Last update 14 August 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 4: Termination warning throughout the country (except in case of extreme necessity)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Islamic Republic of Iran
Embassy of The Republic of Bulgaria in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Address: Tehran, "Vali-ye Asr" Ave, "Tavanir" Ave, "Nezami-ye Ganjavi" Str. 40
Telephone: +98 21 8877 5662; +98 21 8877 5037
Fax: +98 21 8877 9680
+98 930 568 34 09 /mobile number/
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sofia
Address: Sofia, 55 “Simeonovsko Shosse” blvd.
Тelephone: +359 2 987 85 46; +359 2 987 61 73; +359 2 981 43 48; +359 2 980 54 51
Fax: +359 2 981 41 02; +359 2 987 70 41
E-mail: [email protected]
In general, the level of security in Iran is good. In the last months of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, petty theft increased, including from citizens’ bags, as well as valuable belongings and items left in plain sight in vehicles. Bulgarian citizens visiting Iran are advised to avoid crowded places, rallies or demonstrations, regardless of the reasons for their organisation. In such cases, photographic equipment (including smartphones) should not be used. Professional photographic or videographic equipment may only be used after prior permission has been obtained from the Iranian authorities.
The journey to the main tourist centres, including Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Mashhad, Kish Island and Tabriz is uneventful. Organized trips and the use of a licensed tour guide are highly recommended.
Travel to Iran’s border areas with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, and in particular to the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan and Kurdistan is risky and should be strongly avoided.
When travelling across the country by bicycle, motorbike or other private vehicle, there is a possibility of getting into an unsuitable place or into a difficult situation. For this reason, we pay particular attention to the above-mentioned areas, which we recommend that tourists avoid and should inform themselves in advance about the specific conditions regarding travel and stay in these areas.
Specifics of the local legislation:
As an Islamic republic, Iran requires respect and observance of established religious traditions, mores and norms. These include observing the mandatory rules of conduct and dress in public places that apply to both sexes. Women should wear headscarves or scarves covering their hair and long loose-fitting outerwear, such as a ‘manto’. Men can wear short-sleeved clothes, but not shorts. Note that visits to gyms, pools and spas are separate for men and women. It is not possible, for example, to visit a swimming pool as a family even in the hotel where you are staying.
It is strictly forbidden to take photographs on or near government, military sites and installations. There are explicitly posted no prohibition signs on such buildings. Failure to comply with these restrictions results in arrests by law enforcement authorities.
In Iran, the import, possession, use and trade of alcoholic beverages, psychotropic substances and pornographic material is absolutely prohibited and severely punished by law.
We recommend refraining from actions that might offend Iranians, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, or when visiting religious sites. During Ramadan, it is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public all day. Unmarried couples and friends of different sexes travelling together should be discreet and not demonstrate intimacy in public. Hotel administrators may require a marriage certificate before allowing a different-sex couple to check in to a double hotel room if they have different surnames.
ATTENTION! Possession of drugs can be punishable by the most severe sentence - death.
The import of weapons and ammunition, drugs, liquor, pork meat, transmitting and recording equipment, CDs, audio and video tapes, books and propaganda materials containing information contrary to the norms and laws of the established public order and threatening the national interests of the country is prohibited.
It is necessary to carry cash (US dollars or euros) in sufficient quantity to cover all expenses during the stay, including incidentals. Each departing person may export up to USD 5,000 in cash or other foreign currency of the same equivalent. Withdrawal of more than USD 5,000 is only possible by a currency declaration or other official bank document.
All medicines need to be in their original packaging and it is necessary to check in advance whether any of them are on the prohibited lists as illegal for Iran. In case you are prescribed such medicines, you must bring a copy of the prescription translated into Persian language and certified by the Embassy of Iran in Sofia.
Do not carry other people's belongings when entering Iranian territory.
Detailed information on customs requirements for the Islamic Republic of Iran can be found here: https://www.irica.gov.ir/web_directory/54999-Traveler-Information.html
Sim card to an Iranian mobile operator can be purchased at the airport on arrival, upon presentation of a passport and a valid visa for entry into Iran. In the country, the quality of the internet connection is not satisfactory and in many cases it is impossible to connect to the internet and use mobile applications normally. Most well-known apps like Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp, Telegram, Instagram, Gmail, Waze, Google maps, etc. are banned and do not function without a pre-installed VPN app.
We recommend that you write down the addresses and telephone numbers of the embassy before leaving Bulgaria so that you can contact us, if necessary. It is also advisable to fill in the contact form on the MFA website — ‘I am travelling to...’.
When driving in Iran, it is compulsory to have a valid driving licence for the relevant category, accompanied by a valid international driving license, as well as a Carnet de passage for the vehicle you are travelling in, issued by the Union of Bulgarian Motorists (SBA). The following vehicles are not allowed to enter Iran:
- all American car brands!
- the so-called ‘super cars’ — Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, etc.;
- vehicles over 2500 cc valued over USD 40,000 dollars, as well as those that are covered with foil imitating gold coating;
- vehicles that use diesel fuel are not allowed on the territory of the country.
In case of travelling in an all-electric vehicle, be aware that there are no electric charging stations for this type of vehicle in Iran. When entering the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran by car, tolls are payable. Tolls are paid at the appropriate booths located at the highway interchange. Payment is possible in cash as well as with a local bank card (international cards such as Visa, MasterCard, etc. cannot be used in the country). Payment is made in Iranian rials only.
If the driver of the vehicle is different from the owner of the vehicle, then a power of attorney translated and certified at the Embassy of Iran in Sofia is required.
Where fines are imposed for traffic offences, they shall be paid at the relevant regional centres responsible for the area where the offence was committed.
If you are detained by the local authorities, you should require to get in touch with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran. A consular officer form the Bulgarian mission will contact you as soon as possible.
Before travelling by car, it is advisable to check the latest information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website about traffic restrictions due to natural disasters and other emergencies.
Detailed information and advice for air travellers, as well as the current security requirements, can be found at the Sofia Airport website.
Iranian rial (IRR).
Payments in Iran are made in Iranian rials. It is advisable, if possible, for Bulgarian citizens to have Iranian rials upon arrival in the country to cover basic necessities such as taxi or other services. Currency is only exchanged at licensed exchange offices. Most hotels also offer this service. Foreign credit and debit cards are not accepted and cannot be used in Iran!
Tourists visiting Iran for the purpose of hiking and winter skiing should adhere to the rules established by the local authorities, including using only marked mountain trails and designated ski slopes. Before hiking in the mountains or ski touring, you should inform yourself about the current weather forecast — you can use the following website for convenience: www.accuweather.com.
Travel papers and visas
Attention! As of February 2023, a vaccination certificate (full course — one or two doses depending on the vaccine manufacturer) or presentation of a negative PCR test is required for entry into Iran.
A passport valid for at least 6 months and a valid visa is required.
It is advisable to take out health, tourist, travel or other insurance before your trip and to register with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran. This would facilitate getting in touch with you in case of emergency or if necessary.
If you need emergency medical assistance in Iran, dial 115. If you need to be admitted to a medical facility, you should contact your insurance company immediately.
Bulgarian citizens travelling to Iran should obtain an entry or transit visa, which may be for business, tourism, journalistic or other purposes. Initially, an electronic ‘e-visa’ application is filled in. Instructions for the service and the necessary documents in English are available on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran: http://e_visa.mfa.gov.ir/en/. The visa is obtained from the Embassy of Iran in Sofia.
Entry visas are valid for up to three months and transit visas for up to ten days from the date of issue.
In case the Bulgarian citizen fails to credibly prove his/her reason for travelling to Iran, deportation shall follow, the costs being borne by the person refused entry. The procedure is the same for other similar cases where there are good reasons for the Iranian border authorities not to allow foreign nationals to enter Iranian territory.
Holders of Bulgarian diplomatic or official passports can stay in Iran for up to 30 days without a visa.
Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or a relative.Dual citizenship is not recognised in Iran. In this regard, Bulgarians who also have Iranian citizenship are considered as persons of Iranian nationality after entering the country.
Attention! Your passport must have at least one blank stamp-free page so that the entry visa can be affixed to it.
Travelling with two passports is not allowed, and neither are persons with a valid visa in an expired foreign passport and an accompanying valid one, except for persons with diplomatic and official passports.
It is advisable not to have an Israeli entry stamp in your passport when entering Iran, as you may be refused entry by the Iranian authorities.
The Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran has been equipped with a biometric counter for processing and forwarding applications for Bulgarian identity documents (passport, identity card, driving licence), as well as for issuing Emergency Travel Documents.
For a specific service offered by the Consular Office – Tehran, scheduling an appointment in advance is required at the following e-mail address: [email protected] or by calling the Embassy on working days from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 to 17:00: +98 21 8877 5037 and +98 21 8877 5662.
Documents required for an issuance of an identity card and an international passport:
1. Birth certificate for persons under 18 years of age;
2. International passport or identity card;
3. One passport photo with size 3.5/4.5 cm.
Fees for an issuance of an identity card and an international passport:
The fee is payable on the spot in cash in euros only as follows:
- Identity card of persons from 18 to 58 years of age - EUR 30
- Identity card of persons from 58 to 70 years of age - EUR 26
- Identity card of persons over 70 years of age - EUR 20
- Emergency Travel Document regardless of age - EUR 50
- First passport of a person under 14 years of age - EUR 26
- Subsequent passport of a person under 14 years of age - EUR 31
- Passport of a person from 14 to 58 years of age - EUR 41
- Passport of a person from 58 to 70 years of age - EUR 31
- Passport of a person over 70 years of age - EUR 26
New Bulgarian identity documents shall be issued within 30 days from the date of application. The newly issued passport shall be obtained by the applicant in person. Where the applicant has previously authorised another person in the application, the ready document may be obtained from the authorised person. Upon receipt of the new document, the previous identity document of the same type, if any, must be returned.
Passports of minors, under-aged children or interdicts shall be obtained from their parents, guardians or custodians, who must be Bulgarian citizens, upon signing.
The delivery of the ready documents depends on the diplomatic courier schedule. The Bulgarian identity documents can also be delivered to the Consular Office-Tehran via a licensed courier company (DHL) with which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed an agreement. For this purpose, an additional payment of EUR 51.91 (Euros) must be made to the following DHL bank account:
1. For payment in EUR:
Beneficiary: DHL EXPRESS BULGARIA EOOD
Beneficiary’s IBAN No: BG40UNCR70001523563800
Beneficiary’s Bank: UniCredit Bulbank AD
BIC/SWIFT Code: UNCRBGSF
Beneficiary’s Bank Address: 7, Sveta Nedelya square, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
2. For payment in BGN:
Beneficiary: DHL EXPRESS BULGARIA EOOD
Beneficiary’s IBAN No: BG94UNCR70001523563798
Beneficiary’s Bank: UniCredit Bulbank AD
BIC/SWIFT Code: UNCRBGSF
Beneficiary’s Bank Address: 7, Sveta Nedelya square, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
As grounds for payment must be written: BDS_name of the city_your name. Example: BDS_Teheran_Ivan Ivanov
When requesting the delivery of identity documents for more than one person in one payment, you must provide the exact names and the type of documents requested (identity card, passport or driving licence) to the Consular Office where you submit the application. This is necessary for the payment to be recognized as your payment for sending issued personal documents and to be confirmed by the courier company's finance department. Be sure to ask the bank for proof that you have made the payment. The original payment order must be submitted to the Consular Office.
The service for delivery of Bulgarian identity documents includes only the expedited transport of the parcel from the MFA to the mission, but not the expedited issuance of the identity document or delivery to your home address.
Issuance of an emergency travel document:
The Emergency Travel Document is issued to Bulgarian citizens who reside abroad and do not have valid travel or identity documents. An Emergency Travel Document is issued after a Bulgarian citizen has applied for and proved his or her identity. In the absence of a document confirming the person’s identity, a coordination procedure with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria follows, which takes up to 3 working days.
Birth of a child of a Bulgarian national
When a child is born on the territory of Tehran and one or both parents are Bulgarian citizens, they must notify the Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran. Within six months the parents of a new-born child shall be provided with a birth certificate, which shall be first certified with a signature and a stamp by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Interior of Iran and then by the Consular Office with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran. It should be then provided with a translation into Bulgarian, certified by the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, and sent to the municipality of the permanent address of the mother or of the parent who is a Bulgarian citizen.
Conclusion of marriage
Marriage can be concluded in the Bulgarian Embassy in Tehran. Every Bulgarian citizen, before planning to get married at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran, must apply to the Consular Office for a date and time of the marriage ceremony by submitting the following documents: medical certificate; birth certificate; identity documents of the future spouses and witnesses; certificate of marital status issued by the municipality of residence in the Republic of Bulgaria; declarations to be completed by the persons before the marriage ceremony. For foreign nationals, all documents need to be translated and legalized.
Death of a Bulgarian citizen
In the event of the death of a Bulgarian citizen on the territory of Iran, the Consular Office of the Embassy must be notified in a timely manner.
The death certificate should be duly certified and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran, provided with an officially certified translation into Bulgarian by translation companies authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. The document is sent or filed in Bulgaria to the municipality of the person's permanent address.
Infringements and fines:
Citizens who have lost, damaged or destroyed their passport, as well as for other violations of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act, shall be fined in accordance with the administrative and penal provisions.
Certifications and legalizations:
Certifications of Iranian documents are made only if they are intended for Bulgaria. At the Bulgarian Embassy in Tehran, translations are also provided by a sworn translator from Persian into Bulgarian and the price depends on the number of pages translated.
Iran is not a party to the 1961 Hague Convention and there is no bilateral legal assistance agreement between Bulgaria and Iran, therefore the Embassy certifies the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran. The same applies to documents/deeds drawn up in Bulgaria, which should bear the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, be certified by the Consular Office of the Embassy of Iran in Sofia or the Embassy of Bulgaria in Tehran, and then be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.
Fees for certification and legalisation of documents:
- Certification of signature of a document - EUR 15.00
- Legalization of an Apostille affixed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran - EUR 20.00
- Translation of one page from Persian into Bulgarian - EUR 15.00
The turnaround time for a regular order is within 3 working days. An express order is completed within 4 hours and the price for the service is doubled accordingly.
Pursuant to Article 84 of the Notaries and Notary Activities Act, consular officials in Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions abroad may certify:
- the date, content and signatures of private documents when they are drawn up in Bulgarian and are not subject to registration, and when they are presented by foreigners — if they are intended to have its effect on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria,
- the veracity of transcripts and extracts of documents presented by Bulgarian citizens.
The consular officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tehran does not draft powers of attorney, declarations and the like.
When certifying the date, content and signature of a private document, the persons whose signatures are to be certified must appear in person before the consular officer and sign the document before him.
Services are provided upon presentation of valid original identification documents (passport or identity card). The presentation of a Bulgarian driving licence is not allowed.
• In the absence of a valid identity document, the person shall certify his/her identity with two witnesses — Bulgarian citizens with established identity. (Witnesses may not be incapacitated, illiterate in the Bulgarian language, relatives of the person, persons for whose benefit any disposition is contained in the power of attorney, etc.)
• In case of transfer of a real estate or establishment of property rights on a real estate, the power of attorney should be submitted to the consular office in two identical copies. In this case, both the signature and the content of the document shall be certified. Two copies of the declaration under Article 264, paragraph 1 of the Tax and Social Security Procedure Code (DOPK) and a declaration under Article 25, paragraph 8 of the Notaries and Notary Activities Act (ZNND). Declaration Article 264, paragraph 1 of the Tax and Social Security Procedure Code (DOPK) and a declaration under Article 25, paragraph 8 of the Notaries and Notary Activities Act (ZNND).
• In the case of transfer of a motor vehicle, two copies of declaration under Article 264, paragraph 2 of the Tax and Social Security Procedure Code (DOPK) as well as a declaration under Article 25, paragraph 8 of the Notaries and Notary Activities Act (ZNND), shall also be certified.
• When certifying a declaration for a child's travel outside the borders of the Republic of Bulgaria, the child's birth certificate must also be submitted.
Check on the status of an application for Bulgarian identity documents or certification and legalization of documents — from 09:00 to 17:00 every working day (Sunday to Thursday) at +98 21 88775037 and +98 21 88775662.