Wanna travel to Azerbaijan? Chances are that, if you want to go, you’ll most likely be put off by the visa rules. That’s the one reason people tell me they skipped the country when travelling around the Caucasus, staying only in Georgia and neighbouring Armenia. It’s something that happens all the time. People ask me how to apply for the Azerbaijan visa and, once they find out the nuisance of getting an invitation letter and the high fees, they give up.
Things have changed, though. In 2016 I found out that Azerbaijan started offering an eVisa and I ran to my computer to check it out. I honestly couldn’t understand how it was called eVisa, because you still had to get a letter of invitation from an agency or a hotel booking for your entire stay. The fees were still high – as much as 130USD for Americans and British citizens!
But as I write this, I have my visa in hand for my upcoming trip. Yes, the rules have changed again and the Azerbaijan eVisa is now a proper eVisa. “So, Pedro, how to apply for the Azerbaijan visa, then?”. The answer is here.
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE AZERBAIJAN VISA
Azerbaijan now offers an eVisa option – a real one – for 81 countries and you can apply for it online – ok, that sounds obvious. The new rules became applicable only 10th January 2017. There are a few requirements, though:
- You must have a passport valid for at least 3 months after you’re due to depart the country (or 4 months after your entry date).
- You must declare you do not have hepatitis B and C.
- You must declare you are not HIV positive.
- You did not visit Nagorno-Karabakh or other territories of Azerbaijan controlled by Armenia
If you fulfil all these requirements, then you should be good to go. The new Azerbaijan visa is much better in many aspects. When I was there in 2013, I could only stay for a maximum of 5 days, because that was how long my hotel booking was for.
The benefits of the new Azerbaijan eVisa, are:
- You can now stay for up to 30 days in the country
- The visa fee is only 23USD (20+3 admin fee)
- You no longer need a letter of invitation (LoI), but it’s advisable to have a hotel booking before you arrive.
- The eVisa only takes 3 working days to be ready
Applying for the Azerbaijan eVisa
To apply for the Azerbaijan eVisa you need to log on to their official website. You will also need a copy of the photo page of your passport, which should be uploaded to the site.
Once you’ve entered all your personal information and uploaded your passport copy, you will receive a confirmation email. Go to your email and click the link to continue.
After that, you will have to pay the fee. They only accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards.
Payment is taken straight away from your card and you will receive an email with your visa processing number.
My visa actually arrived on the same day, about 12 hours after I applied for it. However, don’t take that for granted and expect the deadline specified on the website.
How Do I Receive the Azerbaijan eVisa?
Unlike normal visa for Azerbaijan and many other countries, there will be no sticker on your passport. You will receive your eVisa by email. You will have to click on the link and then enter some personal details (as shown on the screenshot below), as well as your visa processing number.
After that, you will be able to download your visa and print it. Don’t bring an electronic copy on your phone or tablet, the immigration officers will need the print out of your visa.
What If I Have an Armenian Stamp on My Passport?
That’s a good point. Azerbaijan and Armenia have an ongoing silent conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. As I mentioned before, if you’ve been to the Karabakh you will be denied entry (and a visa) to Azerbaijan. But if you’ve got an Armenian stamp on your passport, it won’t be much of a problem. I have heard of people being asked many questions for that reason, but you won’t be denied entry.
What Nationalities Can Apply for the Azerbaijan eVisa?
As I mentioned in the beginning, the eVisa for Azerbaijan is only valid for 81 nationalities, listed below:
Albania | Algeria | Andorra | Argentina | Australia | Austria | Bahrain | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Brazil | Brunei Darussalam | Bulgaria | Canada | Chile | China | Costa Rica | Croatia | Cuba | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Guatemala | Holy See (Vatican) | Hungary | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Iran (Islamic Republic of) | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Jordan | Kuwait | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Malaysia | Malta | Mexico | Monaco | Mongolia | Montenegro | Morocco | Nepal | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Oman | Pakistan | Panama | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Republic of Korea | Romania | San Marino | Saudi Arabia | Serbia | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | Sweden | Switzerland | Thailand | Turkey | Turkmenistan | United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom | United States of America | Vietnam
If your country is not on the list above, you will have to contact the Azerbaijan Consulate in your country or another country you’re travelling to. This list above is bound to change without my knowledge, so also check this site.
Have you ever considered travelling to Azerbaijan?