ASAN Visa to open shortest route to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have signed a decree on facilitation of the issuance of visas and creation of ASAN Visa system.
The purpose of the document is to simplify procedures for issuing visas to foreigners and stateless persons arriving in Azerbaijan and creation of an electronic visa system in order to ensure transparency and efficiency using modern information technologies.
The State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN Service) was charged to create ASAN Viza electronic system for issuing visas to foreign citizens and stateless persons arriving in Azerbaijan. During the month, the agency must prepare and submit the draft regulations of the ASAN Viza system to the head of state.
Functionally it should support the following operations: accept e-visa applications, process them (including the collection of state fees) and issue e-visa within 3 days with the sending to the applicant’s email address. ASAN visa system should be integrated with the Entry-Exit system and unified migration information system.
According to the decree, the electronic visa is issued only to citizens included in the list of states approved by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as stateless persons residing in these countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked to comply strictly with the terms of visa issue on this system and within a month to approve the list of countries whose citizens can obtain an e-visa to Azerbaijan, provide at websites of embassies and consulates abroad the ability of access to system ASAN Viza.
The Coordinating Council of the interdepartmental automated information retrieval system 'Entry-exit and registration' is tasked to ensure the integration of the Entry-exit and registration system with ASAN Viza and inform the President of Azerbaijan.
The Ministry of Finance is tasked to ensure the financing of measures to create the ASAN Viza system and provide funds for its maintenance in the draft budget.
The State Agency for Special Communications and Information Security of the Special State Protection Service is tasked to provide the agency with necessary telecommunication channels and take the necessary measures to ensure the security of the ASAN Viza system.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is tasked to publish the information on the new rules of issuing electronic visas and ASAN Viza and inform travel agencies organizing tours to Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
Professor of the Western University Fikret Sadykhov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, reminded that Azerbaijan has been using the services of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations for a long time.
He noted that the agency was created by the presidential decree to facilitate contacts between citizens and various services. "These are communal services, payments for gas, electricity and so on, as well as issues related to obtaining various certificates, issuance of driver's licenses and passports," the expert pointed out.
According to Fikret Sadikhov, the creation of ASAN Viza is "a serious, very important step in solving the problems associated with foreigners."
"It is no secret that there have been problems. Azerbaijan's foreign missions abroad sometimes delayed the period of visa issuance for various reasons. And now a specific deadline will be set and options negotiated," the Professor of the Western University stressed.
"It certainly will increase the inflow of tourists to Azerbaijan, which is especially important ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix," Fikret Sadikhov added.
"I think, hosting of various international forums and sporting events plays an important role in this respect," the professor of the Western University noted, recalling the Eurovision contest and the International Humanitarian Forum in Baku, as well as upcoming events, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Islamic Solidarity Games.
The head of the Russian service of Trend news agency, Elmira Tariverdiyeva, called the decree of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev aimed at simplifying the electronic visa procedures and creating of ASAN Viza system "the important step towards increasing the tourist flow to Azerbaijan and development of non-oil sectors of the economy."
The expert noted that "the ASAN system has shown itself at its best during the years of work in Azerbaijan."
"The thing is that, without spending time and effort, anyone can apply for a visa and receive a visa to Azerbaijan in three days, unless there are objective reasons for a rejection," Elmira Tariverdiyeva noted.
"It is very important for representatives of business circles. It is evident that it will attract a huge amount of investments to the country, including in the tourism business," she stressed.
"With regard to tourism, Azerbaijan's tourism potential is huge. Our country is amazing and interesting for tourists from many points of view, starting from a unique climate and ending with rich cultural heritage and excellent cuisine," the head of the Russian service of Trend news agency explained.
"Of course, it is necessary to further expand the tourism infrastructure and the hospitality sector in order to increase the flow of tourist into Azerbaijan," she said.
"We have worked on this for the past few years and the increase in the number of tourists will contribute to further development of this part of the economy in general. And this means that Azerbaijan will create more than a thousand new jobs," Elmira Tariverdiyeva concluded.