By Leman Mammadova
The rules for issuing residence permits in Azerbaijan have been changed.
Vusal Huseynov, head of the State Migration Service, said that the Parliament introduced amendments to the Migration Code and the law "On State Duty" in June. The law has already been submitted to the President for approval.
Under current law, a person who has lived in Azerbaijan for two years, not counting the time of absence in the country, may apply for a permanent residence permit.
Huseynov stressed that according to the new law, a person must live in the country for two years without a break in order to apply for a permit.
Another amendment concerns the period of temporary stay of foreigners and stateless persons in the country. This refers to the term of the visa. “Under the current law, it is possible to extend the visa in four cases. New amendments provide for an increase of such grounds to five.”
Thus, members of the applicant’s family may also apply in order to extend the period of temporary stay in the country.
For permission, the applicant must have 100,000 manats ($588,40) in the bank account, and according to the new legislation, these funds should be placed in the deposit account. The bank, in turn, is obliged to notify the Service about it.
According to the latest amendments to the law, the period of temporary stay of foreigners and stateless persons in Azerbaijan increased from 10 to 15 days.
He added that another problem was that foreigners for a long time did not take ready-made residence and work permit certificates. “According to the new amendment, a certificate unclaimed within a month is considered invalid.”
Huseynov also revealed that the number of foreigners and stateless persons who arrived in Azerbaijan in the first half of 2019, increased by 6 percent over the same period last year.
Last year, 2,845,697 foreign citizens and stateless persons arrived Azerbaijan, this number has increased by 6 percent, compared to the previous year.
The number of temporary residents in the country increased by 0.4 percent in January to June this year. The number of foreigners who received a work permit increased by 14 percent, applications for refugee status - 53 percent.
He further underlined that the number of decisions made by the State Migration Service on the violation of the requirements of immigration laws decreased by 34 percent.
Huseynov went on to note that the number of persons accommodated in illegal migrant detention centers decreased by 30 percent to 627 compared to 899 fixed in the first half of 2018.
“These are mainly migrants from India, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries,” he said.
Referring to the appeals for permanent residence permit, he noted that citizens of Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Ukraine are the main applicants.
The permanent residence permit was issued to 1,694 persons, 347 of which are the citizens of Georgia. The list followed by Russia with 225 people, Turkey with 95 people, Ukraine and Iran with 43 people each.
The total number of permits for permanent residence decreased by 31 percent in this period.
As many as 41,030 people received temporary residence permits in Azerbaijan in 2018, including 3,220 people as permits for permanent residence and 6,162 people as work permits.
Huseynov emphasized that 75 people accepted for citizenship of Azerbaijan in six months of this year.
He also added that 1,211 people have been readmitted to Azerbaijan since signing Readmission Agreement with the EU in September 2014.
Foreigners or stateless persons who have continuously and legally resided in the territory of Azerbaijan for the last five years, have a legal source of income, who are obliged to abide by the Constitution and the laws of Azerbaijan and who submit a document proving the knowledge of the Azerbaijani, regardless of origin, race or nationality, political or other convictions, may be granted citizenship of Azerbaijan upon their own request.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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