The one of the main activity directions of State Migration Service established for the purpose of implementing state policy in the field of migration, developing migration management system, regulating and forecasting migration processes, coordinating activity of relevant state agencies in this field is to develop cooperation with relevant agencies of foreign states, international and non-governmental organizations in order to strengthen interstate dialogue, to expand cooperation in relevant spheres and relations in combatting illegal migration, to apply practical and innovative methods in the field of interrelated management of migration and development. In this regard State Migration Service utilizes possible international instruments, cooperates bilaterally and multilaterally with international organizations acting in migration sphere and relevant authorities of foreign states for more efficient regulation of migration processes.
State Migration Service expands cooperation links multilaterally with International Organization of Migration (IOM), European Union (EU), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), as well as with the Republic of Turkey, Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Netherlands bilaterally in the field of legal migration, effective management of migration, readmission, voluntary return, social protection of migrants, carries out joint projects, and also studies progressive and innovative practices in migration sphere.
Cooperation between IOM strengthened after admission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to membership of this organization. Exchange of opinions and meetings were held constantly between these two countries in regulating migration processes, establishing efficient readmission management, conducting interviews with asylum seekers, consolidating labor market information system and other directions of interest. An official visit of William Lacy Swing, Director General of IOM, to our country at the invitation of Azerbaijani government and his meeting with President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev is a reflection of importance that our state gives to this organization as an outcome of our productive cooperation. The participation of chief of State Migration Service Mr. Firudin Nabiyev at 107th Session of IOM Council held December 5-8, 2016 in Geneva, as well as, at the event on “Strengthening international cooperation on and governance of migration towards the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018” held on April 18-19, 2017 in New York in the framework of the IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration with the invitation of Director General of IOM Mr. William Lacy Swing indicates strengthening of the abovementioned cooperation.
The organization carried out number of significant projects focused on protection of migrants’ rights and their durable integration in our country. Currently the project of “Consolidation of Migration and Border Management Capacities in Azerbaijan” (since 2014) is ongoing successfully. At the same time, “Cooperation Agreement between State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and International Organization for Migration on Pilot Project on Assistance for the Voluntary Return of Migrants from Azerbaijan” was signed on December 8, 2016 in Geneva. The agreement approved with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated February 23, 2017 and entered into force from March 2, 2017.
Besides, participation of Mr. Firudin Nabiyev at the high-level Summit of UN General Assembly on “Addressing large movements of refugees and migrants” held on September 18-19, 2016 in New-York, his speeches at plenary meeting and round tables reflect close involvement of State Migration Service in the global level events held in migration sphere and its interest in strengthening international cooperation in this field.
The Republic of Azerbaijan efficiently cooperates with UNHCR in solving problems of refugees and displaced persons in our country. Expert meetings are held constantly between the representation of the organization in Azerbaijan and officers of the Service on topics of determination of refugee status, voluntary repatriation of asylum seekers to their country of origin, and other subjects of interest. Currently the project of “Asylum Systems Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus” is implemented jointly with UNHCR.
Another organization that the Republic of Azerbaijan cooperates with is Commonwealth of Independent States. State Migration Service represents our country in the Council of Heads of Migration Bodies (CHMB) acting within CIS. The Service cooperates within its competences with member states of the Council (except the Republic of Armenia) considering special comments of state leadership. Two meetings - 8th and 19th meetings of the Council were held in Baku on 30.09.2010 and 12.10.2016, in turn.
State Migration Service actively uses EU programs such as Twinning and Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument (TAIEX). Moreover State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan is represented in the first platform of EU Eastern partnership called “Democracy, good governance and stability”. One of the significant steps put forward with regard to enlarging relations with the organization was signing of “Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas” in November 29, 2013 and “Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the readmission of persons residing without authorization” on February 28, 2014, as well as “Joint Declaration on a Mobility Partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the EU and its participating Member States”.
With signing of “Cooperation agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)” contacts between parties entered new stage. The organization implemented number of projects in our country in the framework of Migration EU expertise (MIEUX) programs.
State Migration Service develops its bilateral ties with authorized bodies of different countries responsible for migration issues. The Republic of Turkey, Russian Federation, and the Kingdom of Netherlands can be mentioned among these countries.
Friendship and brotherhood relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey have been in high level through the history. Heads of relevant authorities of the Republic of Turkey, as well as, ambassadors of the Republic of Turkey in the Republic of Azerbaijan met with the head of Service and discussed cooperation perspectives.
Bilateral relations with state authorities of Russian Federation developed since establishment of State Migration Service. Between the authorities mutual working visits and meetings were arranged either in managerial and working level, exchange of practices in migration sphere was held, also ties were established in the framework of realized cooperation platforms.
Relations between the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Immigration and Naturalization Service under Ministry of Justice, also the Repatriation and Departure Service of Kingdom of the Netherlands are being improved. Constantly meetings of the head of the Service with heads of abovementioned authorities and Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Netherlands in the Republic of Azerbaijan were held and issues of mutual interests were discussed.
For the purpose of improving regulation of migration processes and capacity building of employees serving at migration bodies State Migration Service successfully implemented number of joint projects in cooperation with authorized bodies of leading countries responsible for migration issues and works in this direction are being resumed currently.
State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan also enlarges cooperation within the frames of international dialogue instruments, as well as, Almaty process which is a consultative process on international migration and protection of refugees, Prague Process which was started in order to trigger cooperation among EU countries, Schengen countries, Eastern Partnership and Western Balkan states, Central Asian countries, Russia and Turkey in migration sphere, and Budapest Process including in itself more than 50 governments and 10 international organizations, acting in direction of establishing system of constant regulation of migration.