As a matter of historical, political and geographical influences Azerbaijan migration policy have been changed over the years. However, the recent legislation, especially the codification of migration rules, by adoption new Migration Code served as a solid basis for unified and more decisive approach to these issues. In this legal guide the main emphasis is made on understanding legal and procedural aspects of obtaining short or long-term permissions to stay in Azerbaijan including the visa regime, residency permits and citizenship.
Visas are main and common entry permissions granted to the foreign individuals before entering Azerbaijan when the foreign individuals are not exempt from such regulation. Entry visas of ordinary type are issued to foreigners and stateless persons arriving in the Republic of Azerbaijan for business, science, education, employment, tourism, culture, sports, humanitarian, medical and personal purposes.
In this legal guide we will mainly focus on business, science, education, employment, tourism and personal visit visas, considering the usual requests from the foreigners.
Business visit visais issued to foreigners and stateless persons for the purpose of establishing business relations or cooperation in the Republic of Azerbaijan on the basis of application of government authorities, legal entities acting in the Republic of Azerbaijan or individuals engaging in entrepreneurship activity without establishing legal entity, as well as branches and representations of foreign legal entities or to foreigners and stateless persons arriving with a document certifying that s/he is engaged in entrepreneurship activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Business visit visas issued for up to 180 days.
Most common and practical way of getting business visit visas is by invitation of local entities through the channels of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is advised to contact law firms and professionals dealing with immigration issues for providing invitation letter to be on a safer side to make sure not to be rejected of issuance of such visas.
Science or education visais issued to foreigners and stateless persons entering the Republic of Azerbaijan to carry out scientific activity, to attend relevant conferences, seminars and other scientific events, to get education by enrolling in educational institutions or to get retrained on the basis of application of government authorities acting in this sphere, scientific research institutions, educational institutions registered by the state. Such visas issued for 90 days, and usually people having the legal ground of stay in Azerbaijan for educational purposes upon their application provided by temporary residence permits.
Labor visais issued to foreigners and stateless persons who intend to carry out paid labor activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Such visas are provided by invitations submitted by employer-government authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, as well as branches and representations of foreign legal entities and the period of stay in the country is defined for up to 90 days.
Personal visit visais issued to foreigners and stateless persons entering the Republic of Azerbaijan upon invitation of a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a foreigner or stateless persons permanently residing in the Republic of Azerbaijan, a labor migrant holding a temporary residence permit or a foreigner or stateless person who gets education (only for the family members of labor migrant or the foreigner and stateless person who gets education), registered by the relevant executive authority.. On private visit visa, the period of stay in the country is defined for up to 90 days.
Foreigners and stateless persons can apply for visa issuance to the diplomatic representations and consulates of the Republic of Azerbaijan in their country of residence or in a third country in person or via their representatives. In cases defined by the relevant executive authority, foreigners and stateless persons can obtain a visa in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Application for visa issuance can also be submitted in the form of electron application. All these visas can be provided in single and multiple entry forms, however the applicants should consider that the official fees for single entry visas is 25 USD, while for multiple entry visas provided for 320 USD as an official fee.
By introduction of new regulations now the foreigners are allowed to enter the Azerbaijan by obtaining electronic visas. All kinds of visas could be obtained from such means for selected countries. Actually, such visas are issued for 3-month period however the period of actual stay should not exceed 1 month in Azerbaijan. Practically the main difference of electronically issued visas is that the period of stay in such visas is shorter than sticker visas. For example, foreigner obtaining sticker business visa can stay in Azerbaijan for 6 months, while the electronically obtained business visa permits 1 month stay in Azerbaijan. Therefore, for having an ample time of stay in Azerbaijan for business purposes or labour purposes the sticker visa is preferable.