Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

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six2
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Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby six2 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:18 am

June 2 - We went to the Azerbaijan Consulate in Batumi Georgia today and were told their system is not working and they are setting up a new system (?) and so they cannot issue Visas to anyone except Russians.

We were directed to go to Tbilisi -- any more recent reports of success without the MFA LOI in Tbilisi? Looks like we may have to fly to Kazakhstan now -- not good.

I asked when the system would be running again and they said "Months."

David
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby steven » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:25 am

Disturbing news, I am updating ASAP. I don't think it will work without loi in Tblisi, but you never know, as this episode clearly shows once again.
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six2
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby six2 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:36 am

It may be that the consular official has changed, this was a younger man than I was expecting.

I'll post another reply when I see what they say in Tbilisi.
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noflytripping
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby noflytripping » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:04 am

Thanks for the info. Would be great if you could find out if they do ask you for a LOI in Tiblisi if they still require it to be the expensive and slow MFA approved one.
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mojos
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby mojos » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:49 pm

We were unable to get a Transit Visa at Batumi today. The man on the gate went inside to check with colleagues but we were finally told we need to apply at Tbilisi. From reading consular web page, i can't see any info on transit visas, so I'm hoping this is possible and without LOI. Any update on this would be really helpful. I can also feed back in a couple of days, if that helps.
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six2
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby six2 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:32 am

An update, apologies that it is not very concise:

We arrived in Tbilisi yesterday. TL;DR short answer - we used Medea Travel to get a 15 day Tourist Visa with one week (five business day) turnaround for $200/person.

The Embassy of Azerbaijan is no longer located where it is described in the 2012 Lonely Planet Georgia guide. The Embassy is now located at the corner of Ibrahim Isfahanli St and Gorgasali St, by the Ortachala bus stop. There is an entrance for processing visa paperwork on Ibrahim Isfahanli St., just up the hill from the corner.

Here's the location on Google Maps (Georgia):
https://www.google.ge/maps/place/4-th+l ... 295a398fa2

The Embassy is open from 10 am - 12 pm M-F for receiving applications, and open again after 4 pm for picking up passports and visas. According to the staff I spoke to at a nearby travel agency, it is possible to get a five day Transit Visa, turnaround is about five business days. The dates on the visa are fixed (enter on or after day one, leave on or before day five). This is much less expensive, but I can't confirm the current price.

My understanding is that the embassy would prefer that for a Tourist Visa you use the e-visa process, which is currently quite slow, or go through a travel agency. If someone else can verify this, that would be helpful.

I spoke to two tourist agencies in the area that assist with Azeri Visas. X-Tour is just to the west on Gorgasali St., and Medea Travel is just up the hill from the embassy entrance on Ibrahim Isfahanli St. I spoke to Irakli at Medea Travel ( [email protected] ). She said she could process an application for a 15 day Tourist Visa in five business days (one week). She said for EU citizens the charge to process is 100 Euros per person. For US citizens it is 200 USD. She said for her office there was no way to further expedite the process. They also offered to come to my hotel to pick up the paperwork, or to have me come to their office. They held our passports during the process, and gave us a xerox copy to hold. The have the ability to take and print a visa photograph at their office as well.

I also spoke to Inga at X-Tour ( [email protected] ). She said she could process a Tourist Visa in 10 working days (two weeks) for $200 USD, or or in 3-4 working days for $260 USD. They did ask for a hotel voucher or some other proof of accommodation (not a print from booking.com), which Medea did not. This may be a better option if for some reason you needed the visa as fast as possible, but the hotel voucher was a minus for us.

We pick up our visas next week, we'll post again if there are any more surprises.

Six
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mojos
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby mojos » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:42 pm

Thanks very much, Six, lots of helpful info. We will visit the embassy in the morning and see how we get on with the transit Visa.
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six2
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby six2 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:22 pm

Any luck? I'd like to confirm what the travel agents told me.
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davidcmarcus
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby davidcmarcus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:54 am

I visited the Batumi Consulate on Monday June 2014 and was sent away by the security officers.

I insisted on speaking with the consul, and after an hour of waiting and physical encounters with unfriendly security, the consul explained the current situation.

They have stickers, but they do not have the printer to digitally put the photo and dates on these sticker, and have been waiting 45 days for a delivery and installation.

So the only solution was to be patient or use Tbilisi.

I visited the Tbilisi consulate today 2 July 2014 and had to also fight my way to get inside the door. I had already applied for an E-visa over a month before, and had no reply. After speaking with them they agreed to issue me with a single entry transit visa valid for 5 days for $20. This usually takes 5 working days, but they agreed to issue it the next day - if I printed out my E-visa application and showed a visa in my passport for the country I was in transit to. Luckily I received a full 30 day Iranian visa on the same day in Batumi - so that was enough. Then the usual procedure of paying the amount directly at the International Bank of Azerbaijan and coming back with receipt of same.

Visa is not date specific but is valid for 30 days from date of issue and five days from entry.

My reasons for the transit visa is that my Right Hand Drive South African vehicle will only be allowed 72 hours on entry, so it was pointless to waste time and money on full tourist visa.

BTW all the above is on a South African passport and with a lot of insistence and pleading and showing five passports all full with stamps and visas from the last 10 years of travel.
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Re: Batumi no longer issuing Visas for Azerbaijan

Postby steven » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:06 pm

Thank you for the update! It seems the situation will continue to change throughout the summer.
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