Owning Immovable Property in Iran as a Foreigner


In Iran, foreign individuals are not permitted to own immovable property without obtaining a license and undergoing the necessary processes as per the country’s legal system. The regulations governing the acquisition of property by non-resident foreigners in Iran are outlined in the “Regulations on how to acquire immovable property by non-resident foreigners in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which consists of seven articles. This text will explain these articles in detail. If you are interested in owning immovable properties in Iran, Karimi & Associate Law Firm can provide you with excellent assistance and services.


As per first Article states, foreign nationals who frequently visit Iran for tourism and summer vacations but do not have a permanent residence permit must submit a statement with specific details and relevant documents if they wish to purchase an immovable property in Iran for personal residence. This statement and the required documents can be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a political or consular mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran abroad or the governorate of the location where the property is situated.

The statement in question should include the following details:

  • The applicant’s name and occupation
  • Both the current and original citizenship (in case of a change of citizenship)
  • The applicant’s age, status, and marital status, along with their spouse’s current citizenship, original citizenship before marriage, and the number, gender, and ages of any children
  • The applicant’s permanent residence.

It is important to note that the property-related documents include the ownership documents’ image, the property location’s address, and the applicant’s passport. Once the authorities receive the request and related documents, they must send them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for examination. The authority mentioned in Article (1) is responsible for verifying the authenticity of the images of these documents and comparing them with their original versions.

After seeking the views of the relevant authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will review the matter and provide an opinion on whether to accept or reject the request based on political considerations. If the request is approved, it will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for a decision.

Property’s Location

Based on Article 2, the location of the requested property should not be located in places where the acquisition of foreigners is restricted or prohibited.

In this regard, the Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with the Ministry of Intelligence and Military and Administrative Affairs, has prepared a list of restricted and prohibited areas for foreign nationals looking to acquire property in the country. The list will be shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and governorates for dissemination.

Besides those, below is a list of restricted areas determined by Article 1 of “The Regulations Related to The Determination of Prohibited Areas for The Movement And Residence of Foreign Nationals”:

  1. All the border towns of Razavi and South Khorasan provinces, and Zabul city in Sistan and Baluchistan province that are adjacent to Afghanistan.
  2. All the border parts of Sistan and Baluchistan province that are adjacent to Pakistan.
  3. All border cities of West Azarbaijan and Kermanshah provinces that are adjacent to Iraq.
  4. Central part of Saqez city, and Baneh and Marivan cities in Kurdistan province.
  5. Chavar section, Mehran, and Dehloran cities in Ilam province.

Other Relevant Articles

Article 3 states, in order to complete a transaction, applicants need to pay the price in Rials through a transfer or sale of currency from one of the authorized banks to the seller. When making a transaction, public notary offices must ask for an authorized bank certificate from the buyer and include the details in the document.

Based one Article 4 once the property has been successfully transferred to the applicant, the State Organization for Registration of Deeds and Properties will notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the owner’s details and the specific property that was traded. This information, along with the entire process, is recorded in a special book.

Finally, according to Article 5 and 6, the property registration in the real estate registry of the applicant’s heirs will be subject to compliance with the rules outlined in this regulation. If the heirs do not come forward within two years from the owner’s death or if they refuse to comply with the regulations, the property will be sold via auction by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. The auction will be conducted in accordance with all the provisions related to conditional sale auctions. After deducting expenses, taxes, and legal fees, the resulting money will be deposited into a special account with the general treasury and paid to the heirs mentioned earlier.

If the property is not sold through the auction, the aforementioned ministry will advertise the status of the auction in the official gazette of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After sixty days from the date of the advertisement, the property will be sold at the highest bid price. The amount resulting from the sale will be paid to the heirs as per the guidelines mentioned in this article.

As mentioned earlier, foreign nationals face numerous challenges when acquiring immovable properties in Iran due to the different procedures they must comply with. However, Karimi & Associates Law Firm has a team of experts and experienced lawyers who are ready to offer excellent services to assist you in this regard. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

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