The Role of the State Migration Service in the protection of Azerbaijan`s economic interests
“Azerbaijan displays rare development speed. Of course, the number of those who want to come and work here increases, the State Migration Service takes all the necessary measures. These measures should be more efficient, so that we couldreview problems of employment of Azerbaijan citizens in labor market and solve them completely”.
Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
In independent and modern Azerbaijan where democratic, human values have been established and tolerant society has been formed, the domestic and foreign policy, which was developed by great leader Heydar Aliyev and is successfully implemented by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev is aimed at sustainable and durable economic development, rapid integration tointernational community, strengtheningthe state and raising social welfare of the population. Implemented activities are already bearing fruits. Azerbaijan keeps on amazing the world with the dynamic progress achieved within short period. High results achieved year by year in social, economic, political and cultural, in a word, in all spheres further increases the power of Azerbaijan. Of course, farsightedly elaborated and successfully realized state policy is on the basis of all these successes.
In Azerbaijan where the economy is developing dynamically political stability is ensured, a number ofenterprises are established, industrial parksare constructed, new working places are opened, living standards of the population are improved, local and regional infrastructure projects are successfully realized. At present Azerbaijan successfullyintegrates to the world. Rapid growth of the country at the beginning of the 2000thincreased flow of migrants to Azerbaijan. Migrants usually make their way to economically developed countries, the economic boom observed in our Republic attracted attention of foreigners and their number is increasing year by year. The mentioned positive factors is increasing interest of foreigners to live, study and work in our country, as well asto adopt the citizenship of Azerbaijan. As the head of our country Mr. IlhamAliyev said “doors of Azerbaijan are open to all the foreigners coming with good intention. Foreigners can visit our country, live, work and study in our country. But all these must be regulated within the framework of the law”.
The State Migration Service as alaw-enforcement body implementing unified state policy in the sphere of migration always tries to properly cope with the tasks assigned to it in this field. At present illegal migration processes createevident problems for the national security of every State. That`s why States fight against illegal migration and ensure regulation of this field on the basis of quick and flexible mechanisms to ensure security interests and protect internal labor market. Every country determines procedures and terms of stay, residence and labor activity of foreigners in their territory.
The State Migration Service pays special attention to protection of migrants` rights. Application of foreigners to the State Migration Service and observation of the migration legislation area legal basis for their protection from any danger that may occur later.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev stated that “As Azerbaijan develops the number of foreigners intending to come here will increase. It can be considered a positive factor for our State. But in any case we must give priority to the interest of our people, our citizens and our state and it must be the priority direction of the implemented migration policy”.
It`s a truth that rapid economic growth, the improvement of the conditions for investment, state support to the development of entrepreneurship,development of non-oil sector, establishment of new production spheres have increased interest of prestigious companies of the world to make businessin our country. It shouldbe mentioned that foreignerscarry out labor activity not only in the capital, but also in various regions of the Republic. Regulation of a durable migrant flow within the framework of the national interests of our country and protection of internal labor market from illegal migrants areensured as a result of the successfully implemented reforms. It must be noted that in compliance with the requirements of the legislation the principal conditions for carrying out labor activity by foreigners are availability of vacancies which are not applied by a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who has professional skills or qualifications required for such job, inability of employment services to meet employers` need for manpower at the cost of local labor resources. In 2013 the quota for the labor migration was determined by the Cabinet of Ministers in the amount of 12000 persons. Last year 11938 foreigners and stateless persons were granted work permits for carrying out paid labor activity.
We`d like to draw the attention to some innovations connected with the cases of granting permission for temporary residence to foreigners and stateless persons in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan which are reflected in the Migration Code that came into force on August 1, 2013:
- In case they possess real estate which is worth at least 100000 manats on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan or funds in the same amount in the banks of the Republic of Azerbaijan
- In case they invest at least 500000 manats in the economy of the country
- In case they are highly qualified specialists in the spheres of economy, industry, defense, science, culture, sports, etc.
- In case they engage in entrepreneurship activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan etc.
But the last case is only considered as a ground for issuance of a permit for temporary residence in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, when those persons work actually by concluding labor contract with at least 5 persons on full time employment or10 persons on part-time employment. In this case, at least 80 percent of the workers are required to be the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan which has the status of law-enforcement bodyis regularly taking relevant measures in the direction of protection ofnational security and economic interests of the country and preventing illegal migration. As a result of this the cases of illegal residence and illegal involvement in labor activity of foreigners and stateless persons are revealed and prevented.
In order to observe the above mentioned conditions regular inspections are carried out by the State Migration Service in entrepreneurial subjects. The aim is to reveal and prevent the cases of involving foreigners and stateless persons in paid labor activity by employers without obtainingwork permit. The meetings, receptions regarding explanation of the legislation of Azerbaijan for foreigners’ paid labor activity organized at State Migration Service last yearhad its positive impact. In the meeting held at State Migration Service with the delegation led by Mr. Gordon Birrell, BP regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, discussions were held on mutual cooperation, as well asproblems of granting relevant permissions for residence and paid labor activity of foreigners enlisted by BP in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.Moreover, in the meeting with the Counselor on Labor and Social Protection of the embassy of the Republic of Turkey to the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Namik Ata, representatives of International Society of “Azerbaijan Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen” and Union of “Azerbaijan Turkish Businessmen” and heads of companies it was noted that economic growth of Azerbaijan not only accelerated flow of foreign investments, but also caused the riseof the number of foreigners who want to carry out labor activity here. And this, in its turn brought to the agenda the necessity to intensify control over migration processes. Though opening of new work places increased interest of labor migrants to migrate to our Republic, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has stressed several times that the potential of local labor market must be used in the first place. The necessity of intensifying control over migration processes, as well as importance of observing the laws of Azerbaijan by heads of companies functioning in our country are always in the focus of attention.
Also in the meeting held at State Migration Service with representatives of several banks functioning in our country the main attention was directed to implementation of the obligations regarding regulation of migration processes by entrepreneurial subjects and businessmen.As it is mentioned above,one of the groundsfor granting permission for temporary residence in the country is having deposit in the banks of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the amount envisaged by the legislation. It plays an important role in obtaining permission for temporary residence by foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In this regard importance of establishing cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and understanding principles between the State Migration Service and the banking system of the country wasbroughtto the attention of theparticipants.Later the parties had opinionexchangeon documentation and replying the relevantrequests addressed by the Service for controlling the validity of bank references and came tounanimous conclusion to have mutual cooperation onsolution of the problems that may arise in this field.
Regulation of migration processes, protection of freedoms and rights ofmigrants, especially labor migrants is one of the most actual problems in the modern world. For the Republic of Azerbaijan which pays a great importance to democratic values and makes successful steps towards integration to international community, provision of the regulation of migration processes in compliance with international norms and protection of the rights of labor migrants and their family members are priority directions of the development. The questions on eliminating problems of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan that carry out labor activity in foreign countries are solved within the framework of cooperation with the relevant authorities of those countries. The Republic of Azerbaijan has signed bilateral and multilateral agreements for the purpose of ensuring protection of the rights of migrants and their family members. There are bilateral agreements on cooperation with the states of Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Belarus in the sphere of migration. The “Agreement on mutual labor activity of labor forces between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey” serving to improvement of bilateral relations, intensifying cooperation in the sphere of labor migration between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey and protection of the rights of the citizens of both countries which wassigned within the framework of the third meeting of High Level Strategic Cooperation Councilbetween the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey on November 13, 2013has great importance.
“The Agreement on cooperation in the sphere of migration between the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation”,drafted by the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan andwhich is to be signed in 2014 after mutual discussions by the relevant bodies of two countries, will serve to further intensification of the existing relations.
In general protection of the rights of migrants and their family members, their social protection, facilitation of their employment procedures are core ofthese agreements. Of course, development of our country, provision of security of the State,improvement of well-being of citizens is the basis for the policy implemented by our State. In this case respect to the laws is the duty of every citizen, including foreigners arriving in our country.
Deputy chief of the State Migration
Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan
III rank state migration service counselor