The closure of the visa service at Baku’s international airport has many observers – not to mention frustrated travelers – scratching their heads. Reasons for the change remain unclear, with some observers proffering hypotheses ranging from bureaucratic whimsy to a desire to restrict international scrutiny of the country’s November 7 parliamentary elections.
Starting on October 15, Baku’s international airport will no longer issue visas on arrival to foreign citizens, a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department confirmed to EurasiaNet.org. Instead, foreigners traveling to Azerbaijan will need to submit a letter of invitation to a local Azerbaijani embassy. The date coincides with the launch of the official campaign period for the parliamentary election.
Citizens from the Commonwealth of Independent States can continue to make 90-day visa-free trips to Azerbaijan, however.
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