Azerbaijan - Consular Information Sheet
November 30, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Azerbaijan became an independent
nation in 1991 following the break-up of the former Soviet Union.
Goods and services are increasingly available in the capital,
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required.
Entry visas issued at the airport have recently been made available
to foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, for a fee of USD
40. U.S. citizens who obtain a 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) 93 59 40. For additional
information, please contact the
Embassy of Azerbaijan, 927 15th Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington,
DC 20005; tel. (202) 842-0001, Internet: http://www.azembassy.com.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: As a result of conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh
area of Azerbaijan, 20% of Azerbaijani territory (in the southwest
along the borders with Iran and Armenia) is occupied by insurgent
forces. A cease-fire has been in effect 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" 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.
CRIME: Although Azerbaijan has a low rate of violent crime,
incidents of street crime and assaults on foreigners are increasing.
Visitors should follow the same precautions they would in any
major city. Do not walk alone at night, if at all possible. All
crime incidents should be reported to the local police and U.S.
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. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: A few Western-type medical clinics,
the quality of which is comparable to those in Western countries,
have recently opened in Baku. The quality of these clinics is
good. However, medical facilities outside the capital remains
inadequate, unsanitary, and unsafe. There is often a shortage
of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles and vaccines.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you may incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions 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); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
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 it may not be totally accurate in a particular location
Safety of Public Transportation: Very poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Very poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Very poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Very poor
Driving hazards such as open manholes, debris, and potholes are
common. Drivers pay little heed to traffic regulations, signals,
lanes, or other drivers. Drivers often travel at extremely high
rates of speed, and accidents are frequent. 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 marking, traffic signs, and
warnings. Many rural roads are unpaved and rarely traveled.
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.
information about road safety, including links to foreign government
sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
service at present between the United States and Azerbaijan, nor
economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has not assessed Azerbaijan’s Civil
Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Azerbaijan air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit
FAA Internet web site at http:// www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
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, Switzerland
and Turkey is more reliable.
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
Azerbaijani laws, even unknowingly,
may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession,
use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Azerbaijan are strict,
and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Azerbaijan is mostly a cash economy
country. Traveler’s checks and credit cards are accepted only
in some hotels and a few restaurants and supermarkets. The local
currency is the manat. U.S. dollars are required in most hotels
and preferred in many restaurants.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children and international child support enforcement issues,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in
or visiting Azerbaijan are encouraged to register at the Consular
Section of the
U.S. Embassy in Baku and obtain updated information on travel
and security within Azerbaijan. The U.S. Embassy is located at
Prospect Azadlig 83; tel. (9-9412) 98-03-35, 36, or 37; (9-9412)
90-66-71. More information can be obtained from Embassy Baku’s
Internet site at http://www.usembassybaku.org/.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999, in order to update information on Entry Requirements,
Medical Insurance, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, and to
delete Y2K information.