Ever so quietly – like it does everything else – even Azerbaijan started offering Electronic visas for Indian passport holders.
Further Reading: Azerbaijan is not the only one. There are more than 20 countries in this list, that offer electronic visas to Indian citizens.
I mean, it was expected. Georgia and Armenia, 2 countries bordering Azerbaijan in the Caucasus region, were already providing e-visas to Indians. So it didn’t make sense for Azerbaijan to miss out on the tourist revenues. Especially given the fact that Azerbaijan was really close to the middle-east, where most of the Indians were the rich, affluent kind.
So – as I always do – I set off to get an electronic visa to visit a country that few of my friends back home even knew about.
Further Reading: No seriously. I have a habit of checking out brand new changes in visa procedures. Like this time I went to test the new visa-on-arrival policy of Ukraine for Indians.
Getting the E-visa for Azerbaijan
The first step in this process was to visit the Evisa website of Azerbaijan. It was a fairly straightforward process.
After selecting your country, you will be requested to select your date of arrival. This is important because your Evisa will be effective from this date. You will also know the price at this point, which differs based on whether you choose standard or urgent processing.
At the next step, I had to enter my personal information (which included uploading a scanned copy of my passport), and this began a series of 3 emails. The first was an email verification, to confirm the email address. After that, I could continue with the payment (all major credit cards are accepted). And once the payment was made, I received a second email confirming that my visa application has been accepted and that I will get a response within 3 working days.
And EXACTLY after 3 days (even the time was exact! Check the time stamp on my email screenshot), I got my 3rd email from the E-visa site. All I had to do was click a link to download the Evisa.
And I was finally ready – administratively at least – to checking out my country number 83.
Further Reading: Another country that recently changed its visa policy for India, is Tunisia. Read my experience with the Visa on Arrival for Indians in Tunisia.
The Flight to Baku
I sat threw a heavy flu, and flew from Dubai to Baku on flydubai. I had already had my Evisa printed out in Dubai, and was all set.
Before boarding at the Dubai airport, the airline authorities asked me to show my Evisa and my return ticket. I told them I don’t have a return ticket, but I did have an onward ticket from Baku, which they were satisfied with.
I landed in Baku Heydar Aliyev International airport, which was both massive and stylish. It kind of reminded me of Singapore’s Changi airport. (although, most of Baku actually reminded me of the crazy architecture in Singapore, but more on that in another post). The immigration was quite smooth. There was no separate queue for Evisas, but the waiting time was very less anyway. I showed my passport and E-visa to the immigration officer, who only asked me to align my face for a recognition photo. I did. And he stamped me.
Just like that, I was now in Azerbaijan with 3 weeks to explore this mysterious country. More beautiful stories coming from this stretch.
Important to know: The foreigner registration in Azerbaijan
Neither the Dubai airline authorities, nor the immigration officer in Baku told me about the registration process or the requirement for it. It was only when I checked into my hotel in Baku – and when they asked me when my return ticket was – that I found out about a foreigner registration process.
So, regardless of which visa you use to enter Azerbaijan, there is a need to register yourself if your stay in Azerbaijan exceeds 15 days. This registration is completely free, and there are a couple of ways of doing this:
- I could register in person at 202 Binagadi Highway, 3123 Block, Binagadi district, Baku city, Azerbaijan Republic, AZ1114. There are also migration offices in other cities of Azerbaijan, but I highly recommend finishing this in Baku itself.
- Doing it online here on this link.
I was not too sure how the second option worked (since it required a login page), but my hotel did it for me. They filed a registration online, and within 2 days, I got a reply with the confirmation of my registration.
Note: I was told that the registration usually happens within the same day, and in my case, it was delayed only because there was a nation wide black-out on that day.
Further Reading: Another country that recently launched electronic visa for Indians, is Oman. Read my experience with the Electronic visa for Indians in Oman.
- the Evisa can be applied at this website. Cost of a standard application is 20 + 3 USD, and you need a scanned copy of your passport.
- The visa is received within 3 working days.
- You need the Evisa and a return ticket for immigration purposes.
- If staying more than 15 days in Azerbaijan, you also need to do a foreigner registration on this website, which can mostly be done by the hotel you are staying in.
Another Important Note: Even if you get the Azerbaijan Evisa, you will be refused entry if it is found that you have visited the Nagorno-Karakabh region, which broke away from Azerbaijan.
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This post is part of my travel stories about Visas. Click here to check out my other visa and transit stories.
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