May 5, 2021
Reading Time: 3 min

5 ways to get a residence permit in Iran by investment

Investors receive a residence permit in Iran if they invest money in the country’s economy: open a deposit in a bank, invest in local business or production, buy government bonds or real estate. In May 2021, the government added another option — investment in Iran’s financial markets.

We tell you how much to invest and who can apply for an Iranian residence permit in 2021.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer

How to get a residence permit in Iran by investment in 2021

5 ways to get a residence permit in Iran by investment

The law on issuing residence permits by investment was passed back in June 2019. But the law is still being finalized: the government establishes procedures and adds new investment options.

The latest update of the law was adopted in early May 2021. Investors will be offered a new investment option — long-term investments in Iranian financial markets and exchanges. Bahador Bijani, deputy chairman of the Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran, announced the innovation. It is not specified when the changes will take effect.

What an investor receives in exchange by investment

The minimum investment amount to obtain a residence permit in Iran is $250,000 regardless of the option. Investments are not only allowed in US dollars: you can invest in any hard currency recognized by the Central Bank of Iran, such as rubles, euros, or UAE dirhams. Deposits in any currency must equal the minimum amount invested at the exchange rate in effect at the time of investment.


Minimum amount of investment to obtain a residence permit in Iran

Holders of a residence permit by investment can live and do business in the country. They also have the right to use the public health and education system, to obtain a driver’s license, and to enter and leave the country an unlimited number of times.

In 2019, Iran ranked 77th in the country security ranking, while Russia ranked 108th. Iran’s economy is growing despite its dependence on gas and oil production. According to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s GDP grew by 1,5% in 2020 and will grow another 2,5% in 2021.

Iranians themselves are a friendly and generous people. The country’s citizens are tolerant of newcomers and tourists. Women in Iran study and work on a par with men. 60% of Iranian university students are girls, and wives are often considered the head of the family and manage the family budget.

Who among the relatives of the investor can get a residence permit in Iran

The investor has the right to include his family members in the application for a residence permit:

  • spouse;

  • sons under 18 years old;

  • Unmarried daughters of any age;

  • parents.

If a family of six receives a residence permit, for each relative starting from the sixth investor pays an additional $50,000.


Surcharge for a relative, starting from the sixth applicant

Residence permit in Iran by investment in 2021

The capital Tehran is conventionally divided into two districts — Northern and Southe. In the more prestigious Northern district, the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is $1,480 a month

The procedure for obtaining and extending a residence permit in Iran

It takes an average of about four months to obtain a residence permit in Iran. The procedure takes place in five stages:


Investor fills out application form and submits documents to Iran's representative office abroad

+1 month

The Iranian Ministry of the Interior reviews the investor's application and makes a decision on it

+2 months

The investor fulfills the investment condition within 2 months from the date of approval of the application

+1 week

The investor receives confirmation that he has fulfilled the investment condition and passes it on to the Iranian Interior Ministry

+2 weeks

Iranian Migration Service issues residence permit cards

Iran grants a residence permit for 5 years. After that the investor can:

  • Extend the residence permit for another 5 years

    by notifying the Iranian Ministry of Interior three months before the expiration date of the residence permit

  • Renunciation of the residence permit

    by notifying the Iranian Ministry of Interior 6 months before the expiration date of the residence permit

If an investor refuses a residence permit, he can return the money invested, for example, close a deposit in the bank or sell real estate. It is possible to renounce the residence permit at any time before the expiration of the five-year period.

The bank deposit option is nuanced. Investor deposits are opened at 0,5% per annum. If the investor decides to close the deposit during the first two years, he will not receive interest income. Only at the end of the five-year holding period of the deposit or at the time of withdrawal of the residence permit, the investor receives the interest income in full.

Adult foreigners have the right to apply for Iranian citizenship if they have lived in the country for at least 5 years. But it is not known whether investors can obtain the country’s passport.

Iran has been under international sanctions since 1979. There are no international payment systems in the country, such as Visa and SWIFT. If a foreign company, such as a European company, opens a branch in Iran, it will also be subject to sanctions and its accounts in Europe and America will be frozen. It is difficult for Iranian citizens to obtain visas to Schengen countries or the United States.

Wealthy Iranians try to get a residence permit by investment in EU countries. But not all countries with active programs is possible. For example, Malta does not accept applications from citizens of Iran.

In May 2021, investors from different countries can obtain a residence permit in Portugal, Greece, Spain and Malta. Wealthy people can also get a residence permit for the financially independent in Austria and Switzerland. The European residence permit allows you to move to live in the country of residence, as well as travel visa-free in the Schengen area. Residents can apply for citizenship by naturalization if they have lived in the country for several years.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European residence permit programs by investment. If you want to become a resident of a European Union member country, seek advice from experts in investment programs.