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I have a guest at my hostel from China who hopes to take a bus to Azerbaijan tomorrow.

He believes that he either doesn't need a visa for Azerbaijan or that perhaps it's a free visa on arrival.

But in digging around in the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website I can't find a list of countries and I can't find info specific to Chinese citizens.

I can find one unofficial site, doyouneedvisa.com, that says Chinese citizens do require a visa, but they don't go into details like whether he needs an invitation etc, and of course being unofficial it could be out of date.

So do Chinese passport holders currently require a visa for Azerbaijan and what are the rules and requirements to get one?

(He's hoping to just take the bus there tomorrow and get straight across the border.)

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You can try visit the foreign affair department website of Azerbaijan online. –  user1852 Feb 8 '12 at 14:20
    
@GeorgeCombey: You will see I already mention that site and provide a link to it and my experiences in trying to use it. In my answer below you will find where and how I finally located the info on their site, which wasn't so easy. –  hippietrail Feb 8 '12 at 14:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It turns out the information is indeed on the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, just the link does not stand out well and the page contains at least one other broken link.

The countries applying the visa-free regime page has a section

II group.
For the holders of any kind of passports

(Diplomatic, service, (official/special) and ordinary)

Mutual visa-free regime is applied between the Republic of Azerbaijan and countries listed below for
1. National of both countries holding any kind of valid passport –including diplomatic, service (official/service) or ordinary passports providing the right of international cross-border;
2. Family members (supposes and children) of above mentioned persons:
- traveling with them;
- having no personal passports;
- photos, given name, family name and patronymic officially registered in relevant type of passports
3. stateless persons holding relevant identity document providing the right of international cross-border and granted especially to the stateless persons by the relevant state bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic or appropriate foreign country;
4. Nationals or stateless persons holding Reentry Certificate - temporary document for international cross border, granted only for returning to the citizenship country or permanent residence country in the cases of lost/theft/became invalid/expiry of passport.

The heading of this section is in fact a link, which I missed. It links to a PDF which was Updated: 21.10.2010 and contains:

No Name of the country The allowed duration for staying in
                       the territory of both countries
                       without visa

1  Belarus             90 days
2  China               30 days
3  Georgia             90 days
4  Kazakhstan          90 days
5  Kyrgyzstan          90 days
6  Moldova             90 days
7  Mongolia            90 days
8  Russia              90 days
9  Tajikistan          90 days
10 Ukraine             90 day
11 Uzbekistan          90 days

UPDATE

Despite all this evidence, my friend who was on the Tbilisi-Baku train was not permitted by the Georgian customs and immigration people to leave at this border crossing, despite him having printouts of the information I listed above!

If anybody can suggest why this occurred it might well make a better answer! \-:

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Mark this as an accepted answer when you get time. :) –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 4 '12 at 21:25
1  
That's why I flagged it, it's easy to miss out. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 4 '12 at 23:27

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