Azerbaijan: Work permit quota system implementation delayed

The implementation of the quota system that was planned for Azerbaijan has been delayed, according to a policy change by the State Migration Service. Quota requests will be accepted on or after May 15, 2016.  A new online system that will announce the quotas is expected to be available on July 16, 2016 through the State Migration Authority’s website.

New Employment Classification System

In addition to meeting quota requirements, employers must also categorize their foreign workers according to a new Employment Classification system and must include the classification in the quota request.

Updated Quota Process

Instead of the previously-announced dates, to comply with the new law, employers that intend to hire foreign nationals in Azerbaijan must follow the below new process:

  • Submit an estimate of its foreign workers to the State Migration Service (SMS) by May 1st of each year.  This year, the deadline has been extended until May 15, 2016.
  • Based on the estimate, the Commission will review the employer’s need and present a decision to the Cabinet of Ministers by September 1st of each year.

Restrictions and Policy Updates

Nationals of countries considered to be high-risk, including Bangladesh, China and Vietnam, among others, may experience issues applying for a work permit after the quota system is implemented.  Employers of nationals from such countries will be responsible for the accommodation, travel costs and other expenses for such nationals.   

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals  

Employers seeking to send foreign workers to Azerbaijan are now subject to another administrative hurdle and must comply with the requirement to submit a foreign worker estimate by the deadline.  Employers should contact their immigration professional to discuss the effect of the quota on future applications and the additional costs related to the preparation and submission of quota forms.