As from 10.01.2017, Bulgarian passport holders need no longer apply in advance for entry visa for Azerbaijan from the Azeri Consulate. Instead, citizens of the EU country can electronically apply through the electronic portal at ASAN Visa, at the latest 3 working days before their departure.
Although visits to Azerbaijan represent only a tiny fraction from the overall travel journeys of Bulgarian citizens, the news is yet another proof of the strength of the Bulgarian passport as travel document. Bulgaria and Azerbaijan have traditionally strong ties and now with the new, virtually visa-free regime for Bulgarians, it is widely expected that the economic cooperation between the two states will develop even further. As no surprise came the news that the Azeri low cost airline Buta Airways is starting direct flights between Sofia and Baku from 16.01.2018.
The easing of travel between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan will also provide more opportunities to Azeri citizens, seeking to participate in the Bulgarian fast-track Citizenship by Investment. Azeri passport holders can currently travel to only about 62 countries visa-free, while Bulgarian citizens can visit almost 150 countries without any restrictions, let alone the full residency rights EU-wide.