Planning a trip to Iran

by Pandora

I'm planning to go to Iran for the Christmas Holidays. I was born in Tehran. My father is Iranian and my mother is Italian. I'm married to a French man and we have two children.

So, I call the consulate to find out what's needed to get them visas. They start asking me a million questions about me. So now I have to register my marriage so that it would be easier for my husband and children to get visas.

That's not all. I am Catholic, but in their eyes I should convert to Islam because my father is Iranian and I should automatically be Muslim. 

Now my husband should also convert to Islam. Then we have to go to the mosque so that our marriage is approved in the eyes of Islam. Then take 20 documents along with the Islamic marriage certificate to the consulate so I can register my marriage so that my husband and children can have visas to go to Iran.

The other option is to risk going to Iran and not having any written proof that my husband is my husband and that my children are my children because on my Iranian passport, only my maiden name is mentionned. So now all the pleasure of going to Iran is gone due to this nightmarish burocracy. 

Of course, I have to cancel my reservation, because neither my husband nor will be converting to Islam.  Unbelievable.  Would be nice to hear from someone in a similar situation who can offer some advice.  I would love to go to Iran, but not like this. 



Me again

by Pandora on

Yes, my father's last name is Iranian, but not an obviously common one.  I said I'm Masihi. So, I guess they understood me.  The last time I went to Iran was three years ago and then my marriage was not registered in my shenasnameh and we didn't have any problem.  Since the law changes every day, I have to register it.  I'm sure I'm not the only Catholic Iranian married to a European who would like to go to Iran.


Pandora again

by Kablammad (not verified) on

I don't know what your father's last name was but if it was a Muslim last name, like Muhammadi or Husseini then you can't claim to be a Catholic! They will be suspicious.

When you told the consulate that you are Catholic he may have thought that you are Armenian or something and since many Muslims in Iran claim to be Armenian so they can drink alchohol they are suspicious and want something from Church that says you're Christian.

Looks like you're working on it so I'll leave you alone. One last thing is that even if you bring church certificates and all of that they may say this is not good enough and we need to make sure your father was a christian too.

At that time you can say well I just want to be Muslim and they'll say ok and once you give them the junk paperwork that I explained earlier they'll be ok. Bottom line you should get all your ducks in a row and all your paperwork approved outside Iran. If they approve it and give you visas and exit approvals you're ok.


The plot thickens

by Pandora on

So I called the consulate again and re-phrased my question. I just said that we are both Catholics and I would like to register my marriage in my shenashnameh and then get Visas to go to Iran with my family. Do I have to go to the mosque and get married again and become a muslim and he said:  Na khanoum, all you need is a certificate from the church to prove you are catholic. We both have our baptism certificates, but we didn't get married in a church and we don't pray. So anyway, now I have a glimpse of hope, that is if I can get all the documents ready in time. 


Don't risk it

by Gfunk (not verified) on

Dear Pandora
Don't take a chance , you'll be stuck there and you'll regret the trip.


the easiest

by Doctor of Law (not verified) on

solution would be to get a divorce, give away the kids for adoption and then you and your husband each get a tourist visa to go to Iran. In Iran when you go around make sure you keep a distance from each other, because if they catch you together, it will shatter their social values. When you come back you can get married again and try to collect the kids from the foster parents.

The second alternative is to go to Istanbul and have fun and come back.

ebi amirhosseini

Dear Pandora

by ebi amirhosseini on

No stay in any hotel in Iran as a couple in one room,no other problem(as far as I know).Also the visa might take a while to be issued.Please email me if you are not living in D.C area.I'll be happy to go there personally and ask all the details.No Taarof.




by Kablammad (not verified) on

The consequences will be that you will be denied visa. They just won't give it to you. Like Bahram's example he argued with them for half hour and in the end settled on a name and got her passport.


Thanks for all the links Ebi

by Pandora on

I still would like to go as a couple, but what are the consequences if we apply for the VISA without registrating our marriage?


Ebi so it is people's

by Kablammad (not verified) on

Ebi so it is people's choice. If you want to go to Iran for a visit then you should drink the martydom cherry syrup!

If you don't want to go then it doesn't matter why because the trip isn't really important enough and bottom line no one cared enough.

Iran is full of contradictions and this is just one of them. Again many people don't let this stop them but it is a personal choice.


Not True

by nitemustfall on

I don't believe what Pandora says is very true. In fact, I know many people (no moslems) who travelled to Iran with non-iranian nationalities after 20-30 years without having to change their religion. As for the name, just pick a name and get it over with as it will not get into your passport of driver's license! But of course there are paper works involved and one has to see if that worth the trip or not.


WOW, what inhumane conditions!!!

by Jaleho on

foreigners should get a visa to go to Iran?!! such brutes!!!

The visa regulations are reciprocal between most countries. If as an Iranian you go to countries which require you to get a visa, Iran requires a visa from you if you're the citizen of the said country. If you're allowed to go to another country without a visa, for example Iranians can go to Turkey without a visa, then Turkish citizens can go to Iran without a visa too.

AND, I though that when Muhammad fell in love with the Christian woman who did not want to convert to Islam, GOD personally told Muhammad:

حلال کردیم بر شما زنان گبر و ترسا را، اینطور نیست؟

ebi amirhosseini

Karbalaayi Mamad aziz

by ebi amirhosseini on

I know that,but the ceremony must be performed & a lot of poeple donot want to go through it even if it is a fake one.At the same time some don't care & do it.



Ebi you don't have to go by the book

by Kablammad (not verified) on

Yes they have to "convert" but they don't have to "know" it! Agha can whisper something in his ears and he can say yes.

In Iran's eye he has converted and in his eyes; whatever!

Besides this will be "conversion" for 2 weeks only! And they don't need to notorize anything. Only notary is the Agha himself. By the way Agha should cost about $200 or less.

ebi amirhosseini

RE: what garbage !!

by ebi amirhosseini on

You are wrong ! the husband must convert if they want to go together as couples,otherwise he has to apply for a visa!.


This is the embassy form:






سؤال: آيا جهت فرزندم كه پدرش غير ايراني است ميتوانم شناسنامه و يا گذرنامه ايراني بگيرم؟

جواب: فرزندانيكه پدرشان غير ايراني‌هستند نميتوانند شناسنامه و ياگذرنامة ايراني‌داشته باشند و براي مسافرت به ايران ميتوانند درخواست رواديد(ويزا) نمايند

ؤال: مراحل ثبت ازدواج چگونه است؟

جواب: براي ثبت ازدواج مرد ايراني با زن ايراني هر دو نفر ميبايست داراي گذرنامه معتبر ايراني و شناسنامه جديد باشند (فرم شماره 410).  براي ثبت ازدواج مرد ايراني و زن خارجي نيز مرد ايراني بايد داراي گذرنامه معتبر ايراني و شناسنامه جديد باشد (فرم شماره 411). زن ايراني نيز كه با مرد خارجي ازدواج نموده جهت ثبت ازدواج ميبايست داراي گذرنامه معتبر ايراني و شناسنامه جديد باشد (فرم شماره 412). كلية مدارك طبق فرمهاي مربوط به همراه هزينه هاي لازم جهت ثبت ازدواج ميبايست به نمايندگي ارسال گردد.جهت ثبت ازدواج علاوه بر مدارك مذكور ارسال عقد نامه شرعي و عقد نامه محلي نيز الزامي ميباشد

سؤال: خانمي هستم ايراني داراي همسر خارجي چگونه ميتوانم فرزندان و همسرم را براي مدتي به ايران ببرم؟

جواب: طبق مقررات وزارت امور خارجه چنانچه فرزندان شما زير سن 18 سال ميباشند ميتوانيد با تكميل فرم شماره 102 و ارسال مدارك لازم براي آنها درخواست رواديد (ويزا) نمائيد. نمايندگي نيز به محض دريافت مدارك نسبت به صدور رواديد اقدام خواهد كرد. براي فرزندان بالاي سن 18 سال و همسر  ميبايست از طريق مراجعه يكي از بستگان خود در ايران به وزارت امور خارجه اقدام نمائيد. يكي از بستگان نزديك با مراجعه به اداره گذرنامه و رواديد وزارت امور خارجه جهت افراد مورد نظر درخواست رواديد مينمايد. مرحلة بعد تكميل فرم رواديد و ارسال مدارك و هزينه هاي لازم جهت صدور رواديد در گذرنامه معتبر متقاضي ميباشد. هزينة صدور رواديد در گذرنامه آمريكائي 82 دلار به اضافه 15 دلار هزينه پست (جمعاً 97 دلار) ميباشد

سؤال: آيا يك خانم غير ايراني كه شوهر ايراني دارد ميتواند با گرفتن ويزا به ايران مسافرت نمايد؟

جواب: طبق مقررات همسران مردان ايراني تابعيت ايران را كسب مينمايند. لذا اين دسته از بانوان ميبايست ضمن ثبت ازدواج خود براي صدور شناسنامه و گذرنامه ايراني نيز اقدام نمايند كه در اين صورت ميتوانند براي مسافرت به ايران از گذرنامه ايراني خود استفاده نمايند

به منظور جلوگيري از مشكلات بعدي ميبايست ازدواج خود را سريعاً در نمايندگي به ثبت برسانيد

سؤال: آيا فرزندان من كه زير 18 سال هستند و بعنوان همراه در گذرنامه مادر ميباشند، ميتوانند بدون مادر و با گذرنامة مادر به ايران مسافرت نمايند؟


maziar 58

fah gyt about it

by maziar 58 on

pandora ; I take back my kish advise, apparently was not a good one.

Take the whole family to BELLA ITALIA and enjoy natale.

CIAO Maziar


Bahram9821 that is an excellent

by Kablammad (not verified) on

Bahram9821 that is an excellent response and an excellent attitude!

You just get a name and be done with it. If you don't want, ok don't do it, you called them they didn't call you. You can't argue with them they are just doing their jobs.

One day all these nonsense will end and they'll realize there are more important issues and these things are just rubbish.

Until then we have to keep hope alive and don't let these kind of issues stop us from what WE want to do and we can't do it unless we are there to be counted.

Anyone can go to Iran for a visit and there are so many of us with mixed marriages, kids, inlaws, etc. I know a divorced Iranian woman who goes to Iran with her 2nd American husband. Imagine her shenasnameh! Her husband "converted" and no one even knows, including himself, I think!

Actually I was looking for a recent article to post that said foreigners can get Iranian visas online now in 2 hours or something like that but I can't find it now.


New Name

by bahram9821 on

Few years ago I was trying to get a passport for my 3 year old daughter. I called the Embassy in Washington, they said I can't have passport for her because of her first name, they said I have to change her name to one on the approve list. I argued with the guy for half an hour saying she is 3 years old I can’t change her name and confuse the hell of the kid. So after a big argument I told guy ok pick a name for her, he said lets name her Maryam , I said ok, 2 weeks later Maryam’s Passport arrived at home lol.


Very True

by Anonymous111 (not verified) on

I have heard of many other such instances from family and friends who have married non-Iranians. In fact, I was at the Iranian interest section once trying to get my passport renewed so that I can travel to Iran. An Iranian man came in for the same purpose. He was standing in font of me in line and I could hear everything that was said to him. Apparently, he had married an Iranian woman 15 years earlier in the U.S., but they had never done the marraige in the "Islamic" way, and had no proof of an "Islamic" marriage even though they were legally married. They had not been to Iran since their marriage, and they had three children. He was told that he had to go and actually get married the "Islamic" way and bring them a certificate of Islamic marriage before they could issue them passports...and these people were both Iranians!!!


This is not that difficult.

by Kablammad (not verified) on

This is not that difficult. It is bunch of rubbish red paper. Just do it.

As an Iranian woman who was born in Iran and your father being a Muslim you are a Muslim in Iran's eye. Then when you married your husband became a Muslim, again in Iran's eye. So basically BOTH you and your husband are Muslim and you don't even know it! Congratulations!!

Now how to get the paperwork? Simple. You are like many others. Since you are already a Muslim, all you have to do is get one of these Aghas to read something in your husband's ears (in Farsi ;-) and he say yes (in English) and then your husband is a Muslim too.

You take those junk papers to Iranian consulate and get visa for your husband and a new passport maybe for yourself and you're done.

Don't take it so literally. You or your husband are not going to become a Muslim if you say something to some Agha who is not going to put it on Youtube or CNN! They do NOT issue a "Muslim" ID!!

Just do it and have a trip and come back and no one will even notice. Good luck.



by IranIrooni (not verified) on

As usual you don't now what you are talking about. I have an Iranian friend who wants to visit her dying mother. She married a christian man. They are telling her that he has to convert to Islam because she is a Muslim woman and has no permission to marry a christian. This is what your beloved IRI does to people. This is what happens when there are no equal protection laws. They could be arbitrary about who they bother and who they don't. The only garbage so far is your asghal my dear!


Similar but not exactly the same

by mrlayl on

I decided to take my 24 year old daughter to Iran for No-rooz to see my mother and the rest of the family.

I asked the embassy people (Irans interest section in D.C.), if she can get a visa on her American passport? They said no, because her father was born in Iran, they consider her Iranian also (mind you- if her mother was Iranian, then she would not be considered Iranian). 

She has to get an Iranian Birth certificate (Shenas-nameh) first, then get an Iranian passport, and then get the national ID card (Kart Meli).

My daughter does not want dual citizenship just to vist her granma for 10 days, and I agree with it. It is ridiculious.



Not true

by Abarmard on

As a women you adopt husbands side.


what garbage!!

by Jaleho on

My Christian-American born sister-in-law goes to Iran more than once a year, my foreign husband does the same, and I never heard anything like this! Stranger than that, so many Iranians say:" really?!! what crazy rules!"


Either this is complete garbage, or my family and I are getting exceptional treatment because I am such a Hezbollahi hoghogh begir!


What a non-sense

by AnonymousMe (not verified) on

What a non-sense. I never heard this sort of garbage.
I travel to Iran 3-4 times a year. There are many Christians in the airplane who I get to talk with. No one has mentioned your non-sense. I do not know what you mentioned to visa people.

Just get the form and fill it out. Don't confuse hell out of it. Ask someone to help you if you cannot fill out properly and stop bad mouthing Iran.

We have too many idiots who are hiding and bad mouthing a beautiful country. This reminds me the first time going to NK, everyone said do not go, I went and had a wonderful time. I learned not to trust people such as you and the Western media.

Enjoy wherever you are and stop bad mouthing my country. Thanks.


adam bikar

by MRX1 (not verified) on

In a middle of all this madness you want to go to Iran, for what? unfortunatley you missed the boat. you should have vistied there prior to 1979 islamo facist coup. May I suggest you find a calm, civilized place so you can and relax with your family. preferbly a place where you can wear what you want and drink what you like. life is short...


Faramarz: Your Moronic Islam is................

by Beleive (not verified) on

I am not practicing a faith or religion and I am not defending anybody religion or faith,but did you know that Islam is one of the fastest religions in the world.It is now even surpassing Christianity.Whatever religion you have or even if you are an atheist,if it make you a better person you have picked a right faith.


I wish you the best

by Mehdi-Palang on

I'm also going to Iran for the winter holidays, but I luckily don't have a family to take with me.  I hope that you're able to go and enjoy yourself!


Whoever converts

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Whoever converts to Islam in the 21st century is a moron.

Islam is like a dead tree which has not seen any water for years and th forecast is for no rain, ever.

Please be careful about the Kish Island loophole. So far, 3 Iranian born Americans who had gone to Kish were detained for weeks and one who I personally know had to pay $15,000 in bribes just so that he and his family could leave.

Spend the $$$ and visit a non Islamic (I mean civilized) country.


ridiculous rules

by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

I feel your frusteration .You love to go to Iran,but too many rules are preventing you.How about not mentioning that you are not Muslim and trael alone? It may work.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

che tene frega ? prendi un volo per KISH island..............

take a flight to kish island (no visa is needed) have your relatives meet you there and BON NATALE .

who knows by christmas these nuts maybe gone INSHALLA.