By Sabina Idayatova, Azernews
Migration is one of the main factors of globalization, which in recent years has been continuously gaining pace and scale throughout the world. Above all, migration is a sign of the development of a state that is gradually gaining worldwide significance.
The fast social and economic development, the expansion of international communications in energy resource transportation in Azerbaijan, and at the same time the importance of the geopolitical position of the country in the context of globalization have led to even more enhanced migration processes.
Visa-free regime with a number of countries has led to the increasing number of people transiting Azerbaijani territory, residing here for a short time and seeking to go to a third country, as well as an increase in the number of foreign nationals attempting to live in the country without legal grounds. All this has stipulated the need for the implementation of migration policies in accordance with national interests, improvement and development of the system of migration regulation, coordinating the activities of state bodies as well as international cooperation in this field.
The Azerbaijani government is working to improve and develop migration services in order to meet the needs of both its own citizens and foreigners.
For example, discussions lately took place over the simplification of the procedures for registration of foreign citizens and stateless persons.
Amendments to the law on the registration of the place of arrival and residence, to the regulations on the application of this law, as well as to the regulations on special documents of stateless persons permanently residing in Azerbaijan, and foreign citizens willing to reside in the country for more than 30 days, were discussed at the plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament held on Tuesday.
Whereas so far the registration procedure of foreigners and stateless persons was undertaken by foreigners themselves, now, based on the amendments, the registration will be carried out by the host country.
During the discussions chairman of the Azerbaijani parliamentary committee on legal policy and state building Ali Huseynli said foreigners and stateless persons coming to Azerbaijan should be registered in accordance with the place of residence. According to Huseynli, the current procedure is executed by the State Migration Service and other relevant state bodies, thus simplifying the registration process of expatriates.
According to the new amendments, the administration of hotels, recreation homes, camping sites, tourist bases, hospitals and other public facilities or the owners of apartments or other residential properties where a foreigner or stateless person stays within three working days must send to the relevant body of the executive authority via mail, e-mail or personally an application form confirming registration of residence and a copy of the passport.
After receipt of the application the relevant body is to immediately register the foreigner or stateless person by the place of residence and notify the host within 48 hours.
Foreigners and stateless persons arriving with visas are registered for the period specified in the visa, while those arriving in accord with the order not requiring a visa -- for the period of 90 days.
A state duty is not charged for the registration of foreigners and stateless persons by the place of residence.
When foreigners or stateless persons leave their place of residence, the host must inform the relevant body of the executive authority. Upon the completion of the registration period the foreigner or stateless person is automatically removed from the register.
The foreigner or stateless person changing his or her place of residence is to be registered again.
MP Yevda Abramov said that the law must be applied not only to ordinary citizens, but also officials. According to Abramov, sometimes citizens coming to Azerbaijan face bureaucratic hurdles.
The law is due to come into force in April 2013.
Migration processes were one of the issues on the agenda of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decree on the state program of the socio-economic development of the regions for 2009-2013.
The program reflects productive use of migration for socio-economic development of the country; the interests of the state and society in the implementation of migration programs and activities; the prevention of illegal migration, etc. Due to the successful implementation of the state program, balanced development of the regions has been provided, the process of excessive urbanization prevented, and positive results achieved in the implementation of foreign and domestic policy.