STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUES CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEET ON AZERBAIJAN

US Fed News
March 31, 2006 Friday 8:28 PM EST

WASHINGTON

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs issued the
following Consular Information Sheet:

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:Azerbaijan is a constitutional republic with a
developing economy. Western-style amenities are found in the capital,
Baku, but they are generally not available outside that city. Read
the Department of State Background Notes on Azerbaijan for additional
information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required. Travelers
may obtain single-entry visas for USD 40 by mail or in person from
either the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, D.C. or any other
Azerbaijani embassy offering consular services. Travelers may also
obtain single-entry, 30-day visas at the airport upon arrival. Visas
are not available at the land border with Georgia. Double-entry,
90-day visas (cost $80 U.S.) and one-year multiple-entry visas
(cost $250 U.S.) are only available through an Azerbaijani embassy
or through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A letter of invitation
from a contact in Azerbaijan is required, and travelers who expect
to travel in the region should request a one-year, multiple-entry visa.

American citizens of Armenian ancestry have had visa applications
denied by the Government of Azerbaijan on the grounds that their
safety cannot be guaranteed.

U.S. citizens who obtain a one-entry visa at the port of entry are
permitted to remain in Azerbaijan for up to one month, after which
an extension of stay must be requested. For persons in Azerbaijan,
visa applications, extensions or renewals are made at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, Shikhali Kurbanov Str., 4, Baku; tel. (9-9412)
492 34 01. For additional information, please contact the Embassy of
Azerbaijan, 2741 34th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008 (tel.

202-337-3500); e-mail: [email protected] Visit the Embassy of
Azerbaijan website at http://www.azembassy.com/ for the most current
visa information. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for
more information on Azerbaijan and other countries.

See Entry and Exit Requirements for more information pertaining to
dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction.

Please refer to our Customs Information to learn more about customs
regulations.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: As a result of conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh
area of Azerbaijan, insurgent forces occupy approximately 15 percent
of Azerbaijani territory (in the southwest along the borders with Iran
and Armenia). A cease-fire has been in effect in the Nagorno-Karabakh
region since 1994, although reports of armed clashes along the
cease-fire line and along the border with Armenia continue.

Anti-personnel mines are a danger in areas close to the front lines.

It is not possible to enter the self-proclaimed "Republic of
Nagorno-Karabakh," which is not recognized by the United States, from
Azerbaijan. Travelers are cautioned to avoid travel to Nagorno-Karabakh
and the surrounding occupied areas. Because of the existing state
of hostilities, consular services are not available to Americans
in Nagorno-Karabakh.

American citizens of Armenian ancestry considering travel to Azerbaijan
should remain particularly vigilant when visiting the country, as the
Government of Azerbaijan has claimed that it is unable to guarantee
their safety.

A number of political rallies have occurred in Baku in recent months
as a result of the November 2005 Parliamentary elections. While the
majority of these protests were peaceful, some became confrontational
and escalated into violence. Americans are reminded that even protests
intended to be peaceful may turn violent and travelers are advised
to avoid all demonstrations.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad
should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site where
the current, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the
Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by
calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside
the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These
numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time,
Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility
for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general
information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect
themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's
pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

CRIME: Although the Republic of Azerbaijan has a low rate of violent
crime, incidents of street crime and assaults on foreigners are
common. Visitors should follow the same precautions they would in any
major city. Visitors should not walk alone at night, if possible. All
crime incidents should be reported to the local police and U.S.

Embassy. The Police Office of Crimes by and Against Foreigners has an
English-speaking officer available at all times who may be reached at
(994 12) 490-95-32 or, after hours, at 490-94-52.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S.

passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime
while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please
contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The
Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find
appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and
explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation
and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local
authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local
criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

See our information on Victims of Crime:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergen cies/emergencies_1748.html.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: A few Western-type medical
clinics, the quality of which is comparable to those in Western
countries, are operating in Baku. The quality of these clinics
is good. However, medical facilities outside the capital remain
inadequate, unsanitary, and unsafe. There is often a shortage of
basic medical supplies, including disposable needles and vaccines.

Avian Influenza: The WHO and Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed
human cases of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as
"bird flu." Travelers to Azerbaijan and other countries affected by
the virus are cautioned to avoid poultry farms, contact with animals
in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated
with feces from poultry or other animals. In addition, the CDC and
WHO recommend eating only fully cooked poultry and eggs. For the
most current information and links on avian influenza in Azerbaijan,
see the State Department's Avian Influenza Fact Sheet or visit the
website of the U.S. Embassy in Baku.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as
safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be
obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline
for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via
the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information
about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health
Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health
information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans
to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling
abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether
it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please
see our information on medical insurance overseas.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S.

citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly
from those in the United States. The information below concerning
Azerbaijan is provided for general reference only, and may not be
totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving hazards such as open manholes, debris, sinkholes and potholes
are common. Drivers do not pay attention to traffic regulations,
signals, lanes, pedestrians or other drivers. Drivers often travel
at extremely high speed, and accidents are frequent and often serious.

Driving in Baku should be considered extremely hazardous. Outside the
city, even where roads are present, conditions are similar. Roads are
often in poor repair, unlit, and lack lane markings, traffic signs,
and warnings. Many rural roads are largely unpaved.

Public transportation throughout the country is overcrowded and
poorly maintained. The U.S. Embassy strongly discourages use of the
Baku Metro. Train travel in the Caucasus region is not secure.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:As there is no direct commercial
air service between the United States and Azerbaijan, the
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
Azerbaijan's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with
ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more
information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at
http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/ oversight/iasa.

Travelers on airlines among the countries of the Caucasus may
experience prolonged delays and sudden cancellations of flights. In
addition to frequent delays, flights are often overcrowded with
passengers without seats standing in the aisle along with excess
unsecured cabin luggage. Even basic safety features such as seat
belts are sometimes missing. Air travel to Azerbaijan on international
carriers via the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey is more reliable.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: The Republic of Azerbaijan's economy is mostly
cash-only. Traveler's checks and credit cards are accepted only in some
hotels and a few restaurants and supermarkets. The national currency
is the manat. An increasing number of commercial establishments have
begun to enforce the requirement that purchases be made with manats.

Azerbaijanicustoms authorities may enforce strict regulations
concerning temporary importation into or export from Azerbaijan of
items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities including
carpets, medications, and caviar, and any amount of currency over
USD 1000. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Azerbaijan in
Washington for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Please see our information on Customs Information.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is
subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ
significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the
protections available to the individual under U.S. law.

Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United
States for similar offenses. Persons violating Azerbaijan's laws,
even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties
for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Azerbaijanare
severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and
heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or
disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime,
prosecutable in the United States. Please see our information on
Criminal Penalties.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of
children and international parental child abduction, see the Office
of Children's Issues website.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living or traveling in
Azerbaijan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy
or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration
website and to obtain updated information on travel and security
within Azerbaijan. Americans withoutInternet access may register
directly with the U.S. Embassy. By registering, American citizens
make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The U.S. Embassy is located at Prospect Azadlig 83;
tel. (9-9412) 498-03-35, 36, or 37; (9-9412) 490-66-71; email:
[email protected]; web site: http://www.usembassybaku.org.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress