Awareness of migration rules:
Since the Republic of Azerbaijan is getting more interest as a well-known business and tourism destination, awareness of migration rules and policies regarding prohibitions and restrictions related to the entry of foreigners to Azerbaijan shall also be considered.
Unawareness of migration rules and breach of such regulations sometimes result in unexpected outcomes for the foreigners. While many of the foreigners when breaching the migration rules think about some possible penalties, very few of them consider the more severe outcome such as the ban to enter Azerbaijan up to 5 years.
Thus, by this article we will try to rise some awareness for foreigners what causes such prohibitions/restrictions to enter Azerbaijan, and illustrate what the possibilities of removing such bans are.
To better understand the procedures, a foreigner shall know in what circumstances prohibition to the entry to Azerbaijan can be imposed on them. Prohibition or restriction to enter Azerbaijan, is a distinct regulation which in most cases foreigners get information when they try to get visa to Azerbaijan to enter the country.
Prohibitions to enter Azerbaijan:
Considering this, below provided are the reasons when entry of foreigners to the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be prohibited, when:
1. it is required for the protection of national security or public order, rights and legal interests of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other persons;
This is one of the reasons for restriction when the government receives or already has information about certain individuals or groups that may harm national security or public order in country.
2. there is information that the person has committed a crime against peace and humanity, war crimes, terrorism, financing of terrorism or s/he is a member of a transnational organized criminal group;
Individuals that may fall under this group are usually part of the criminal groups that are internationally wanted for persecution.
3. person is imprisoned for committing a crime against citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan or interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan, if his/her imprisonment has not been served or annulled, extinguished in a way defined in the law;
Such individuals are not permitted to enter Azerbaijan, even they are for example served the jail period, yet the conviction is not extinguished.
4. person has been expelled from the Republic of Azerbaijan previously, if the restriction period to his/her entry to the country has not ended;
To fall under this group, a foreign citizen shall have the previous visit to Azerbaijan and during this visit be expelled from Azerbaijan. To better understand this reason of restriction, a clear understanding of in what cases the foreigners are expelled from Azerbaijan.
Expulsion from Azerbaijan:
Foreigners and stateless persons can be expelled from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the following cases:
a) In case compulsory expulsion from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is imposed as punishment for committed crime;
Per Azerbaijan criminal legislation foreigners can be forcibly exiled from the Azerbaijan Republic in cases of they are committed crimes, those are punishable under Azerbaijan legislation for more than 1-year imprisonment.
b) In case expulsion from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in administrative way is applied as an administrative punishment for committing an administrative offence;
In most of the cases, foreigners are subject to administrative offences in cases of stay and live in Azerbaijan without having proper permits, documents, visas etc., to be in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan or to live with invalid documents, to engage in activities that are not in accordance with the stated purpose of his / her arrival in the Republic of Azerbaijan during their temporary or permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to engage in paid labour activity in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan not having a work permit, failure to follow the registration rules on the place of residence when traveling from one place to another, refusal to leave after expiring or staying in the country, failure to comply with the rules of transit through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
It shall also be considered that, in cases of administrative offences the penalty for such offences may or may not be followed by administrative expulsion from Azerbaijan. Such administrative expulsion decision highly affects the future possibility of removal of ban.
c) In case decision is made for expulsion of foreigner and stateless person from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan according to the decision of relevant executive body.
Such decision is made by the Migration Service of Azerbaijan Republic. Migration Service issues decision on expulsion of foreigners and stateless persons in cases when:
i. Visa or decision on extension of temporary staying period or permit for permanent or temporary residence is cancelled;
Foreigner’s stay in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is considered undesirable;
In case of absence of grounds for residence for foreigners or stateless persons released from serving punishment in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
5. stay of the person is considered undesirable in the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Stay of persons in the country can be considered undesirable by the relevant executive authorities in case foreigners’ and stateless persons’ arrival, stay or residence in the Republic of Azerbaijan can harm sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, its secular nature, unity of Azerbaijani people, national security of the country, public order or health of the population, and when protection of rights and legal interests of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other persons requires it.
The status of undesirable person is defined for 5 years and it can be extended for the same period if the relevant grounds are not removed. The number of extensions is not limited.
6. person violated declared purposes of arrival in the country during his/her previous stay in the Republic of Azerbaijan;
This is one of the main causes of being a subject of administrative penalty regarding violation of migration rules. Such cases occur when foreigner get involved in work in Azerbaijan, while having declared to visit Azerbaijan as a tourist.
7. person gives falsified information about himself/herself or on the purpose of his/her travel, when submitting an application for entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Such restriction is related to falsified information provided before the visit to Azerbaijan Republic. In all above cases entry of foreigners and stateless persons to the Republic of Azerbaijan is prohibited for up to 5 years.
Advice for already banned foreigners:
It must be stated that, even such ban imposed on foreigners, it does not mean that such ban is not removable and, in all cases, individuals deciding to visit Azerbaijan, should in all cases wait until this 5-year passed. In such cases, foreigners shall consider whether administrative penalty imposed together with ban or not. If such penalty imposed to easy ban removal process it must be paid before leaving Azerbaijan.
If proper advices are taken, and qualified lawyers involved for the communications with authorities for the removal of ban then positive outcomes are always possible in such cases.
Caspian Legal Center (CLC) offers its services that includes to follow, guide, realise all of these steps necessary for removal of ban imposed on foreigners.