Azerbaijan is probably one of the most underrated tourist destinations. It is a country where east literally meets the west because it is nestled in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Baku, the capital, is surrounded by the wonderful view of the Caspian Sea. The skyscrapers and the old walls sit idly in contrast with Caspian Sea’s blue waters.
The beautiful Mosques around are fitting for the eyes. It’s bedazzling and intriguing. The Heydar Mosque and the Juma Mosque is a must-see. If you love skiing, then you should visit the Tufandag Winter Summer Complex. Take the cable car and you’ll see how lovely it is especially when you’re in level 4 where you’ll see clouds right below your feet if you’re lucky. :p
But then again, as Filipinos, we need to have a visa to visit Azerbaijan. To get your visa, you need to send your documents to an Azerbaijan Embassy and for purposes of this post, it’s going to be at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur since this is the closest to the Philippines.
WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY FOR AZERBAIJAN TOURIST VISA
The only way you can apply is thru the Embassy of Azerbaijan. For those based in the Philippines, the closest is at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Lot 589 Jalan 6, Taman Ampang Utama, 68000 Ampang , Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Visa processing takes about 10 calendar days from receipt of the application and considering that you have to mail all your requirements, then I suggest you send it at least 4 weeks before your intended flight.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The visa rules in Azerbaijan is quite different compared to the other 2 Caucasus countries (Armenia and Georgia), there are two options on getting the visa – from the Embassy or from the accredited inbound tourist agency! We chose the latter; I had to contact the company via email and Skype – sent them our passport copies and paid $55 money via western union. I was a bit hesitant at the beginning, but that’s how they work, I finally got a 10-day single entry visa which was sent electronically. The cost of the visa would depend on the processing period; we chose the 8- 9 days waiting time, you can get an urgent visa for up to $200! Oops!
For others: Citizens (and their family members) of the following countries are able to enter Azerbaijan visa-free: Albania, Austria, Argentine, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Hong Kong, Columbia, Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Libya, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Republic of Korea, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Uruguay with any type of valid passport are entitled to diplomatic, service, (official/special) and ordinary visa free travel for a maximum of 90 days.
Unfortunately, neither of our nationalities (UK and Philippines) offers us visa-free entry so we used an agency and each paid $55, receiving our visas 9 days after application.
REQUIREMENTS ON HOW TO APPLY FOR AZERBAIJAN TOURIST VISA
The following documents are required to be sent to the Azerbaijan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur:
1) Online application form. First, you’ll have to register on the “Sign Up” page. You’ll then be directed to the Application Form which you’ll need to fill out truthfully and then click submit. The completed form will then be sent to you via email. You’ll need to print this out on an A4 size paper, sign at the bottom page, and attach it to your visa application.
2) Original Passport. Make sure that it must remain valid for not less than 3 months after the date of your departure from Azerbaijan. However, note that Immigration Officers prefer it to be valid for at least 6 months.
3) Two Passport Sized Photos. These should be taken within the last 6 months and with a white background.
4) Visa Fee. The Visa Fee of 20 USD can be paid via Bank Transfer or ATM Deposit. The proof of payment shall be attached as well.
BANK ACCOUNT: MAYBANK Malaysia
Malaysian ringgit: 5144 2230 5596
US dollar: 7144-2200-1648
Swift Code: MBBEMYKL
5) Copy of flight itinerary (optional). This shall include a copy of flight ticket and/or a copy of car registration document and driving license, if you are planning to travel by car.
6) Proof of accommodation or tourist voucher. This shall include Hotel reservation, rental agreement of house / apartment, etc.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO APPLY FOR AZERBAIJAN TOURIST VISA
STEP 1: Gather the required documents and pay the required fee.
STEP 2: You may send the documents via DHL or personally apply at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Lot 589 Jalan 6, Taman Ampang Utama, 68000 Ampang , Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
STEP 3: The Embassy will then contact you for further steps.
FAQS ABOUT AZERBAIJAN TOURIST VISA
1) How much is the visa fee?
The Visa Fee is 20 USD.
2) Where should payment be made?
It should be made to the accounts above stated and don’t forget to attach a copy of the proof of your payment.
3) Can I apply for a Multiple Entry Visa?
Yes but only in certain cases such as:
If you are working at diplomatic and other representative offices of foreign countries in the Republic of Azerbaijan or for consulates and branch offices of international organizations. In this case, your family member can apply for a long-term visa too.
Those traveling to Azerbaijan to receive education or attend courses for raising qualifications or other foreigners traveling to the country in connection with its interests on the basis of a list approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
4) How long can I stay on a Tourist Visa?
Not more than 30 days.
For more information, contact the Azerbaijan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur
Address: Lot 589 Jalan 6, Taman Ampang Utama, 68000 Ampang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone: 603-4252 6800 / 603-4253 4800
Fax: 603-4257 1800
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