Azerbaijan: New work permit exemption allowed for certain company executives

Azerbaijan has exempted certain company directors and deputy directors from work permit requirements.

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What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who are directors or deputy directors for companies that are incorporated in Azerbaijan and have at least one foreign shareholder are no longer required to obtain a work permit to work in the country.

  • Implementation time frame: The change took effect June 4.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are directors or deputy directors for companies incorporated in Azerbaijan that have at least one foreign shareholder.
  • Impact on processing times: Those who are affected will save the time it takes to obtain a work permit.
  • Business impact: The exemption reduces red tape for companies that are incorporated in Azerbaijan and have at least one foreign shareholder.

Background: The exemption took effect under a June 4 amendment to Azerbaijan’s Migration Code.

Azerbaijan previously provided work permit exemptions for directors and deputy directors of foreign companies with branch offices and representatives in Azerbaijan, but the amendment extended the exemption so that it also covers foreign national directors and deputy directors at companies incorporated in the country. The amendment additionally provides an exemption to shipbuilding specialists who have at least one year of professional experience, a university degree or relevant professional qualifications and are contracted for work at the Garadagh Industrial Park.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues work on a new visa system, the ASAN visa system, which will be designed to simplify the application process. The ASAN system, when completed, will allow for the issuance of visas to nationals of approved countries via a single online portal. It is unclear when the system will be complete, however, and it may take months before it is fully implemented.

BAL Analysis: The change is a welcome benefit to qualifying foreign nationals. BAL will continue to follow the development of the ASAN visa system, which is designed to streamline visa issuance but could cause delays during the period when it is implemented.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Azerbaijan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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