Azerbaijan tourist visa
The Azerbaijan tourist visa is date-specific, meaning you have to enter after a set date and leave before the set expiry date. It is single or double entry, and valid for 30 days. Prices are around 100$ for the visa.
At most embassies, you will need to hand in an official letter of invitation (stamped and signed) from a licensed Azeri travel agency to get a visa.
Some embassies require a special MFA approved, mega-expensive LOI (100$ to 250$ for express service). Avoid them if you can! See the embassy reports for more details.
Some embassies don’t require a letter of invitation at all (most notably Batumi).
A letter of invitation is also costly: around 60$ usually.
Furthermore you will need:
- application form
- two passport size (3×4 cm) photos
- your passport (with at least 6 months after the expiry date of the Azerbaijani visa)
From March 2013, Azerbaijan has started issuing e-visas. It should have made things easier.
Does it makes things easier?
No. Or wait, perhaps.
Advantages of the e-visa
- Lower cost than application with LOI (around 100$)
- No need to waste your time at embassies
- You can keep your passport and will just be e-mailed your visa as a pdf. You can enter Azerbaijan at any border entry point with this type of visa.
Disadvantages of the e-visa
- Up to 15 working days processing timeline (currently average processing time is 3 weeks, and seems it can be even longer)
- The need to book a hotel for the whole duration of your visa; E-visa is issued strictly for the number of days the hotel booking is confirmed for (most hotels outside of Baku accept bookings via phone only).
NOTE: The ministry is processing e-visas very slow, serious delays are taking place. Apply for e-visa well before your travel, to avoid disruption of your travel plans. There is no way to speed up or update you on the status of e-visa. Once documents are submitted to MFA one can only wait and hope the visa will be released on time.
Transit visa and visa on arrival
Azerbaijan transit visa
A single or multiple transit visa is valid for 5 days within a 1 month window from date of issue. Cost of a transit visa is $20/40 for single/double entry. Proof of onward travel might be required(plane/train tickets, or onward visa). You only need an application form, passport photo and photocopy of your passport.
Meaning no LOI!
Azerbaijan visa on arrival
Visa on arrival in the airports of Nakcivan and Baku is no longer possible. Foreigners without a visa are being sent back. Visa on arrival on land borders or at the sea port of Baku is also not an option.
Costly MFA approved LOI is required only for non-residents at these embassies
- UAE (Abu Dhabi & Dubai) – though sometimes even standard LOI for non-residents might be OK
- Latvia (Riga)
- Kuwait (Kuwait City)
- Ukraine (Kiev)
Costly MFA approved LOI is required for all nationals at the following embassies
- China (Beijing)
- Czech Republic (Prague)
- Georgia (Tbilisi) since February 2013 after new consul was appointed
- Hungary (Budapest) MFA approved LOI is required for all
- India (Delhi)
- Italy (Rome) unless there is also a hotel confirmation
- Morocco (Rabat)
- Pakistan (Islamabad)
- Poland (Warsaw) All applicant are now advised to obtain E-visas
- Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) – though sometimes standard LOI might be OK
- Turkey (Ankara, Istanbul & Kars). Those with permanent residence in Turkey don’t need any support docs to get AZ visa.
- Turkmenistan (Ashgabat)
- Uzbekistan (Tashkent) – MFA approved LOI is required for all
Consulate of Azerbaijan in Aktau Address: The embassy has moved and the address on their website is no longer correct. They are now located at Mikrorayon 15, building 30k-1. Telephone: +7 729 242 23 00. It’s in the northern part of the city. Get there by bus 5, then walk for 10 minutes or take bus 2 north along the promenade to the very last stop and keep walking north along the shorefront, then take the 2nd road going up to your right. The bank where you need to pay is also on bus 5′s route. 25 tenge. A taxi shouldn’t cost more than 200-300 tenge.
Opening hours: 10:00 to 13:00.
May 2013: 3 Forms, one passport photo and one photocopy. Transit visa 20USD, one week processing time. You do not have to pay, or even give your passport over, till the day it is ready. Pay at a bank 20 minutes walk away where have to find someone with an Kazakh national ID card.
March 2012: For a tourist visa you need a letter of invitation. It seems they do not ask for the special LOI with MFA approval. Without a letter of invitation, you can only obtain a transit visa for 5 days. A tourist visa costs 60$, transit visa costs 20$. 3 to 5 business days processing time. You can call them to ask if your visa is ready, so you are spared a potentially useless trip.
Embassy of Azerbaijan in Tashkent Address: Sharg Tongi, 25. Telephone: (99871) 273 61 67 www.azembassy.uz
Opening hours: 10-12 and 15-16 pick-up Mon-Fri.
May 2013: Transit visa for German passport holder. Went to Embassy with neither LOI nor inbound/outbound transport confirmation. Had a hotel booking (via booking.com) for Baku. Arrived around 10.30 and had our names added to visitor list. No other people in line, but friendly front desk staff made us wait outside the embassy for 45 minutes until the consul was ready.
Consul issued the visa straight away. We only had to fill out the application form, hand over one passport photo and the visa fee of €60 per person. He didn’t even want to see our hotel booking confirmation.
April 2013: Tourist visa for New Zeland passport holder. Obtained invitation letter and voucher from the web-agency stated on this site, however the visa application was rejected intially, as the new consul requested approval from the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (went back to the same agency, who charged USD250 for express service). Went back a second time with invitation from the ministry, and the 30-day tourist visa was issued on the spot for USD50.
Embassy opens officially at 1000-1200, and again 1500-1600, Mon-Fri. In actuality, the lady at the front desk arrives at 10, cleans up and makes herself a cup of tea, so really, it opens at about 1030. Then, she writes your name in a book, and asks you to wait under the bus stop-like shed outside, while she calls to consul. In actuality, she stares at her finger nails… Documents needed: photocopy of passport front page, application form filled out, the elusive invitation, 2 photos and money. There is a book the consuls refers for cost of the visa.
June 2012: British passport- initially wanted transit visa but needed onward plane tickets. They were happy to issue me a 30 day tourist visa, no loi, express (1 day issue) $187/ standard (10 days issue) $118. When declined – express too expensive, standard too slow – they offered to issue standard in 3 days – leave passport, fill in application form, 2 photos, photocopy of passport that they stamped and signed to say passport at their office. Was given Azeri tourist brochure from which to get the name and address of a hotel in Baku. Pick up in 2 days. (official consular hours 10-12, but opened a little earlier, 9.45 first day and 9.35 on second day. Paid at embassy.
March 2012: The helpful consul might ask you for a hotel booking for Baku, you can get a temporary booking from some travel agency. Cost of the visa varies, seem to be around 90$, takes three working days.
Embassy of Azerbaijan in Bishkek Address (updated January 2013): 183 Феликса Дзержинского, Pervomaysky District, Bishkek (in the district north of the main street Chuy Avenue). The old name address is 183 Dzerzhinsky near the corner of Leningradskaya. Taxis and local people tend to use the old name address. The new name address (if using Google maps) will be 183 Felix Dzerzhinsky near the corner of Bayalinov.
Coordinates to the front door +42° 53′ 38.22″, +74° 36′ 25.80″
How to get there(From the Sovietskaya end of Leningradskaya): turn right off Leningradskaya onto Dzerzhinsky (there is a huge red brick fence on the corner) and the Embassy is 100 metres along on the right.You can’t miss the guard house and the flag.
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 1pm. But phone him if you need to apply, he may open for you anyway. He’s a real gentleman! Telephone: 376471 for questions, the consul speaks very good English.
February 2013: ended up costing $118 without LOI in 4 days for British passport holder. No need to have Hotel Reservations, Confirmations, or emails from the Hilton Baku. When asked I gave the address of a Baku guesthouse (which I had randomly pulled of WikiTravel) and this sufficed. May 2012: Processing for tourist visas 4-5 days. You can keep your passport while processing if you ask. Not a busy embassy. British traveler got 30-day tourist visa for 20$ with LOI (without LOI 116$), Japanese traveler free without LOI. You need a hotel booking directly through a hotel, not a hotel booking site. The Hilton in Baku allows booking without credit card. Make a booking through their website, then ask for a confirmation letter stating full names of all in party and if they are male or female. That should do it.
Embassy of Azerbaijan in Dushanbe Address: Parkharskaya 1. Consular section telephone: (992 37) 227 11 92 June 2012: A UK national tells us: Azerbaijani visa requirements in Dushanbe. Lovely ambassador, very friendly. However they require an actual letter from Azeri ministry of foreign affairs rather than LOI from tour operator (i.e. the uber expensive option). he suggested trying in Tashkent as they have different requirements. November 2011: 2 British travelers got a transit visa on the spot for 101$ each.
Consulate of Azerbaijan in Batumi
Opening hours are erratic and not advertised. Mon-Fri seems sure. Has started operating some days at 9.45, other days only at 11.30. Consul seems to be there until late-ish afternoon. You will need 2 application forms (picked up at the Consul), 2 photos, 2 copies of passport.
Everyone is really friendly here, English, French, Russian spoken. Prices: British 210 Lari, EU 150 Lari, Australian 100 Lari. Visa issued same day to 3 days processing time, depending on nationality and how convincing you can be.
But here’s the catch: The visa works with quotas, he can only give so many in a given month. 24th of June 2013: still had visas. When we came on the 28th of April, it was not possible to get a visa. Come back 1st of May, no problem. So don’t come at the end of the month to avoid having to wait.
Consulate of Azerbaijan in Kars, Turkey
May 2013: A simple LOI issued by an approved travel agency would have been sufficient and we would have got our visa in 2/3 hours. If you have an LOI of a private person you would need additionally an approval of the MFA.
May 2013: visa applications after 2:30pm. Wanted letter of invitation even for Turkish residency permit holders. Was told that it would take 10 days for processing with a letter.
Embassy of Azerbaijan in Ankara
Open 9am-12 Mon-Fri. The man who runs the gate is delightful and friendly, the man who gives the visas is not. Also demanded letter of invitation (did not need to be MFA approved). Wanted to keep my passport, but settled for a copy — only color, not black and white (you can get color copies at the shopping mall down the hill). Refused to consider tourist voucher discount. Applied Wednesday with application, 3 photos and visa support. Told to come back Monday, but Monday morning was told to come back “tomorrow… or the day after”. After protesting, was able to receive my visa 4pm Monday. $160 + visa support for 30 days, single entry, date specific.
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