According to the Iranian Labor Law, the foreign nationals can merely be employed if they enter into Iran with Work Visa and also acquire the Work Permit. The work permits are issued by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare of Iran. According to the Labor Law, a work permit is valid, extendable and renewable for a maximum of one year. Furthermore, there are certain punishments and fines provided for the employers who employ foreign nationals without work permit or with an expired work permit. The Iranian Labor Law has not determined what type of professional relations are considered as employment relations with foreign nationals. Nevertheless, having considered the definition of employment contract, it seems that if the foreign national renders services to the employer and receives remuneration in exchange, the relation can be considered as an employment relation irrespective of the type of services provided e.g. consultation, supervision, regulating services, technical services or other services. Therefore, it would be good practice to acquire the work permit in order to avoid any risks in this regard. It should also be mentioned that acquiring the commercial Visa is another option. In order to acquire this visa, it is necessary for the foreign national to receive an invitation from the Iranian business partner. In conclusion, in order to avoid the potential risks, it is recommended to acquire the work permit or commercial visa from the beginning, even though the foreign national and the Iranian business partner do not intend to consider their relation as an employment relation.
In order to acquire the Work Visa and Work Permit, the employer must refer to the Employment Office of Foreign Nationals in the Organization of Welfare and Cooperatives of the pertinent province and proceed with the administrative phases and submit the documents. According to Article 2 of the Executive Regulation regarding Issuance of Visa for Foreign Nationals in Free Trade Zones of Islamic Republic of Iran, foreign nationals do not need a visa for direct entrance to the zones through legal entrance and exit routes. Furthermore, in accordance with the Note of Article 7, the application for residence of foreign nationals must be submitted to the Organization of Free Zones.
According to the current regulations, those who work as technical, legal, etc. expert in a project or company located in Iran and have frequent annual trips to Iran, are not required to acquire work visa and permit (in particular, because it would be time consuming for them to do so). Instead, they can acquire a commercial visa through their host company in Iran. During the first year, commercial visa must be acquired for each trip, however, after the first year it would be possible to issue commercial visa for multiple trips. The time required for issuance of commercial visa is 4 days.
Bayan Emrooz Law Firm was founded in 2008 under the registration No. 23211 in Tehran, and renders legal consultation and attorneyship services to foreign or domestic legal and natural persons. Our approach and main purpose is to expand the culture of utilizing legal consultation in civil and commercial matters in order to prevent high personal or social costs spent on resolution of disputes before judicial and non judicial authorities.