Azerbaijan to simplify issuing visas due to European Games

Azerbaijan to simplify issuing visas due to European Games

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3

By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

Azerbaijan will simplify visa issuance in connection with holding of the European Games, spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend April 3.

Hajiyev was commenting on the possibility of simplifying the visa procedures for athletes and fans in connection with the European Games.

Foreign citizens can get a single entry visa for 30 days in subdivisions of the consular department of the foreign ministry, located at the international airports, 10 days before the Baku 2015 European Games and until the last day of their holding.

"This issue is envisaged in Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decree on "Some measures for holding the first European Games" No 675 dated August 8," Hajiyev said. "The simplified visa procedures for foreigners and stateless persons, permanently residing in foreign countries, who will arrive in the country in connection with the European Games, have been determined there."

"It is sufficient to submit an application form for a visa," he said. "An application form can be obtained on the plane or at the airport. A foreigner or a stateless person permanently residing abroad must have a passport that is valid for at least three months from the date of the return or an identification card. Two photos (3x4 cm on a white background) must be also submitted."

"Aside from that, it will be sufficient to present a ticket to the Baku 2015 European Games or a printed document confirming the purchase of the ticket. The visa duty must be paid upon arrival, at the airport. The duty rates were defined by Azerbaijan's 'Law on State Duty". "

"Under the requirements of this law, the amount of the state duties has been placed on tables in visible places at airports having international status. The information on the state duty has also been placed on internet websites of the Foreign Ministry and embassies and general consulates of Azerbaijan accredited abroad," he added.

Hajiyev further said the following airports in Azerbaijan have an international status: The Heydar Aliyev International Airport, the Ganja International Airport, the Nakhchivan International Airport, the Gabala International Airport, the Zagatala International Airport and the Lankaran International Airport.

Hajiyev also said that for the fans wishing to visit Azerbaijan and watch the European Games, the simplified procedures are envisaged. That's to say, a foreign citizen, who bought a ticket for the Games online, or has a proof of purchase of the ticket, will be able to get visa by presenting a valid passport and by paying the relevant visa fee.

Hajiyev added that foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing abroad, who have been accredited in the prescribed manner, can visit Azerbaijan and leave the country by presenting the passport or other documents for crossing the border and the accreditation card within the period of 60 days before the start of the First European Games and 30 days after their completion.

The scope of persons to be accredited in connection with the First European Games and the form of the accreditation card will be defined in accordance with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, according to Hajiyev.

Basically, accreditation is planned for the athletes who will take part in the European Games and the members of the teams, he added.

The spokesperson said that the process of online visa issuing for tourists, wishing to visit Azerbaijan, is carried out successfully and the increase in the number of tourists applying for e-visa clearly proves this.

Hajiyev said that a fairly simplified mechanism is applied as well. Thus, a person willing to visit Azerbaijan for tourism, submits necessary documents to a travel agency and receives e-visa, given to him based on preferential visa fee.

"Azerbaijan implements the corresponding work to improve the software in an automated intermanagement date retrieval system (IAMAS) "Entry-exit and registration" in the context of tourism development for the purpose of organization of work on processing of visas for foreigners and persons without citizenship at a higher level," said Hajiyev. "In addition, detailed statistical analysis in this area is being conducted, embassies and consulates of Azerbaijan are being provided with satellite communication through telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1 in order to improve the exchange of information between the ministry of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan and the diplomatic missions of the country."

At the same time, the issue of increasing the number of full-time employees of the ministry of foreign affairs, as well as embassies and consulates of the country operating in foreign countries is being considered for rapid processing of visas of foreigners and persons without citizenship visiting Azerbaijan, said Hajiyev.

Baku 2015 is the first-ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.

There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

Edited by SI

Follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa

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