By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Visa-free travel is one of the most important factors for the development of tourism in any country.
For 10 years, Azerbaijan has added 22 visa-free destinations, according to the updated Henley Passport Index, which reflects changes in the visa-free regime of the countries in the third quarter of 2019.
Azerbaijan ranked 78th in the third quarter of this year. Currently, citizens of Azerbaijan can visit 66 countries of the world without a visa.
The report reads that taking into account the indicators of Azerbaijan for the last 10 years, there is a significant progress, as in 2009, Azerbaijani citizens could visit only 44 countries without a visa, and five years ago - 58 countries.
In the previous quarter, the indicator of Azerbaijan was higher - 73rd place and 67 countries with visa-free regime.
In recent months, Djibouti and Benin have altered their visa policy, and now Azerbaijani citizens should receive an electronic visa instead of a visa upon arrival. At the same time, the holders of the Azerbaijani passport have an opportunity to receive a visa upon arrival in Pakistan.
The first place in the Passport Index is still occupied by Japan and Singapore, whose passports allow to visit 189 countries of the world without a visa.
The Henley Passport Index is the ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and accurate database of travel information, and is enhanced by ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.
With expert commentary and historical data spanning 14 years, the Henley Passport Index is an invaluable resource for global citizens and the standard reference tool for governments in this field.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan’s ASAN Visa system was established in accordance with the decree “On simplification of electronic visa issuance and creation of ASAN Visa system” dated June 1, 2016. Foreigners and stateless persons are able to obtain e-visa in three steps and three days within ASAN Visa system (apply, pay and download e-visa). E-visa is a one-entry document with a period of 30 days.
E-visas are documented only to foreigners from 95 countries by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and stateless persons with permanent residence of those countries.
The State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan carries out the function of the ASAN Visa portal's operator.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz