What is the change? Under an existing Azerbaijani presidential decree, foreign nationals may apply for a 30-day visa at an airport in Azerbaijan if their home country does not have a diplomatic mission and if they are flying directly from their home country to Azerbaijan.

What does the change mean? As direct flights are introduced, more foreign nationals are able to use the simpler visa procedures upon arrival rather than having to apply overseas beforehand. All U.S. nationals taking the direct flight from New York to Baku are eligible. (In the case of U.S. nationals, this is true even though Azerbaijan has an embassy in Washington and a consulate in Los Angeles.)

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals from countries without an Azerbaijan consulate who will be flying directly; U.S. nationals flying directly to Baku.
  • Impact on processing times: Visas on arrival are processed at the airport.
  • Business impact: Business travelers may use the visas on arrival for convenience or for travel on short notice, but they should note that the visas are valid for a single entry for 30 days and cannot be renewed in country.
  • Next steps: Travelers may contact their BAL representative or an Azerbaijan mission to confirm eligibility before travel.

Background: This provision for visas on arrival is contained in Presidential Decree 326, issued Sept. 13, 2010.

Foreign nationals who do not have an available embassy or consulate and who are flying directly into Baku may apply for a visa on arrival at Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Applicants must show a valid passport and two passport-size photos, complete a visa application, and pay the state duty based on the country of origin ($160 for U.S. nationals).

As new direct flights are offered from various countries, more travelers will be able to avail themselves of visas on arrival. Azerbaijan Airlines introduced direct flights from New York to Baku in 2014.

BAL Analysis: Visas on arrival provide a flexible option for some travelers, but they cannot be renewed in country and the visitor must leave at the end of the 30 days. Seconded employees intending to apply for a business visa on arrival and perform work that is exempt from work permits in certain industries, such as mining and energy, should contact their BAL team for assistance regarding the required documents needed to secure a visa on arrival.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Azerbaijan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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