Azerbaijan travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Azerbaijan - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Azerbaijan due to the unpredictable security situation and ongoing tension along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas due to political tensions. You can’t enter this area from Azerbaijan. Travelling to this region and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future. Canada’s ability to provide consular services in the area is extremely limited.
Border with Armenia - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to within 5 km of the border with Armenia due to the unpredictable security situation and the risk of armed conflict.
Safety and security
Border with Armenia
On September 13, 2022, fighting erupted at multiple points along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Although a ceasefire has since been declared, the situation is uncertain and could deteriorate further.
Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia is a closed military zone because of unresolved disputes between the two countries.
Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan remain high, and armed clashes along the border with Armenia may continue.
Landmines buried along the border have caused injuries and deaths.
The border with Armenia, including the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, is closed.
Nagorno–Karabakh and surrounding areas
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia are high, due to territorial disputes. In September 2020, a violent conflict occurred between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Military operations were carried out inside and outside of the zone of Nagorno–Karabakh.
A ceasefire agreement was signed on November 9, 2020, and Russian peacekeepers have been deployed to the region for a 5-year period.
Our ability to provide consular services in Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding areas and in the Armenia-Azerbaijan border regions is extremely limited.
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
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
If you’re travelling to Azerbaijan to meet someone you’ve only met online, you may be the victim of a scam.
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.
Entry and exit requirements
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 the Foreign Representatives 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.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
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 foreign representative 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.
E-visas are single entry and are valid for 30 days. 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.
If you intend to stay in Azerbaijan for more than 30 days, you must obtain a temporary residence card or apply to extend your visa.
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.
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.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
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.
* 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.
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.
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).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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.
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 of 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.
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.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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
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.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Azerbaijan.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Azerbaijan by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Azerbaijan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must carry an international driving permit.
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
In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :
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
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
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan. Offering consular services to Canadians in Iran.Appointment Book your appointment online
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, expressed 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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