At a Glance

Multiple immigration law changes have been effective in Azerbaijan since July 24, 2019 for Temporary Residence Permit, Permanent Residence (TRP) and citizenship applications:

  • TRP holders must now register a new address within five business days of their move, down from the previous 10 business days. Applicants who fail to register their address may have their TRP cancelled or their extension refused.
  • TRP applicants now benefit from relaxed financial documentation requirements.
  • Foreign nationals must now have lived in Azerbaijan for two years without a break in order to be eligible for permanent residence. Absences of 90 days or more during any 180-day period will constitute a break in residence, whereas previously absences from Azerbaijan during the two-year period were not tracked.
  • If an Azerbaijani national’s citizenship is cancelled upon acquiring another nationality, he or she will need to leave Azerbaijan or apply for a TRP, whereas previously this was not required.

The situation

Widespread changes to immigration and nationality law in Azerbaijan have been implemented touching on Temporary Residence Permit (TPR), work permit, permanent residence and citizenship rules.

A closer look

IMMIGRATION CATEGORY CHANGE DESCRIPTION IMPACT
Temporary Residence Permit/Work Permit
  • Shorter deadline to register new address. A foreign national who moves to a new address must register the new address with the Migration Authority within five business days, whereas the deadline was previously 10 business days
  • Foreign nationals who fail to register their new address by the five-day deadline may have their TRP cancelled or their extension refused.
  • Relaxed financial document requirements. TRP applicants under this category must demonstrate they have sufficient funds amounting to at least AZN 100,000. This can now be evidenced by submitting a written confirmation from a financial institution that the applicant holds AZN 100,000, whereas previously a bank statement was required.
  • The relaxed document requirements will make the process easier and more convenient for foreign nationals as more banks move to digital banking systems and phase out bank statements.
  • Additional document requirements for dependents. Dependents of TRP applicants must now submit a notarized permission letter with their TRP application. The letter must confirm the main applicant’s relationship to the dependent and confirm they are applying for a TRP for the dependent.
  • The process to include dependents is likely to be lengthier and more costly as applicants will now need to incur the cost of a notary public and wait until the notarization is complete before submitting the application.
  • In-country filing. Visa-exempt nationals can extend their TRP in Azerbaijan if the foreign national’s father, mother, spouse, child, brother or sister have successfully filed an extension application in country.
  • Extension applications of one family member can now be used as grounds to extend visas of other specified family members, whereas previously this was not the case.
  • Expedited processing options. Work Permit and TRP applications can now be expedited for additional fees, whereas previously no expedited options were available.
  • The standard government processing time remains 20 business if no expedited service has been selected.
Citizenship
  • Dual nationality restrictions. If an Azerbaijani national’s citizenship is cancelled upon acquiring a second nationality, he or she must leave the country or apply for a TRP in order to reside in Azerbaijan, whereas previously this was not the case.
  • The impact of the new restriction will be severe for applicants who need to travel or reside in Azerbaijan and may lead to applicants choosing not to obtain a second nationality.
Permanent Residence
  • Absence restriction implemented. Foreign nationals with a TRP must reside in Azerbaijan for a continuous two-year period and ensure they are not absent from Azerbaijan for 90 days or more in any 180-day period to apply for permanent residence, whereas previously absences were not limited.
  • Foreign nationals who intend to apply for permanent residence must now ensure they track and limit all absences from Azerbaijan during their two-year qualifying stay.

Background

The changes are part of a wider reform to Azerbaijani immigration law, which will also implement visa-free travel with Turkey for stays of up to 30 days for business, personal and tourist purposes and introduce expedited visa processing options. Changes to immigration law in recent years have attempted to streamline the visa application process by introducing visa exemptions and easing document requirements, however the eligibility requirements and enforcement measures have become stricter.