COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Iran travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Iran - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Avoid all travel to Iran due to the volatile security situation, the regional threat of terrorism and the possibility of arbitrary detention.
You should consider leaving by commercial means if you can do so safely. Our ability to provide consular services in Iran is severely limited.
Safety and security
There is no resident Canadian government office in the country. The ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance is extremely limited.
Canadians in Iran may be closely watched by Iranian authorities. Seemingly innocuous behaviours, such as the use of cameras in public places, travel beyond well-established tourist attractions or casual interactions with Iranian friends, may be misinterpreted and may lead to investigation.
First anniversary of the September 2022 protests
Large-scale demonstrations are expected in Iran on or around September 16, 2023, to mark the first anniversary of the events that set off nationwide protests in 2022.
There are reports of security forces detaining and intimidating protestors and their family members.
Activist groups have called for anti-regime protests and authorities have started reinforcing security measures by:
- increasing protection around government buildings
- deploying additional security forces
- patrolling city streets
- establishing checkpoints
Security forces could use lethal force to disperse crowds.
If you are in Iran:
- exercise caution
- expect heightened security measures
- avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
Political demonstrations and gatherings may occur.
Large-scale and violent protests took place across Iran in the Fall of 2022 following the strict enforcement of the hijab law by the Iranian authorities. Security forces strongly repressed demonstrators resulting in numerous arrests, injuries and casualties. In some cases, arrested individuals have been sentenced to death for charges arising from their participation in the demonstrations.
The situation remains highly volatile and could escalate without notice. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Disruptions to telecommunications services, including mobile internet access, may occur during large-scale demonstrations.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Monitor local and international media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Pakistan and Afghanistan
Bandits in border areas with Afghanistan and Pakistan are usually involved in drug trafficking and use kidnapping to secure the release of group members from prison.
Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Pakistan, is regularly affected by ethnic conflicts and is also a known route for smugglers. Foreign nationals have been the target of kidnappings.
Terrorist attacks may also occur in this province.
If you decide to travel overland to Pakistan and Afghanistan despite this warning:
- travel only on main roads
- travel in organized groups
- avoid travel after dark
The province of Khuzestan borders Iraq. It is regularly affected by ethnic conflicts. Foreign nationals have been the target of kidnappings.
Border with Iraq is usually closed. It can be opened on a case-by-case basis to allow the passage of certain foreigners or to give refugees access to containment camps located on the Iranian side of the border.
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan
The borders with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are open only to citizens of those countries.
Foreigners travelling in the vicinity of these sensitive borders often attract the attention of local security forces, which can result in short periods of detention.
There is an increased threat of attacks against Western interests and of terrorist attacks in general. The security situation could worsen rapidly and with little warning.
Attacks have targeted:
- foreign interests
- Iranian military and government establishments
- tourist attractions and popular public places
- nightclubs and entertainment venues
- public transportation
Further attacks may occur, and terrorists may also target:
- crowded places
- places with high pedestrian traffic where foreigners may gather
- commercial establishments
- local government offices
- public transit stations
- busy streets
- places of worship
Exercise a high degree of caution at all times.
Kidnapping for ransom can occur, especially in Baluchistan and in the border areas with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Foreign nationals have also been the target of kidnapping.
Use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules when moving from one place to another.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Violent crime affects both Iranians and foreigners.
Thieves often target four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Plainclothes individuals may pose as police officers and ask to see foreign currency and passports. If you are approached, you should politely decline to cooperate but offer to go to the nearest police station.
- Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as flashy jewellery
- Ensure personal belongings, including your passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page at all times and leave a photocopy with a relative
- Don’t surrender any documents or cash
- Stay in touch with family and friends, especially if you’re travelling alone
- Avoid walking after dark
Women may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Gender-based violence is common in Iran.
Some Canadian and Canadian-Iranian women have been stranded in Iran or mistreated by an Iranian husband or a male relative. Local authorities consider domestic violence to be a private matter and rarely discuss it in public.
Women and children require the permission of the husband, or an Iranian male head of household, to obtain a passport or travel document. They also require permission to leave the country.
The dress code is strictly enforced in Iran. Women must wear a headscarf and a long jacket that covers the arms and upper legs while in public.
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country, and city streets are poorly lit. The highway system is relatively well developed.
Trucks run mostly at night, often without headlights. Motorists are reckless and don’t respect traffic laws. They almost never give way to pedestrians at designated crossing points. Parked cars may obstruct sidewalks on main roads in urban areas. Sidewalks are rare in residential areas.
Expect roadblocks and checkpoints.
- Avoid travelling at night
- Consider hiring a personal driver who’s familiar with local conditions
- If you are involved in an accident, remain at the scene until authorities arrive
Most taxis don’t have meters. Drivers often overcharge foreigners.
- Only hire official taxis from agencies or hotel-based companies
- Take pre-booked official taxis, which are safer than those hailed from the street
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter
- Never enter a cab if it already has one or more passengers
- Note the licence plate number and name of the driver when you travel
- Immediately communicate this information to family or friends
Trains are comfortable and punctual, but service is limited and slow.
Iran and the United Arab Emirates both claim sovereignty over the islands in the Gulf and the military patrols the waters. Foreigners navigating Iranian waters have been arrested and detained. In September 2019, Iranian authorities specifically called for the seizure of Canadian assets and vessels.
Exercise caution if travelling by sea, including for recreational purposes, particularly around the disputed islands of Abu Musa and Tunb.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Iranian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Canadians can verify this information with the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran – Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Iran.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Pilgrimage visa: required
Press visa: required
Transit visa: required
Overstaying your visa period may lead to detention, imprisonment and fines. You will be required to remain in Iran until the situation has been resolved.
- E-Visa Portal – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Iran
- Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran – Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.
If you enter Iran with a transit pass issued by an Iranian embassy or consulate abroad, you may have to obtain an Iranian passport to exit the country.
Canadians have been denied entry into Iran because their passports bore an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel. Such a stamp would indicate the traveller entered from Israel.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
Limited malaria transmission may occur in this destination, but risk to travellers is very low.
Antimalarial medication is not recommended for most travellers. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:
- Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
- Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
- Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing.
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin. In some cases, it can be fatal. It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Cutaneous and mucosal Leishmaniasis
Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Cases of locally-acquired Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been reported in this country.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Some people infected with MERS-CoV experience no symptoms, while others may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. About one-third of reported cases have resulted in death.
Eat and drink safely, and avoid close contact with animals, especially camels. If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you practise good hygiene and wash your hands before and after contact with animals.
There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect against MERS.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is limited in availability. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Air pollution can be severe in major cities. It may affect people suffering from respiratory ailments.
During periods of high pollution:
- consult your doctor before traveling to see if the situation could affect you
- limit your activities outdoors
- monitor local media
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Iran is under international and Canadian sanctions. While these sanctions don’t prohibit travel to Iran, they could be relevant to your travel.
The Iranian legal system differs from the one in Canada.
You may be held for lengthy periods without access to legal counsel or consular officials if you are suspected of or witness to offences.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs and alcohol are severe. Convicted offenders can expect severe penalties, including the death penalty.
Iran is an Islamic theocratic republic. A conservative interpretation of Islamic practices and beliefs is closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws, and regulations.
Islamic law is strictly enforced. Breach of public morality, non-compliance with dress-code and making disparaging remarks about Islam, the clergy and religious symbols, including on social networks, are considered serious offences. They are punished severely.
Former Muslims who have converted to other religions have been subject to arrest and prosecution.
- Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religion at all times
- Be aware of your actions and behaviour
In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:
Dress and behaviour
Iranian customs, laws and regulations reflect the conservative interpretation of traditional and Islamic practices and beliefs adhered to by the Iranian authorities.
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
Shorts are considered inappropriate attire for both men and women.
Women should carry a headscarf to cover their head at all times while travelling in Iran.
There are reports indicating that the police are using surveillance cameras to identify and monitor women who don’t wear the hijab in public places, as required by Iranian law. Employers and owners of businesses such as stores, restaurants, cafés and shopping malls face closure and prosecution if they don’t enforce the hijab law.
If you promote unveiling while you are in Iran, you could face criminal charges.
Women who fail to comply with the law may face:
- arrest and detention
- jail sentences
- restricted access to public institutions such as hospitals, schools, airports and other social services.
- restricted access to mobile phones and Internet
Intimate and extramarital relations
Public displays of affection between two people of the opposite sex, especially between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman, is not well socially accepted.
If you engage in extramarital relationships, you may be subject to severe penalties, including the death penalty.
Canadian women who register their marriage with the Iranian authorities automatically become Iranian citizens. They are treated as such by Iranian law.
Marriage between an Iranian and a foreigner is subject to the rules of conduct and Islamic laws. As such, an Iranian husband may prevent his wife and children from leaving Iran, even if they are of foreign nationality.
Iranian and Canadian family law systems are significantly different.
Iran doesn’t automatically recognize the orders of Canadian courts in matters of family law.
A Canadian divorce certificate is not automatically recognized in Iran.
You must get the Canadian divorce certificate authenticated by a Canadian Embassy prior to have it sanctioned by an Iranian Court for it to be recognized under Iranian law.
If an Iranian court doesn’t sanction your divorce, and you return to Iran as a woman, your ex-husband may request the Iranian authorities to confiscate your passport. As a husband, authorities may not allow you to leave Iran if you have not paid the dowry to your wife after divorce.
Iran isn’t a signatory to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Children of a male Iranian national, including Canadian-Iranian citizens, are in the sole custody of their father. They require their father’s permission to leave Iran.
To avoid any difficulties in Iran, consult a Canadian and an Iranian lawyer before travelling. If you're involved in local legal proceedings such as divorce or custody, seek legal advice regarding your rights and responsibilities.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Iran.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Iran by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Iran to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Iranian law criminalizes sexual acts and relationships between persons of the same sex.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers could also be discriminated against or detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
If you are convicted, you could face corporal punishment, imprisonment or the death penalty.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Iran.
Iran doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Iran, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
If you're a Canadian-Iranian citizen, you must enter and exit Iran using your Iranian passport. You may also not be able to leave Iran unless you meet certain conditions.
Canadians, particularly dual Canadian-Iranian citizens, are at risk of:
- being arbitrarily questioned, arrested or detained
- having their passport confiscated
Canadian-Iranian dual citizens should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Iran.
Mandatory military service
Military service is mandatory for male Iranian citizens aged 18 to 34, unless exempt. This also applies to dual Canadian-Iranian citizens, even those born in Canada.
If you are a Canadian-Iranian citizen older than 17 years, and planning to visit Iran, check your military service obligation prior to your travel. You may not be allowed to leave Iran without first having completed your military service.
Communications and political activities
Communications are closely scrutinized by local authorities. You may face severe consequences if you discuss, share or publish information on the political situation or criticize the regime in place, including on social media.
It is prohibited to photograph (including with drones);
- government buildings
- security forces, military and police installations and vehicles
- public buildings, including airports, ports, bridges, embassies and power plants
Such sites are not always well identified. In doubt, seek permission, or refrain from taking the photo.
Always ask permission before taking photographs of local residents.
All luggage may be subject to search upon arrival and departure.
Customs officials may screen your electronic device.
Possession of prohibited items is forbidden and may result in detention and or imprisonment. Such items include:
- Magazines and DVDs with sexual or explicit content
- Satellite dishes
- Western CDs and film
It’s prohibited to import and consume pork-based products.
The workweek runs from Sunday to Thursday.
You must carry an international driving permit.
The currency in Iran is the Iranian rial (IRR).
The economy is exclusively cash-based. Credit cards aren’t accepted in Iran. ATMs exist only for local banking, for the use of Iranians. Due to international sanctions, it’s not possible to transfer funds to Iran using commercial banking system or money transfer company.
- Bring sufficient cash, preferably in U.S. dollars or euros
- Note that U.S. banknotes used must be in crisp condition
Natural disasters and climate
Iran is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur.
The weather is very dry and hot from May to October. Dust storms and sand storms may occur during the summer months.
Sand-laden winds can blow at high speeds for days, creating difficult driving conditions. Poor visibility can also affect flights. These storms can also cause respiratory problems, which can be fatal in some individuals.
If a dust storm is occurring:
- stay indoors
- keep windows closed
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
The rainy season extends from November to March. During the rainy season, flooding, including flash flooding, can occur.
Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable, due to mudslides and landslides. Bridges, buildings and infrastructure may be damaged.
- Monitor local media for the latest updates, including those on road conditions
- Stay away from flooded areas
- Monitor local news and weather reports
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 110
- medical assistance: 115
- firefighters: 125 / 123
There is no resident Canadian government office in Iran. The Embassy of Canada to Türkiye in Ankara has consular responsibility for Iran.
Ankara - Embassy of Canada
Azerbaijan, Georgia. Offering consular services to Canadians in Iran.Appointment Book your appointment online
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Türkiye in Ankara and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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