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Travel Security Advice for Azerbaijan Print

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Azerbaijan is a constitutional republic with a developing economy.  Western-style amenities are found in the capital, Baku, but they are generally not available outside that city.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Azerbaijan for additional information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A passport and visa are required.  Travelers may obtain single-entry visas for USD 131 by mail or in person from either the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, DC or any other Azerbaijani embassy offering consular services.  Travelers may also obtain single-entry, 30-day visas at the airport upon arrival for USD 131.  Visas are not available at the land borders with Georgia or Russia.  Double-entry, 90-day visas (cost: USD 131) and one-year multiple-entry visas (cost: USD 250) are only available through an Azerbaijani embassy or through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  A letter of invitation from a contact in Azerbaijan is required, and travelers who expect to travel in the region should request a one-year, multiple-entry visa.  According to Azerbaijani law, foreign nationals intending to remain in Azerbaijan for more than 30 days must register with local police within three days of their arrival. Foreign citizens should approach the passport section of the local district police office and fill out an application form. The registration fee is AZN 9.90 (approximately USD 12).

American citizens of Armenian ancestry should be aware their visa applications may be denied by the Government of Azerbaijan on the grounds that their safety cannot be guaranteed.

U.S. citizens who obtain a single-entry visa at the port of entry are permitted to remain in Azerbaijan for up to one month, after which an extension of stay must be requested (cost: USD 131).  For persons already in Azerbaijan, visa applications, extensions or renewals are made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shikhali Gurbanov St., 4, Baku; tel. (9-9412) 492 34 01, or the State Migration Service, Ataturk Avenue 53, Baku; tel (9-9412) 498-9464.  For additional information, please contact the Embassy of Azerbaijan, 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC  20008 (tel. 202-337-3500); e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

American citizens should ensure their visas and/or local identification cards, for stays of longer than 30 days, are current and valid, and they carry local identification cards, if applicable, at all times. It is advisable to carry a photocopy of your current passport and valid visa if you do not normally carry your passport as well.  Visit the Embassy of Azerbaijan web site at http://www.azembassy.us/ for the most current visa information.
.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

As a result of continuing conflict, travelers are cautioned to avoid travel to the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding occupied areas.  Because of the existing state of hostilities, consular services are not available to Americans in Nagorno-Karabakh.

American citizens of Armenian ancestry considering travel to Azerbaijan should remain particularly vigilant when visiting the country, as the Government of Azerbaijan has claimed that it is unable to guarantee their safety.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State‘s Bureau of Consular Affairs web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. 
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s
A Safe Trip Abroad.

CRIME:

Baku has experienced a trend away from casual stealth street crime, such as pick-pocketing, towards more targeted and aggressive attacks.  These attacks tend to be against males, usually involve alcohol, and usually occur late at night.  The attacks typically involve multiple attackers on a lone victim using overwhelming numbers and a quick, violent attack to end resistance or flight.  Violent crimes tend to be more frequent in the winter, despite the presence of fewer tourists and foreigners in general at this time of year.  Many recent attacks have resulted in injuries.  There are also reports of foreigners being held up at knife- or gunpoint at or near ATMs during hours of darkness. Visitors should not walk alone at night. 

All incidents of crime should be reported to the local police and U.S. Embassy.  The Police Office of Crimes By and Against Foreigners has an English-speaking officer available at all times who may be reached at (994 12) 490-95-32 or, after hours, at 490-94-52
.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. 

The local equivalents of the “911” emergency lines in Azerbaijan are: 101-Fire Brigade; 102-Police; 103-Ambulance; 104-Gas services; and 112-Ministry of Emergency Situations.
Please see our information on
Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Persons violating Azerbaijan’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.  Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Azerbaijan are severe and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

The Republic of Azerbaijan's economy is mostly cash-only.  Traveler’s checks and credit cards are accepted only in some hotels and a few restaurants and supermarkets.
Azerbaijani customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Azerbaijan of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities including carpets, medications, and caviar, and any amount of currency over USD 1000.  It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington for specific information regarding customs requirements.  Please see our
Customs Information.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

A few Western-type medical clinics, the quality of which is comparable to those in Western countries, are operating in Baku.  However, medical facilities outside the capital remain inadequate, unsanitary, and unsafe.  There is often a shortage of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles and vaccines. Bring adequate amounts of prescription medicines for the duration of your visit, as pharmacies often do not carry all brands or doses.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an increasingly serious health concern in Azerbaijan.  For further information, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Travel Notice on TB
http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/yellowBookCh4-TB.aspx.

Avian Influenza:  In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Azerbaijani authorities confirmed several human cases of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as "bird flu."  Travelers to Azerbaijan and other countries affected by the virus are cautioned to avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.  In addition, the CDC and WHO recommend eating only fully cooked poultry and eggs.  For the most current information and links on avian influenza in Azerbaijan, see the State Department’s Avian Influenza Fact Sheet or visit the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Baku at http://azerbaijan.usembassy.gov/.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the WHO web site at http://www.who.int/enFurther health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Azerbaijan.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.  The information below concerning Azerbaijan is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving hazards such as open manholes, debris, sinkholes, and potholes are common in Baku.  Most drivers do not pay attention to traffic regulations, signals, lane markings, pedestrians, or other drivers.  Drivers often travel at extremely high speeds, and accidents are frequent and often serious.  Driving in Baku should be considered extremely hazardous.  Outside the city, even where roads are present, conditions are similar.  Roads are often in poor repair and unlighted, and lack lane markings, traffic signs, and warnings.  Many rural roads are largely unpaved.

Public transportation throughout the country is overcrowded and poorly maintained.  The U.S. Embassy strongly discourages use of the Baku Metro.  Train travel in the Caucasus region is not secure.
Please refer to our
Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the web site of the Azerbaijan’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://azerbaijan.tourism.az/.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Azerbaijan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Azerbaijan’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s web site at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa.

Travelers on regional airlines among the countries of the Caucasus may experience prolonged delays and sudden cancellations of flights.  In addition to frequent delays, flights are often overcrowded, with passengers without seats standing in the aisle along with excess unsecured cabin luggage.  Even basic safety features such as seat belts are sometimes missing.  Air travel to Azerbaijan on international carriers via Europe is typically more reliable.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

For information see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

Americans living or traveling in Azerbaijan are encouraged to register with the U.S. embassy through the State Department’s travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Azerbaijan.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. embassy.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy or consulate to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at Azadlig Prospekt 83; tel. (9-9412) 498-03-35, 36, or 37; (9-9412) 490-66-71; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; web site at http://azerbaijan.usembassy.gov/Travelers are encouraged to notify the Embassy before their permanent departure from the country.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Azerbaijan dated June 19, 2008 to update sections on Entry and Exit Requirements; Safety and Security; and Special Circumstances.

 


 

Remember that the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office has information regarding Azerbaijan HERE...

Be aware of a Malaria Warning for Azerbaijan, you can access the CDC Malaria Map and advice HERE....

Need to find an Embassy ?, You can check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)..........

Regards

The SW Team....

 

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