Azerbaijan as a center receiving labor recourses
Today, Azerbaijan, along with being a country exporting labor force, transforms into a center receiving labor from the CIS countries and far abroad. Recently, the migration processes in Azerbaijan have been developing dynamically. The main part of migrants arriving in Azerbaijan are the migrant workers, other persons who are married with the citizens of Azerbaijan, as well as persons who have close family ties, students in Azerbaijan. Every day 4 to 5,000 foreigners arrive in and leave the country.
Of the total number of foreigners working upon employment authorization, about 5,000 are the Turkish citizens, 1,500 - Great Britain. There are also migrants in Azerbaijan from China, India, Georgia, Iran, and Russia.
Most migrant workers registered in the country are working in the construction, ICT.
The information breakthrough in Azerbaijan requires more specialists, and some of the specialists came from abroad. The leading sector of the economy - the oil production and refining - also needs specialists. The migrants are also working in tourism, hotel business and education. Azerbaijan also actively develops new spheres, where it experiences staff shortages. Exactly the foreign experts are involved in it.
According to the latest data from the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan, today, there are about 450,000 migrants who have arrived in the country for various purposes. And their number is increasing every year.
The economic development of Azerbaijan, political stability in the country make the Republic attractive to foreign citizens, and the number of foreigners arriving in the country is increasing day by day. Another reason for the increased number of migrants in recent years is also explained by the fact that under the financial crisis acutely felt in Europe, the nonpayment of salaries, reduction and dismissal of local experts were recorded. The people in search of job seek it elsewhere.
Azerbaijan is a country where the financial crisis bypassed as compared with Europe, and the authority of Azerbaijan's economy is constantly increasing in the world due to the current economic indicators, the wave of migrants from abroad only grows.
Migration certainly has a huge impact on the economy of both countries receiving and countries sending migrants. As a positive, the foreigners bring new investments to the country, new technologies and best practices. But often, the migration processes that take place in Azerbaijan today give rise to serious problems for the local population. Who could imagine that as a result, local employees may have a high degree of risk to be discriminated. Firstly it is the threat of unemployment, because migrants take jobs from local population and devalues the work of local residents. The excessive number of immigrants may deteriorate the social situation of the local population, rise the prices for housing and food, there can be problems with the provision of health services and social protection. And illegal foreign migrants are not officially registered as holding jobs, having a significant impact on the labor market, tax evasion and are involved in the shadow economy, thereby causing significant damage to the state.
Of course, it needs to deal with illegal migration and the state is taking steps to reduce the flow of illegal migrants into the country. Thus, the migration legislation of Azerbaijan over the past two years has changed quite seriously. Important transformations have taken place from which it can be concluded that the authorities of the Republic are working very seriously to further develop the legal framework in the migration field. Let us take the example of the principle of "single window". After its introduction, the State Migration Service was in fact the only authority for all matters related to the arrival of foreign citizens in Azerbaijan.
In case of any problems, the migrants arriving in Azerbaijan now only appeal to the State Migration Service, and in turn, the Service communicates with all other state agencies and departments involved in migration. Further it needs to mention a number of innovations relating to the employment of foreign nationals, the introduction of quotas for employing, tougher measures for illegal employment of migrants. Major changes have been made to the legislation to combat human trafficking, the Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking has been adopted. In general, over recent years, the migration legislation in Azerbaijan has considerably been transformed. This is a very positive tendency and a very good work being done in this regard. Legislation on migration should be very flexible and developing in order to respond to any changes in this area. Now, for example, Azerbaijan develops a migration code, which is also a positive step.
So, currently the category of persons who can obtain a visa for entry to Azerbaijan is seriously limited. Changing visa procedures, issuing them visa not at the airport, but at the diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan abroad is an approach that is used very frequently by all countries worldwide. It is a normal practice, which is used by all states. Many countries restrict receiving visas on arrival at the airport.
However, 2011 has been declared the Year of Tourism - February 15, 2011, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on declaring 2011 the Year of Tourism in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The purpose of this decree is to create favorable conditions for further development of tourism in Azerbaijan.
Under the bill, obtaining visas via the tourism companies will now be simplified. Thus, to obtain visas in electronic form via the internet, the travel companies can directly appeal to the embassy and consulate of Azerbaijan in a country where foreigners live, and for the foreigners in countries where there are not embassies and consulates of Azerbaijan, thwe companies can appeal to Azerbaijan's embassies and consulates in third countries. Visas will be complied in electronic form and will be sent to the e-mail address of the travel company that made the request.
These transformations will surely affect the flow of migrants into the country. As the summer season has just begun, the number of migrant workers who work upon patents will increase.
Along with this, now great attention is paid to the protection of migrants' rights in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has joined the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the European Social Charter, ratified a number of documents of the International Labour Organization.
Thus, in 2011, all the conditions have been created for the entry and residence of migrants in Azerbaijan. Effective management of labor migration can yield positive results to all sides involved, including the countries sending migrants and the countries receiving migrants, as well as migrant workers themselves and their families.