Job residency in Iran
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Residency in Iran through Job

“Iran labor code” is the primary legal document about residency through occupation in Iran. English translation for this Act is available online; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/21843/64830/E90IRN01.htm
Chapter 5, division 3 in this code is about “Employment of foreign citizens”: Article No 120 to 129.
  1. Foreign citizens shall not be employed to work in Iran unless they have an entry visa specifically entitling them to work and have obtained a work permit in accordance with the relevant statutory regulations.
    Note. The following foreign citizens are not subject to the provisions of section 120:
        (a)Foreign 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 confirmation by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
  1. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs shall issue a visa authorizing the bearer to 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 specialisation who are ready to perform the work in question;
    (b)the foreign citizen possesses sufficient skills and specialisation for the job in question;
    (c) The expertise of the foreign citizen is used to train Iranians with a view to the eventual substitution of the foreign citizen by a trained Iranian.
Note. 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 of 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.
  1. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs may 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 Islamic countries, 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.
  1. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs may, if necessary and 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 or renewal thereof, subject to confirmation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and approval by the Council of Ministers.
  2. In accordance with the provisions of this Code, a work permit shall be issued or extended or renewed for a maximum period of one year.
  3. Where, whatever the circumstances, an employment relationship between a foreign citizen and an employer is terminated, the employer shall notify the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs thereof within 15 days. The foreign citizen shall surrender his work permit to the said Ministry against a receipt within 15 days. If necessary, the Ministry shall request the appropriate authorities to expel the foreign citizen from the country.
  4. Where it is considered necessary 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 latter’s approval, a provisional work permit shall be issued to the foreign citizen concerned, without compliance with the formalities normally required for the issue of a visa entitling the bearer to work.
    Note. 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.
  1. 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 event, 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.
  2. Prior to signing any contract likely to entail the employment of foreign experts, an employer shall apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for authorization to employ foreign citizens.
  1. The regulations on the employment of foreign citizens, including procedures for issuing, extending, renewing and cancelling work permits and for the selection of the members of the Technical Board for the Employment of Foreign Citizens, as referred to in section 121 of this Code, shall be drawn up by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, and approved by the Council of Ministers.
Generally, residency in Iran through an occupation in prohibited unless in special circumstances. It is under the authority of “Ministry of labor and Social Affairs” to recognize and apply these circumstances and conditions.
Alongside with above mentioned conditions, “Persuasion and protection of foreign investment Act” has some special rules about residency through investment in Iran. See Residency in Iran through Investment or Elite Residency
According to Article No 20 of this Act: Regarded to mutual obligations about visa, residency permission, and work permission for investors, managers, and foreign experts that work in private sector which is related to Foreign investment, all executive organs shall act upon “the organization of investment and economic and technical aid”.
 To explain this article:
1- The organization of investment and economic and technical aid: according to Article No 5 this organization is in charge of applying this Act. Every request including acceptance, entrance, performance, and evicting of foreign investment should be submitted to this organization.
2- All executive organs: it refers to executive branch organizations including Ministries and their subdivisions. In other words, judicial branch and legislature branch are not responsible or authorized to intervene in applying this Act. According to this act, a foreign investor should sign a contract with an executive branch organization and after this contract the organization will issue the residency and job permission through Ministry of labor and social affairs.
See also Residency in Iran
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