. No official fee is charged for delivering documents to the applicants. When these documents are requested from abroad, an indefinite waiting period should be expected before a reply is received.
Birth or baptismal certificates emanating from ecclesiastic authorities of the church to which non-Moslem applicants belong are frequently of doubtful value. Moslem ecclesiastic authorities in Iran issue no documents to visa applicants.
Available but unreliable. Police certificates are issued by the General Department of Penal Records and Pardon Amnesty (Idar-e Kul Sajl-e Kifari va Afva Bakhshudagi ). However, police records are not required for immigrant visa applicants because posts cannot verify them. Clean record certificates can be obtained in Iran or from Iranian Embassies and Consulates and the physical appearance of the certificate changes significantly depending on which authority issued it.
Available. For military service completed in 1980 or later, the Armed Forces of Iran and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) issue military service completion cards. The IRGC issues military service completion cards to men who have served in the IRGC and in the Basij Forces; the Armed Forces of Iran issues military service completion cards to men who served in the Air Force, Navy, Army, or police forces. Prior to 1980, military cards were issued by the Imperial Armed Forces. The cards include detailed biographical information such as blood type, hair color, weight, height, eye color, and physical defects. Cards also indicate the dates of service according to the Persian calendar. The card will also show the rank of the cardholder (if he had one) and sometimes his education level.
Because military service is mandatory, Iranian men over 18 who were exempt from military service will have exemption cards issued by the General Conscription Department of the Police Force (Niroo-e Intizami Jumhoori-e Islami ). These cards will include basic biographical information, such as name and date of birth. Some indicate why the cardholder was exempted from military service. There are many reasons a man could be exempted, including, but not limited to, payment in lieu of service, medical reasons, being the only son in his family, having elderly parents, and having a brother currently serving in the military. Men who were exempted before 1990 may not have been issued a card explaining why they were exempt.
Military service completion cards and reliable translations in English are readily available in Iran. The entity that issued the card will usually be indicated in the heading of the translation. Although translations tend to be accurate, it is recommended that both the translation and the copy of the original card be reviewed.
The major Iranian-processing posts have seen a small number of new military cards, which do not indicate the branch of service on the card.
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Iranian applicants usually provide documents from their bank which show their total account holdings. Check carefully whether this total is listed in Iranian rials or tomans (one toman is ten rials), and check the conversion rate as the total in dollars is often an incorrect. Many applicants also submit titles and deeds to apartments and property. Keep in mind that the parcels and apartments are frequently divided into shares and thus the applicant might only actually own a fraction of the property that the documents state is wholly owned by the applicant.
As of August 1, 2013: Immigrant visas for Iranian nationals resident in Iran are processed at: U.S. Embassy Ankara, Turkey; U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and U.S. Embassy Yerevan, Armenia.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants who are residents of Iran may apply at any U.S. embassy or consulate that provides nonimmigrant visa services, but should be aware that Farsi-speaking officers are only available at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, and the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai.
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