Iran Employment Rules for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals in Iran cannot engage in any work unless their entry visa allows them to do so. Moreover, they need to obtain a work permit and follow all the relevant laws and regulations. Here are the latest employment rules for foreign nationals in Iran.
Working in Iran
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs states that according to Article 121, a foreign national can only be given work for a specific position if there are no qualified Iranian citizens specialized in that particular field. Moreover, the foreign national must possess relevant and sufficient knowledge and expertise to do the work. He should use his experience to train Iranian citizens so that when his work permit ends, his job can be taken over by a trained Iranian.

Extending Work Permit
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has the authority to issue, extend, or renew a work permit if a foreign national has been living in Iran for at least ten continuous years or is married to an Iranian citizen. A work permit can only be extended for a maximum time period of one year.

Work permits may also be altered for immigrants who come from foreign countries, especially Islamic ones, or are political refugees. These immigrants are required to have a valid immigration or refugee card, along with a written agreement provided by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Exception from Payment of Work Permit Fee
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has the right to exempt citizens from specific countries and stateless people from paying the fee of a work permit and renewal. However, this can only happen in necessary cases or when stateless people prove that their status is optional and voluntary. This decision needs to be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Council of Ministers.

Failed Work Relations Between Foreign National and Employee
If under any circumstances, an employment relationship between a foreign citizen and employer fails, it must be reported to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs within 15 days.
The foreign national will be asked to surrender their work permit to the Ministry with a receipt. The Ministry also has the authority to ask relevant authorities to expel the foreign national from Iran, if necessary.

Urgent Recruitment of Foreign Nationals
If a firm or industry within Iran needs to employ an exceptional foreign national on an urgent basis to serve the country, the employer must notify the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. If approval is received from the relevant department, a provisional work permit will be issued to the foreign national. Formalities of paperwork usually required for the issuance of a visa allowing the foreign national to work will not be needed.

Conditions of Employment
For foreign technical experts, the conditions of employment need to include their nationality, length of service, level of remuneration, and whether they are available for domestic manpower. This will have to be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and the State Organization for Administrative and Employment Affairs.

To learn more about employment laws in Iran, click here

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