By Kamila Aliyeva
The issuance of visas to foreigners at the International Heydar Aliyev airport through ASAN Visa self-service terminals started on May 15.
Citizens of 15 countries including Bahrain, UAE, South Korea, China, Iran, Israel, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan will be able to get a visa through ASAN Visa at the airport.
ASAN Visa self-service terminals are equipped with passport readers, POS-terminals and banknote receivers. The terminal services are provided in seven languages - Azerbaijani, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian and Russian.
Along with self-service terminals, visa issuance and banking services will be arranged in four windows of the terminal. On average, the process of issuing visas will take two minutes.
The Chairman of ASAN Service Ulvi Mehdiyev told reporters that 14 self-service terminals have been installed at the airport.
Touching upon the possible expansion of the list of countries being able to receive ASAN Visa, Mehdiyev noted that it depends on the decision of the government, as well as on bilateral agreements between Azerbaijan and other countries regarding the visa regime.
“If the number of countries increases, the system will automatically issue visas to these countries. I would also like to note that we have started issuing visas at Baku airport, but in the near future this procedure will be available at other airports in the country. Getting a visa costs $20. The exception is Turkey ($10) and Japan (free),” Mehdiyev said.
He went on to say that citizens of Azerbaijan will also be able to use the ASAN Viza system when leaving the country.
Active work is being done in this direction, according to the chairman.
“We called this system ASAN Visa 2 and we want the citizens of Azerbaijan, through using it, to be able to obtain visas in embassies of other countries. Technically, the process is being actively developed, but negotiations with embassies are needed to integrate the system,” Mehdiyev added.
In total, about 420,000 foreigners were granted electronic visas through the ASAN Visa system as of today. Since January 2017, foreigners are issued visas within a three-hour period. The state fee for a visa is $20.
ASAN Visa portal designed to simplify a procedure for issuing visas to foreigners and stateless persons wishing to visit Azerbaijan, as well as to ensure immediacy and transparency of this process, was presented to the public in 2016.
Electronic visa is a document for one entry, which determines the period of stay in the country up to 30 days.
Electronic visas are issued only to the citizens of the countries, approved by the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, and stateless persons permanently residing in this country.
Also, the ASAN Visa system offers the issuance of group visas to foreign citizens. Group appeals are provided for a minimum of two, a maximum of ten people.
Foreigners and stateless persons, who wish to receive an e-visa, must enter information into the system of "ASAN Visa", and after receipt on acceptance of confirmation pay online a state fee in the amount prescribed by law "On state duty".
The system of ASAN Visa sends the appeal to the interagency automated retrieval system "Entry-exit and registration". The relevant executive authority verifies the information not later than three days from the time of appeal in ASAN Visa, checks restriction list of the "Entry-exit and registration".
Then a visa is sent to the e-mail address of the contact person. In case of failure the person is also informed.
The electronic visas are not stuck in the passport but presented together with the passport while crossing the border check-point. Foreigners and stateless persons may apply for a new e-visa only after they will leave Azerbaijan.
Only citizens of 94 countries (or persons residing in these countries) can obtain an electronic visa. The list of countries, which can be found in this link, is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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