Novamber 9, 2017

Employment of foreign nationals in Iran is only possible within the framework of the provisions stipulated in the Labor Law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The general policy of the country is aimed at meeting its labor requirements and implementing its industrial and development projects through Iranian manpower as much as possible. However, employment of foreign manpower when there is an immediate need for their expertise is not ruled out. According to Article 120 of the Labor Law, approved on November 20, 1990, foreign nationals are not allowed to work in Iran unless they are provided with an entry visa with the right to engage in specific work, and secondly, they receive work permit according to relevant laws and by-laws. Obviously, foreign nationals who are exclusively on diplomatic and consular missions, as well as the staff and experts of the United Nations and its affiliated organizations, correspondents of foreign news agencies and press, are exempted from such regulations on the condition of reciprocity. Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs shall approve the issue of a visa for a specific type of occupation for foreign nationals and work permit for them while taking certain conditions into consideration: Work permits would be issued, extended or renewed for a period of one year. When the interests of the industries of the country necessitate the immediate employment of a foreign national, the minister of the relevant ministry may report the case to the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and upon the approval of the latter, a temporary work permit shall be issued for the foreign national without observing the relevant formalities for the issuance of a visa with right to engage in specific work. The temporary work permit would be valid for a maximum period of three months and its extension would be subject to the approval of the technical board in charge of the occupation of foreign nationals. Prior to the conclusion of any contract through which foreign experts would b employed, employers are bound to inquire about the views of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on the possibility for the said foreign nationals. The Ministry of labor and Social Affairs is authorized to take measures for the nullification of the work permit for those foreign nationals who do not observe Islamic principles, current laws and regulations of the country and humanitarian relations, as declared by the competent authorities. Employers who hire foreign nationals whose work permits have been expired or have no work permit, or employ them in jobs other than those stipulated in their work permits, or do not notify the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs about cases where the employment agreement between them and foreign nationals is terminated, shall be sentenced to prison terms ranging from 91 to 180 days. The court usually changes the jail punishment into cash penalty.