Iran is one of the main economies in the Middle East, with a large and educated population. The country is growing fast, technologies are already well implanted, and thus, many jobs and business opportunities can be found in Iran. Yet, if you intend to work in Iran, you need to require a specific visa, as it is not allowed with a touristic visa.
To work in Iran as a foreigner, you first need to get a work visa, which allows you to obtain an entry visa with the right of working, and then to obtain a work permit. This is regulated by the “Iranian Laws and Regulations Concerning Employment of Foreign Nationals” and has to be approved by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare.
To get a work visa you need the support of an Iranian employer. This latter will apply for the issuance of your visa prior to your arrival in Iran. Several documents are required to fill this request to the General Bureau of Alien's Occupation (GBAO), such as a written request from the employer and several questionnaires.
The procedure to obtain the visa is quite fast and takes a few days. Once the visa is obtained, you can apply to get a work permit, which is issued and can be extended or renewed for a period of one year. However, if you change your work meanwhile you need to renew your work permit.
Keep in mind that your employer has to justify the fact of hiring a foreigner rather than a local, thus you cannot pretend to all kinds of jobs and have to possess specific qualifications. Opportunities are however frequent in the field of language teaching for native foreign-language speakers and other skilled positions.
If you are going to Iran for a short time in order to do business, attend a meeting or a conference, you can apply for a Business Visa.
As for the work visa and work permit, you need the support of your Iranian counterpart. The company applying for your business visa must be registered in Iran and issue you an invitation letter. To issue this invitation letter, the host company must provide some documents, such as its registration number, address, a scan of the official journal or newspaper of the company, and a scan of the birth certificate of the host company manager.
Once you have your invitation letter, you can apply online or at the embassy, with the same requirements as for tourist visas. Read our article about tourist visa to know all the details about it. For a business visa, you can also be asked for an interview at the embassy or consulate.
The normal visa issuance takes less than one week. The visa is issued for 14 to 30 days and is a single entry. Canadian, British, and American citizens, which are submitted to specific requirements for travel, can also pretend to have a business visa.
To have more information about the different visas in Iran, from tourist visas to Visas on Arrival, and exemptions, have a look at our following articles: How to Get Visa for Traveling to Iran, Visiting Iran without a visa: which countries are visa-free? and Iran Visa for US, UK, CA Citizens, How to Apply?