Laws and Regulations Concerning Employment of
IN THE NAME OF GOD
Ministry of cooperatives, labour and
Directorate General for Employment
Foreign citizens shall not be engaged in any sort of work in
Iran unless first they have an entry visa entitling them to specified work and
second have obtained a work permit in accordance with the relevant
laws and regulations.
following foreign citizens are not subject to the provisions of section 120:
citizens exclusively employed by diplomatic and consular missions, subject to
confirmation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
(b) The personnel
and experts of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, subject to
confirmation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
(c) The correspondents of foreign news agencies and press,
subject to reciprocity and by the confirmation by the Ministry of Culture and
The Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs shall issue visa entitling the bearer to specified work,
together with a work permit, provided that:
(a) According to
the information available to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, there
are no qualified Iranian citizens with similar specialization who are ready to
perform the work in question;
(b) The foreign
citizen possesses sufficient knowledge and expertise for the job in question;
(c) The expertise of the foreign citizen is used to train
Iranians with a view to the subsequent substitution of the foreign citizen by a
The Technical Board for Employment
shall decide whether the conditions specified in this section are fulfilled.
The rules governing the number of members of the Board, the conditions for
their selection and the procedure for holding the sessions of the Board shall
be drawn up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and approved by the
Council of Ministers.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs may issue, extend
or renew the work permit of:
(a) A foreign
citizen who has continuously resided in Iran for at least ten years;
(b) A foreign
citizen married to an Iranian;
(c) Immigrants from foreign countries, particularly the
Islamic ones, and political refugees, provided that they have a valid
immigration or refugee card ,and subject to the written agreement of the
Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs may, if necessary and/or subject to reciprocity, exempt the
citizens of certain countries and stateless persons (provided that their status
is not optional and voluntary) from payment of the fee for a work permit or for
the extension and renewal thereof, subject to confirmation by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and approval by the Council of Ministers.
In accordance with the provisions of this Code, a work
permit shall be issued, extended or renewed for a maximum period of one year.
In case, under any circumstances, an employment
relationship between a foreign citizen and an employer is disrupted , the
employer shall notify the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs thereof within
15 days. The foreign citizen shall within 15 days surrender his work permit to
the said Ministry against a receipt. The Ministry may request the relevant
authorities to expel the foreign citizen from the country, If necessary .
Where it is considered contingent to recruit a foreign
citizen urgently on an exceptional basis because of the needs of the industry
of the country, the minister concerned shall notify the Ministry of Labour and
Social Affairs accordingly and ,subject to the approval of the Minister of
Labour and social Affairs, a provisional work permit shall be issued to the
foreign citizen concerned, without compliance with the
normally required for the issuance of a visa entitling the bearer to specified
A provisional work permit shall be valid for three months at
the most, any extension thereof being subject to confirmation by the Technical
Board for the Employment of Foreign Citizens.
The conditions of employment of foreign technical experts
and specialists needed by the Government shall be drawn up with due regard to
their nationalities, length of service, level of remuneration and the
availability of domestic manpower. The said conditions shall be subject to ratification
by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, following consideration and advice by the
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the State Organization for
Administrative and Employment Affairs. In any case , a work permit for the
employment of a foreign expert shall be issued by the Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs only with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Prior to signing any contract likely to entail the
employment of foreign experts, an employer shall inquire the opinion of the
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs about the possibility for authorizing the
employment of foreign citizens.
The regulations on the employment of foreign citizens,
including procedures for issuing, extending, renewing and cancelling work
permits and conditions for the selection of the members of the Technical Board
for the Employment of Foreign citizens, as referred to in Article 121 of this
Code , shall be drawn up by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs,
and approved by the Council of Ministers.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
Section(c) of ARTICLE 11 OF THE LAW
OF REGULATING SOME OF THE GOVERNMENT’ S FINANCIAL RULES APPROVED ON 1380/11/27
C-In order to prevent the presence
of foreign manpower in labour marker of the country the Ministry
of Labour and Social Affairs is charged to fine the employers who employ
foreign citizens lacking a work permit for five times as much as the minimum
daily wage . If the violation is repeated ,
the fine will be doubled .
The income will be credited to
public income account (Treasury) .
In case of protest , the
above-mentioned employers can submit the case to the righteous judicatory .If
the employers refuse to pay the fine assigned in this section , they will
be prosecuted according to
Article 181 of Labour Law approved
by the Expediency Discernment Council of the System on 1369/8/29.The
contents of this section don’t
include the employment of foreign
citizens inside their camp.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
Any employer who employs a foreign citizen lacking a work
permit, or carrying an expired work permit, and / or employs a foreign citizen
to a work other than specified in his/her work permit, or fails to report
the disruption of the employment relationship of a foreign citizen to the
Ministry of labour and Social Affairs may be subjected
to a term of imprisonment ranging from 91 to 180 days,
taking into account his/her circumstances and the degree of the offence.
The Executive Regulations of
Article 129 of the Labour Law
of the Islamic Republic of Iran
A. Manners of Issuance, Extension, Renewal and Cancellation
of Foreign Citizens’ Work Permits
The work permit of foreign citizens whose work visas have
been approved by the Technical Board for Employment of Foreign Citizens
mentioned in Article 121 of the Labour Law will be issued by the “Department
for Employment of Expatriates” of the Ministry of Labour and Social
The issuance of work visa for foreign citizens mentioned in
the Article 122 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Labour Law is not included in
this article and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is authorized to
take direct measures in necessary cases
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is allowed to, in
exceptional cases of article 126 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Labour Law,
issue a 3 months temporary work permit without observing the formalities
related to issuance of work visa but observing other related regulations. The
extension of the work permit of such individuals would be permitted following
the confirmation of the technical board for employment of foreign citizens.
Employers who use the foreign citizens’ services are obliged
to present the required documents for the issuance of work permit for the
mentioned citizens to the related departments of Ministry of Labour and Social
Affairs within one month of the citizens’ arrival to the country. Otherwise,
the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs would declare the issue to the
judicial authorities according to the article 181 of the Labour Law.
Work permit for foreign technical experts and specialists
needed by the government will be issued in any case by the Department of Employment
of expatriates after the approval of the Technical Board for Employment of
Foreign Citizens and the ratification of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
The conditions of employment of foreign technical experts
and specialists needed by the Government and the permission to issue the work
permit shall be subject to ratification by the Islamic Consultative
Assembly following advice by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
and the State Organization for Administrative and Employment Affairs .
Employers who use the foreign citizens’ services, if
interested in extension of the foreign experts’ work permit employed in their
organizations, are obliged to send the required documents along with the report
of training operations to the relevant departments of Ministry of Labour and
Social Affairs within at least one month prior to expiry of their work permits.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs can extend the
work permit of those foreign citizens mentioned in the Article 3 of this
Any increase in the projects’ foreign manpower, or changes
made in the kind of specializations approved previously, should be discussed
again in the Technical Board for Employment of Foreign Citizens.
All the work permit extension applications for foreign
citizens employed in the private sector, in each turn of extension, would be
mentioned and decided upon in the Technical Board for Employment of Foreign
Foreign citizens possessing valid work permits whose
recruitment contracts with their employers are terminated due to any reason in
conditions of change of the employer would be subjected to the renewal of the
The foreign citizens’ work permit in cases of change of the employer
or the kind of employment, with the exception of foreign citizens mentioned in
Article 122 of the Labour Law, would be renewed following the Technical Board
for Employment of Foreign Nationals’ agreement, by the relevant departments of
the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
In cases when the employment relation of the foreign citizen
is disrupted with the employer, the latter is obligated to inform the relevant
departments of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs within 15 days for the
cancellation and filing of foreign citizen’s work permit.
The violators of this article would be subjected to the
fines and penalties mentioned in article 181 of Labour Law.
The replacement of the foreign citizen whose work permit has
been cancelled is subject to the process of issuance of a new work permit in
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is authorized to
cancel the work permit of those foreign citizens who do not observe the Islamic
rules, the country’s current laws and regulations, and the standard labour
relations, on the basis of reports and declarations received from the related
After the cancellation of work permit, The Ministry of
Labour and social Affairs, may request the relevant authorities to expel
the foreign citizens from if necessary .
The Ministry of Labour and social Affairs can, in necessary
cases, request the competent authorities to prohibit the entrance of those
foreign citizens to the country, who haven’t observed the points mentioned in
this article and have offended more than twice.
The executive procedures and necessary documents for
issuance of work visa and also for the issuance, extension, and renewal of
foreign citizens’ work permits would be according to the directions which will
be proposed by the Department for Employment of Expatriates and ratified by the
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
B. Technical Board for Employment of Foreign Nationals
The Technical Board for Employment of Foreign Citizens would
consider and decide with regards to the granting of work permit to foreign
specialists according to the following points:
accurate and up to date information about the supply and demand of internal
labour market, implementing the general policies of employment of foreign
2-Consideration and supervision of the implementation of
general policies regarding foreign citizens` employment in the field of
overcoming the shortages of the internal labour market`s requirements,
observing the laws and regulations.
3-Investigating and supervising
and following the time scheduled training programme of sectors which use
foreign citizens` services.
4- Investigating and supervision of the issue of skill
transfer to the Iranian manpower and replacing the Iranians instead of
the foreign citizens.
5-Supervision of the determination and approval of the
expertise level of foreign citizens during their work permit validity.
The composition of the members of Technical Board for
Employment of Foreign Citizens is as follows:
representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, introduced by
the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
2. A representative of the sector using the foreign
3. A representative of the State Organization for
Administrative and Employment Affairs.
4. A representative of Plan and Budget Organization.
The meetings of Technical Board for Employment of Foreign
Citizens would be held twice a week according to previous invitation chaired by
one of the representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs,
appointed by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
The meetings would be in session with the
participation of at least four members and the decisions made would be valid in
case of at least 3 positive votes.
The Department for Employment of Expatriates is obliged to
follow the decisions made by the Technical Board for Employment of Foreign
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs can, in necessary
cases, establish Technical Boards for Employment in provinces, and entrust the
whole or part of authorities of the Central Board to them.
The composition and manner of
establishment of the Technical Board for Employment of Foreign Citizens in
provinces would be according to the directions ratified and approved by the
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.