Posted by: TomA | 4 June 2008

Azerbaijan Visa

I sent off my application for an Azeri visa today, having received the letter of invitation this morning. For a country we’ll (hopefully) only be in a day or two, it has turned out to be an expensive one. The consulate fee is £55 (up from £27 a year or two ago), acquiring a letter of invitation was another $35 and with special delivery fees, we’re looking at almost £90. Just to get in.

I’ve yet to do much research on Azerbaijan, so there may well be some fascinating tourist destinations to make the whole thing worthwhile. Currently, I’m just aware that it provides an easier route to Turkmen;stan and Kazakhstan than via Iran (where a carnet is required). That, and on the map the nurse showed me there’s a nice big red splodge in the middle, representing a malaria hotspot.

This time next week, fingers crossed, the visa will come through. Hopefully before then we’ll be able to confirm the details of the vehicle we’re taking, in order to get the Russian letters of invitation through, so we can get straight onto applying for that visa. Then, time permitting, the Turkmen visa to give us the opportunity to head that way across the Caspian rather than the more gruesome ferry directly into Kazakhstan. Seems the requirements have relaxed once more, so they’re no longer asking for copies of visas for entry and exit, which makes things much much easier. Though seems they still want to see these before we leave, so might be a case of trudging down to the embassy early on the 4th July to double check everything is in order.

Oh yes. It is only 30 days until we leave. 30 days is not very long. Let the panic commence…


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