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Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel

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Learn About Your Destination

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan
Republic of Azerbaijan
Exercise increased caution in Azerbaijan due to terrorism concerns and areas of armed conflict. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reissued after periodic review with general security updates.

Exercise increased caution in Azerbaijan due to terrorism concerns and areas of armed conflict. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Do not travel to:

  • The border region with Armenia.
  • The Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding territories due to recent hostilities.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups that continue to plot attacks pose a risk in Azerbaijan. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. 

Until September 2020 the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding territories were under Armenian control. Following armed hostilities in the fall of 2020 and fall of 2023, Azerbaijan took control of these seven territories and Nagorno-Karabakh. Further military activity could occur in the region.  

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Azerbaijan.

If you decide to travel to Azerbaijan:

Border with Armenia– Level 4: Do Not Travel
There is the potential for fighting along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border as part of the ongoing armed conflict. U.S. citizens should avoid the area.  Exercise caution on roads near Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia. Be aware that some portions of the road may cross international boundaries without notice. Roads may be controlled by checkpoints or closed to travelers without notice. The U.S. embassy has prohibited embassy employees and their families from non-essential travel to the border region. 

Nagorno-Karabakh – Level 4: Do Not Travel
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in and around Nagorno-Karabakh due to landmine contamination and restricted access.

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Travelers may bring in any amount of foreign currency as long as they declare it upon arrival.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Travelers may depart with up to $10,000 undeclared, or up to $50,000 or equivalent if they provide documents showing they declared the amount to customs upon arrival.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Baku

111 Azadliq Prospekti
AZ1007 Baku, Azerbaijan
Telephone: +(994) (12) 488-3300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(994) (12) 488-3300
Fax: +(994) (12) 488-3695
Email: BakuACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Azerbaijan for information on U.S.-Azerbaijan relations.  

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You need a passport and a visa to enter Azerbaijan. Acquire a visa that covers the dates of your trip before you go. Visit the Embassy of Azerbaijan’s website for the most current visa information.

  • Electronic visas (E-Visas) are available through the “ASAN Visa” system. 
  • An E-Visa is typically issued within 3 (three) working days of the online application, is a single-entry visa, and is valid for 90 days. The E-Visa fee is $20, paid electronically. Once approved, the E-Visa is sent to the applicant via email. Travelers must print this information and present it to border security officials on arrival in Azerbaijan.
  • Multiple-entry visas valid for up to 365 days are available through the Embassy of Azerbaijan.
  • You must register with the State Migration Service (SMS) within 15 calendar days of arrival if your intended period of stay is more than 15 days. Visit the State Migration Service website for the most current registration information.
  • Law enforcement officials have at times detained individuals from Armenia or with Armenian surnames for questioning or denied them entry into the country. Such individuals may encounter anti-Armenian sentiments while in Azerbaijan.
  • Individuals with “Republic of Artsakh” entry stamps in their passport could be questioned or denied entry upon arrival to Azerbaijan.

Land Borders: Land borders between Azerbaijan and all neighboring countries remain closed, except for freight transportation. Entry into Azerbaijan is possible only by air. Foreigners are permitted to exit by land.

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to, and foreign residents of, Azerbaijan. Medical tests are required for those applying for temporary or permanent residence permits and must be performed at designated clinics in Azerbaijan. 

Please verify this information with the Embassy of Azerbaijan before you travel.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, vehicles and rudimentary IEDs– to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Area and Conflict:

  • The U.S. Government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Exercise caution near the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Despite the declaration of a cessation in hostilities, the danger posed by intermittent gunfire, land mines, and poor road conditions continue. Roads near the conflict zone may be controlled by checkpoints or closed to travelers without notice.
  • For more information regarding business and commercial activities in these areas, please visit the Investment Climate Statement.         

U.S. citizens of Armenian descent may encounter anti-Armenian sentiments in Azerbaijan.

Exercise caution in the region of Nardaran, located approximately 28 miles (45 km) from Baku on the Absheron Peninsula. Nardaran is culturally conservative and has been the site of several anti-United States and anti-Israel protests. It has also been the subject of government raids, which have sometimes resulted in violence.

Crime: Crime is relatively low and violent crime is infrequent. The majority of reported crimes involve burglary, assault, or petty crime such as pickpocketing.

  • Be careful in areas that attract large crowds or are very isolated. Criminals have targeted foreigners walking alone, late at night, or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Some women have reported incidents of unwanted male attention while walking alone and taking taxis. Sexual assault may be underreported due to cultural stigma.
  • Financial scams are increasingly common. While the majority involves internet dating, there are reports of scams related to fraudulent real estate deals, licensing requirements, and travel advertisements.
  • There are reports of increased credit and bank card fraud, such as credit card skimming.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Avoid demonstrations and riots, which police have previously suppressed with force. Demonstrations occur periodically. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizens who are victims of crime should report crimes to the local police and then contact the U.S. Embassy. Contact the local police by dialing 102 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+994 12) 488 3300. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. 

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance identifying local resources for victims of domestic violence, which can include shelters, medical assistance, and legal aid. Victims may contact the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs by telephone at (+994 12) 498 00 92 or office@scfwca.gov.az for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in Baku. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of Baku and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. You can be legally detained in jail for up to four months during an investigation. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. There are often delays in consular notification after arrests of U.S. citizens. See our webpage for further information.

Restrictions on Photography: It is illegal to take photographs of military installations and equipment. Police may stop you even if you take photographs of non-military sites, like oil fields, buildings, and public squares. Cooperate with the police.

Military Service: Azerbaijan has mandatory military service for male citizens ages 18 to 35. If Azerbaijan considers you a citizen, you could face fines or arrest if you have not completed your military service. Dual citizen males ages 18 to 35 have been prevented from departing Azerbaijan on U.S. or Azerbaijan passports – until they resolved military service requirements with the Azerbaijan government. The U.S. Embassy in Baku cannot resolve this issue for affected individuals. Information regarding Azerbaijan’s mandatory military service, including contact information, can be found on Azerbaijan’s State Service for Mobilization and Conscription website. Information about renouncing Azerbaijani citizenship is available through the Embassy of Azerbaijan

Drones: Azerbaijan does not allow the import of drones without prior authorization. Drones brought into the country without authorization are subject to confiscation by customs officials.

Customs: Taking carpets, artwork, and other cultural artifacts out of the country requires an export certificate. Consult the seller or the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum for assistance.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals are not specifically protected by antidiscrimination laws. Societal intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity remain a problem in Azerbaijan. It is not illegal to organize events in support of LGBTQI+ persons, but societal intolerance generally prevented these events. LGBTQI+ individuals have reported that employers sometimes found other reasons to fire LGBTQI+ employees due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. One of the main concerns for local LGBTQI+ persons is the perceived failure of law enforcement agencies to act on violations of the rights of LGBTQI+ persons and indifference to investigating crimes committed against LGBTQI+ persons in Azerbaijan. The Department of State’s Human Rights Report documents incidents of police brutality against individuals based on sexual orientation and notes that authorities did not investigate or punish those responsible.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: Azerbaijani law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities, but accessibility for persons with disabilities is limited throughout the country. Expect accessibility to be limited in transportation, lodging, and general infrastructure.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

For emergency medical services in Azerbaijan, dial 103.

Ambulance services are widely available, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Ambulances are typically not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on overseas insurance coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas

We strongly recommend you obtain supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Embassy of Azerbaijan or the State Customs Committee to ensure the medication is legal in Azerbaijan.

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Air Quality: Visit AirNow for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Baku is estimated to have air pollution levels higher than those in major U.S. cities.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health Facilities in General:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Baku but some facilities in Baku and in other areas, particularly in rural areas, may be below U.S. standards.dequate health facilities are available in Baku but some facilities in Baku and in other areas, particularly in rural areas, may be below U.S. standards.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available. Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment in advance.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in Baku.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery:

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.

Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Azerbaijan.

Pharmaceuticals:

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with few controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
  • Azerbaijan imposes strict restrictions on the importation of many pain killers and other prescription narcotics available in the United States. Travelers should avoid carrying or shipping such medications. If travelers must bring such medications, they should bring diagnosis and prescription paperwork from a licensed practitioner in the United States.

Altitude:

  • Many locations in Azerbaijan, such as Shahdagh and Tufandag, are at high altitude. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, and take precautions before you travel. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes.

Water Quality:

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

General Health Language:

The following diseases are prevalent:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: The information below is provided for general reference only.

  • Road conditions in Azerbaijan differ significantly from those in the United States. Exercise caution when driving in Azerbaijan.
  • Reckless driving is very common. Many drivers do not pay attention to traffic regulations, signals, lane markings, pedestrians, or other drivers. Drivers often travel at extremely high speeds, and accidents are frequent and often serious.
  • Older sections of the roadway system are poorly constructed and poorly lit. Many rural roads are largely unpaved. Driving hazards, such as open manholes, debris, and potholes are common in Baku.
  • Unfinished road sections may be extremely dangerous due to lack of proper construction and hazard signage.
  • Watch out for pedestrians. Pedestrians routinely disregard vehicles, crosswalks, signs and signals, and in general act carelessly.
  • Exercise caution on roads near the border with Armenia. Be aware that some portions of the road may cross international boundaries without notice. Roads may be controlled by checkpoints or closed to travelers without notice.

Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right. Routine traffic stops are common. If you are driving, keep all required documents with you, including passport or local registration documents, driver’s license, vehicle registration documents, and proof of insurance.

  • Foreigners residing in Azerbaijan for more than 30 days must obtain a local driver’s license through ASAN Xidmet.
  • Azerbaijan has strict laws about driving under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system. 

Public Transportation:

  • The Baku metro system is an inexpensive option for transportation. Security cameras provide excellent coverage of all metro platforms throughout the system. There are police units at each metro station, and bag checks may be carried out at the entrance to each station.
  • Because safety and licensing standards do not match those found in the United States, U.S. Embassy personnel are not authorized to use public buses.
  • For safety, we recommend using only marked taxis if you choose to take one.
  • Public transportation throughout the rest of the country remains overcrowded and poorly maintained

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Azerbaijan’s State Civil Aviation Administration as in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Azerbaijan should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Azerbaijan.  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: December 18, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Baku
111 Azadliq Prospecti
AZ1007 Baku, Azerbaijan
Telephone
+(994) (12) 488-3300
Emergency
+(994) (12) 488-3300
Fax
No Fax

Azerbaijan Map