Question: 1. Has anyone obtained (relatively recently) the mainland Tourist Visa when visiting Kish Island? 2. If mainland Visa is possible, could the traveller specify the Visa to start in a few weeks, or does the Visa start immediately?
Answer: Kish is a 91.5 km² resort island in the Persian Gulf. It is part of the Hormozgān Province of Iran. After Sharm el-Sheikh and Dubai, Kish Island is the purported to be the third most visited vacation destination city in the Middle East. Iranian New Year exactly happen at the end of March and Kish is the most touristy island in Iran due to its free trade zone status which is touted as a consumer's paradise, with numerous malls, shopping centers, tourist attractions, and resort hotels. So the influx of the Iranian visitors, something about 1 million people visit the island annually, causes price duplication in the whole island which includes hotels as well. Foreign nationals wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain visas prior to travel. Valid travel permits are stamped for 14 days by airport and Kish port police officials. Do not fly to Kish before having a visa for the mainland because you are a national non-eligible to get an on-arrival visa.
For the visa to Iran you have to fill in the visa form on http://www.uppersia.com/Iran-travel-services/iran-visa.html, it takes about 10 working days to get your reference number and two working days to collect your visa at the embassy by direct referral or one working week by posting the docs to the embassy. You can pay the visa fee in cash in Iran.