Comprehensive immigration profile on Azerbaijan for those considering a move to the country.
As relocation experts, at Move One we understand how important it is to familiarize yourself with your potential new home before making the big move and of course to have a seamless transition when settling in your new destination. Therefore, to make your relocation as hassle free as possible, Move One profiles a country every month, providing an in-depth look at Relocation, Immigration, Moving and Pet Transportation issues which could pose problems for expats.
With an ability to exploit extensive oil and gas reserves, the Republic of Azerbaijan has experienced a dramatic increase in foreign investment since the late 1990’s, when it began entering into production sharing agreements with private international firms. Since that time, the government has aggressively implemented regulatory reforms, prioritizing business efficiency as it strives to control inflation and decrease the country’s reliance on the energy sector. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts a 9.5 percent increase in Azerbaijan’s GDP for 2010; among the highest in the world.
Azerbaijan’s relatively straightforward immigration laws reflect an eagerness to streamline access to its markets, particularly in relation to the oil and gas sectors. As a practical matter, however, employers – especially those operating outside of key industries – often find it a challenge to meet all statutory obligations. Move One has extensive experience with immigration compliance in Azerbaijan, and can ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible for both your company and its employees.
In order to determine which immigration procedure and permit would best accommodate the transferee’s situation, the following information should be forwarded to a Move One immigration specialist:
- Assignee’s citizenship
- Exact job title of assignee and job description
- Name of sending company
- Name of the receiving company, designation the type of the office: representative, branch, etc., and whether the office is registered
- Job location of assignee in Azerbaijan
- Duration of the assignment, including the arrival date and start date
- Whether family members will be joining the transferee, their nationalities and ages
- Contact details for assignee, sending company, and receiving company
- Whether or not the company been ever registered with immigration authorities
The term business visit, from an immigration perspective, defines a short trip that does not require a work permit or authorization from the destination country. As such, the business traveler is limited to well-defined activities. In the case of Azerbaijan, business travelers may attend business meetings, trainings, conferences and/or seminars so long as he/she only represents the interests of an employer based outside of the country. Please contact Move One if you are unsure whether or not your visit may be classified as business travel.
In order to carry out paid activities in Azerbaijan, a work permit is required in most cases. The work permit is valid for a predetermined period of time, and allows the foreigner to hold a temporary job in Azerbaijan. The process of obtaining work and residence authorization depends on many factors, including, but not limited to: nationality, company type and payroll.
- Employer must apply to the State Migration Service to obtain a work permit and a residence permit (Azeri ID) for foreigners who wish to engage in paid labor in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Employees who intend to work in the Republic of Azerbaijan must register with the police. This is in addition to having his/her Employer obtain the work and residence permits.
- Assignee/applicant must be present in the territory of Azerbaijan during the work permit and residence card process, therefore arrival based on a visa is required prior to making these applications. While the assignee does not have to be present at the State Migration Office itself to apply for a work permit, the assignee’s original passport must be submitted with the application.
- Work permits and residence cards are issued for the period of 1 year and can be extended on the yearly basis, for up to 5 years total.
- According to Article 3 of the ‘Law on Labor Migration’ of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the following foreigners are not required to obtain a work permit:
- permanent residents
- heads of organizations established on the basis of international agreements
- personnel of international organizations
- business travelers (no longer than 3 months)
- those engaged in work on behalf of a relevant executive authority
- those involved in religious activity on behalf of registered religious organizations and societies
- employees of accredited mass media organizations
- sportsmen and art workers
- faculty invited by universities for lecturing, and specialists undertaking research activity
- heads and deputies of registered corporations; branches and representatives of foreign registered corporations functioning in the Republic of Azerbaijan Republic
The standard process outlined below is for the common scenario of non-CIS citizen employees of limited liability companies. Keep in mind that the procedure will differ for CIS citizens and employees of companies registered as branches of foreign entities. Please contact Move One to determine your exact visa and permit requirements.
The immigration procedure can be divided into four stages:
- Arrival based on an entry visa which is valid for 90 days
- Police registration
- All business foreigners visiting Azerbaijan for more than 30 days must register their passports with the local police department (Ministry of Internal Affairs) within five days of arrival.
- In case of non-registration or late registration, a fine must be paid or foreigner will have to leave the country once the 30-day period expires.
- Simultaneous application of the work permit and residence card applications
- A signed employment contract with the local entity is required.
- A medical certificate issued in Azerbaijan is required for the residence card process.
- Productive work can be performed once the work permit has been issued.
- Work permits may be valid for an initial period of up to one year.
- Residence cards are determined according to work permit validity.
- Police registration extension
Important to Note
- Work permits and residence cards may be renewed.
- Foreigners who have obtained a residence card issued by the State Migration Service may depart and return to the Republic of Azerbaijan, provided they carry their residence card and a valid identification document (passport).
- Foreigners may engage in labor activity in the country for not more than five years. After five years he/she should leave Azerbaijan for one year.
- Immigration paperwork for accompanying family members (spouse and children) may be started simultaneously with the assignee.
- Degree certificates, marriage and birth certificates are required for work permit and residence card application. These documents must be notarized.
- Foreigners must provide proof of their professional experience from the past 5 years.
- Notarized copies of company documents are required for work permit applications.
- Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in Azerbaijan.
Travelers to Azerbaijan should note that immigration procedures may vary greatly, depending on the specific circumstances of the transferee his or her family members. Please get in touch with Move One to discuss your specific case by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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