Life in Azerbaijan: moving, the first mistakes of an emigrant, difficulties

Life in Azerbaijan: moving, the first mistakes of an emigrant, difficulties

Our reader under the nickname yulya-chka left a very interesting review about her move to Baku. “I came to Azerbaijan for work, I was issued a work visa by invitation. I have been living here for 3 years and plan to stay forever. It is not easy to find a job for foreigners, but there is a telegram channel with ads (for IT people, of course, that's who is lucky now). From Russia they willingly take specialists from the oil industry, agriculture, civil engineers,” Yulia says.

Moving is easier for students

Many Russian universities have branches in Azerbaijan. I did not have such experience, but there are acquaintances who transferred to study in Baku from Moscow.1/1

I will tell you general immigration rules

Russian citizens can stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa. But if you are in the country for more than 15 days, you need to register.

  • If you live in a hotel, they will automatically send your details, but the hotel must be booked for the entire stay.
  • If you rent an apartment, you need to register. This is done online, on a website like our State Services. The owner of the apartment must register you on the portal or submit documents at the ASAN service centers (local MFC). Simple and fast, the main thing is to do everything in advance. There are no problems with filling in or receiving information, here almost all people over 35 speak Russian, and in state institutions there are questionnaires in Russian.

In general, everything in Azerbaijan is very well automated, any public services can be issued online, in case of violation everything is also monitored instantly, so it is better not to violate migration laws. In the best case, you will be charged a fine at the airport, or they may put a ban on further entry and deportation.

If you do not have a work visa, you can stay in the country for 90 days, then make an exit and reset the period. If you plan to apply for a temporary residence permit, then a residence permit, then the easiest option is to purchase real estate worth at least 100,000 AZN (it's about 4.5 million rubles now)

Another option for those who want to open a business or start-up in Azerbaijan: if you employ 5 citizens of the country, you can get a residence permit. Opening a business here is not difficult, all information and conditions are on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic.

The main mistake of beginners is to try to do something illegal

In this case, you will deceive only yourself. Rent an apartment only with a contract; if you get a job, then only on a white salary. All illegal immigrants are found very quickly.

Adaptation for Russians is easy, you don’t suddenly plunge into an environment with an unfamiliar language and culture.

You still need to learn the language, but you do not have an urgent need for this. This is both good and bad, because of this, many emigrants delay their studies and live for years without knowing the language, and this, whatever one may say, is not very comfortable. You have arrived in another country, you need to know the language, and the fact that many people speak Russian should not be taken for granted.1/1

There are no difficulties with money and payments

But rubles and cash dollars are not in use, change everything to manats. Mir cards do not work, Union Pay only for cash withdrawals, and even then with a commission, but transferring to an account from Russia using such a card is convenient. A foreigner can also open a local bank card, you will need a passport and a local SIM card. Registration – 3-4 days.

About rent

The cost of renting a one-room apartment is 250–300 USD per month, it will be close to the center. Life in Baku is cheaper than in Moscow, especially food. Azerbaijan has very high quality products, fruits, greens. And Baku tomatoes are generally a separate kind of buzz. Yes, they exist, this is not a meme from the Internet :) Everything about them is great: both taste and price.

There are not so many disadvantages of life here for me

The driving style is very annoying: driving here is like in a war, an eternal struggle. Public transport is not very developed, especially intercity. Well, in winter it is not sweet here, it is very windy. But the winter here is short-lived, and you can be patient.

Where to visit?

Now, things aside. I will write not about prices, problems and documents, but about my favorite places in the city.1/1

Fish restaurant

I'll start with my favorite and oldest fish restaurant in the city – Darya Fish House. Unique atmosphere, cozy place, grilled mullet and liters of tea. The sea is noisy, the seagulls are screaming, and you are sitting and getting high. I’ll warn you right away: the restaurant is family-run, there is a playground and swings, and children can scream worse than seagulls, but it doesn’t bother me personally. Nearby there are many much more “luhari” establishments, but this place has history and atmosphere, and the prices here are very affordable.

Art Museum

Another place where I like to visit at least once a week is the Rustam Mustafayev Museum of Art. The combination of empty halls with laconic white walls, where paintings hang, and luxurious ceilings, richly decorated with gilding and stucco, fascinates me. In the halls there are paintings from all over the world, not only Azerbaijani artists. Silk paintings, Kandinsky, Japanese engravings… My favorite room is Abdullayev's paintings, especially his series of paintings from the life of India. By the way, if you are going to take pictures, do not forget to buy a special ticket for this. In general, Azerbaijan has very strict rules regarding photos in public places; everything requires either permission or separate tickets. Do not try to be indignant or somehow break the rules: if you want a photo, buy a ticket. It doesn't matter if you shoot with a phone or a professional camera.

Museum of Modern Art

If you don't like classical art, go to the Museum of Modern Art. Stylish, comfortable, avant-garde. Here is purely Azerbaijani fine art, except for a couple of works by Picasso and Dali. Beautiful place, very Instagrammable.

Restaurant on the roof of the hotel

Another place that I like very much as a Petersburger is the restaurant on the roof of the Promenade Hotel. There is almost Dubai with views of the Towers, on the other hand there is almost Petrogradka and views of almost the Baltic (Caspian), there is even a yard-well. And from a different angle – almost Istanbul with its roofs and minarets.

I think you yourself know about all the other main tourist places.

And my Baku is like that

A city of charming and talented people who respect the past, remember their roots, but at the same time are rapidly moving into the future. A city with the smell of salt, oil and street food, luxurious architecture and broken roads, a city that combines the incongruous so well. I feel good and calm here, I don’t feel like a stranger. Coming to relatives in St. Petersburg, I really miss Baku, which means I got used to it, got used to it, accepted it.

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