Azerbaijan Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Laws and culture - Ramadan 2020
Azerbaijan - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Azerbaijan as crime, such as pickpocketing and attacks on foreigners, occurs.
Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas due to the tense political situation. You can’t enter this area from Azerbaijan, and Canada’s ability to provide consular services there is extremely limited. Travelling to the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future.
Border with Armenia - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to within 5 km of the border with Armenia due to the unpredictable security situation.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Nagorno–Karabakh, surrounding areas and border with Armenia
The Nagorno-Karabakh region, along the border with Armenia, is a heavily mined area. There are numerous landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Despite a ceasefire, tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain high, due to a dispute over this territory. Armed clashes occur regularly along the ceasefire line.
Learn about this region’s entry/exit requirements.
Border with Armenia
Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia is a closed military zone because of unresolved disputes between the 2 countries. Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain high, and armed clashes along the border with Armenia may continue.
Landmines buried along the border that have caused injuries and deaths.
Crime is relatively low. Most reported crimes involve burglary, assault or petty crime, such as pickpocketing.
Thieves sometimes pose as police officers and demand that tourists pay on-the-spot fines. If faced with this situation, offer to follow the officer to the nearest police station to pay the fine.
- Avoid walking alone after dark
- Be careful in areas that attract large crowds and areas that are very isolated or dimly lit
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash
- Don’t display signs of affluence
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
Spiked food and drinks
There have been incidents of drink spiking, resulting in victims being robbed.
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Demonstrations take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Police may use force to suppress demonstrations. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings in public places.
Stay at hotels that have robust security measures. Keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations can’t be considered completely free of risk.
Highways and major city roads are well-maintained, but driving can still be dangerous due to poor driving standards and poorly maintained cars. Many drivers do not pay attention to speed limit, traffic rules and traffic signs. Insufficient street lighting and signage make travel dangerous outside of Baku. The risk increases on certain roads that are shared with pedestrians and livestock.
Authorities don’t enforce traffic rules consistently.
Pedestrians should exercise caution.
Buses are poorly maintained, often overcrowded and unsafe, particularly outside of Baku. Baku Metro is reasonably maintained and has basic safety equipment. Expect to see security cameras throughout the platforms and a police presence at each metro station, particularly at night.
Only use officially marked taxis, which are metered, have seatbelts and are cheaper than unmarked taxis. Avoid shared taxis and unofficial taxis because passengers have been assaulted.
If you must travel by train, store personal belongings in a safe place and don’t leave your compartment unattended. Ensure the door is secured from the inside.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited outside of the Absheron Peninsula, Baku, Lankoran and Quba.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Azerbaijani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Azerbaijan.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Azerbaijan.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
If you plan to visit Azerbaijan, you must have a visa before arriving in the country. As a tourist, you can apply for an e-visa through Azerbaijan’s online visa portal. You should do so at least 3 days before your planned arrival date.
If you require any other type of visa, you must apply for it from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan prior to departure.
To obtain any type of visa, you must present a letter of invitation from a contact in Azerbaijan, such as an employer or educational institution. If you don’t have a contact in Azerbaijan, the invitation letter should be submitted by the travel agency in Azerbaijan.
You must register with the State Migration Service within 15 calendar days of arrival if you intend to stay more than 15 days. Ensure that your passport is stamped with a residency stamp.
Failure to register could result in a fine. You may be stopped from leaving Azerbaijan until the fine is paid.
You may encounter long delays or be denied entry at the Azerbaijani border if your passport contains a stamp from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
It is illegal to enter Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan without permission from Azerbaijani authorities. Violations of entry and exit regulations to and from this area can result in serious penalties. Travelling to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible for future travel to Azerbaijan.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- There are no updates at this time.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is only available in major cities. Medical facilities outside Baku are very limited.
If you are travelling with prescription medication, check with the Azerbaijani embassy to ensure that your medication is legal in Azerbaijan. Carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription and the medication in its original packaging.
Avoid older medical clinics, which often lack basic drugs and equipment and have poor hygiene standards. Some medical clinics require upfront payment in cash for treatment. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.
Travel insurance / Assurance voyage - Reminder / Rappel
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal or restricted activities
It is strictly forbidden to take pictures of military installations and equipment. Trespassing on military sites can lead to arrest. Visitors have been detained and questioned when attempting to photograph military bases, equipment and installations, all of which are considered sensitive.
Promoting religion and trying to convert others are not permitted.
Carry your passport at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case it’s lost or confiscated. If you are a resident, you must provide proof of residency status. Police checks in public areas are common. You could be fined if you fail to provide proper identification on request from an official.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences of 3 to 7 years and/or heavy fines.
Azerbaijani law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Azerbaijani society.
Azerbaijan doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship for adults (those 18 or older).
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Azerbaijan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
A citizen of Azerbaijan who has adopted citizenship of a foreign country needs to provide written information to the relevant Azerbaijani executive authority within a month. If you are in Azerbaijan, refer to the State Migration Service. If you are outside of the country, then refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. Persons who do not report will be punished with fines ranging from 3000 to 5000 manats and/or community works from 360 to 480 hours, in accordance with the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Canadians with Azerbaijani citizenship may be subject to national obligations, such as taxes and military service, and should check their status with the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Canada prior to travelling.
Military service is mandatory for male Azerbaijani citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. Those who have not completed their military service could face fines or arrest.
You must carry an international driving permit (IDP).
There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Traffic stops are common. Always carry your licence, IDP, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
You must have the following documents in the car:
- vehicle registration document
- passport and driver’s licence
- proof of insurance
- first aid kit
- proof that the car is roadworthy (check-up card)
If you own a car, you must get an annual roadworthiness test done between January 1 and October 31. You will be given a check-up card each year after the inspection.
Imports and exports
Customs authorities strictly enforce regulations concerning the import or export of firearms, religious materials, pieces of art and antiquities.
You must declare foreign currency upon entry. You can’t leave the country with more than you brought in.
Dress and behaviour
Azerbaijan is a secular state, but some people closely adhere to Islamic practices and beliefs.
- Behave discreetly
- Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.
The currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani manat (AZN).
The economy is mostly cash-based. Credit cards are accepted at banks in Baku and in major hotels and restaurants. Few establishments accept credit cards outside of Baku. Several ATMs in major cities dispense both U.S. dollars and Azerbaijani manat.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Azerbaijan is in an active seismic zone.
Heavy rains may trigger floods and landslides, but there are also periods of drought.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 102
- medical assistance: 103
- firefighters: 101
The Police Office of Crimes By and Against Foreigners offers service in English. You can reach the office at +944 12 590 9966.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Azerbaijan.You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey.
Ankara - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Ankara and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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