Azerbaijan – New Work Permit Exemptions and Upcoming Online Visa System

Effective June 4, 2016, newly published amendments to the Migration Code of Azerbaijan exempt certain company directors and specialists from requiring a work permit.  Additionally, a recent presidential decree announces an upcoming new unified online visa application and issuance system, called ASAN Visa.

Foreign national directors and deputy directors of companies which are locally incorporated in Azerbaijan, and which have at least one foreign national shareholder, no longer need to obtain a work permit.  Previously this exemption was only available for directors and deputy directors of foreign-incorporated companies, or of their branches or representative offices in Azerbaijan.

The work permit exemption has also been extended to shipbuilding specialists with at least one year of professional experience and a university degree or relevant professional qualification, who are contracted to work at the Garadagh Industrial Park.

The ASAN Visa system is aimed at simplifying procedures for issuing visas to nationals of approved countries, via a single online portal.  However, the service has not yet been developed, and it will likely be several months before it is fully implemented.

Directors and deputy directors of companies established locally in Azerbaijan which have at least one foreign national shareholder, and qualified shipbuilding specialists contracted to work at the Garadagh Industrial Park, should take advantage of the new work permit exemption.  Be prepared for delays during the development and implementation of the planned online visa application and issuance system within the next few months.