The practice of obtaining work permits has been abolished for persons who have applied for refugee status, who have been granted refugee status or political asylum in Azerbaijan, a senior consultant of the Azerbaijan office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Elsevar Aghayev, said on September 27.
"Payment of high fees was required to receive such authorization," he said. "However, since the persons who have been granted refugee status and political asylum did not have such funds, they were engaged in illegal employment. Taking this into account, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees appealed to the government, making a proposal to abolish the state duty and the procedure for obtaining a work permit. The proposal of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was taken into account in the new Migration Code of Azerbaijan."
Aghayev further said that after the Migration Code goes into effect on August 1, the persons who have submitted an application for refugee status and the people who have been granted refugee status and political asylum will be able to engage in legal employment without obtaining relevant authorization.
There are some 1,520 refugees and asylum seekers in Azerbaijan.
According to Aghayev, some 46 percent of refugees and asylum seekers in Azerbaijan are Afghans, while 43 percent are Chechens, five percent are Iranians and the rest are the nationals of other countries.
Usually refugees leave their home country due to the lack of political and economic stability, therefore, they prefer more stable and developed countries.
The ongoing dynamic economic growth and stable political environment have made Azerbaijan attractive for foreign refugees. Furthermore, the economic well-being allows refugees to earn money very easily. Most of them came to Azerbaijan temporarily until the situation in their home country stabilizes. Sometimes, after staying a while in Azerbaijan, refugees head to a third country. Approximately 10 years ago the number of people seeking refuge was 12,000, with most of them being Chechens.
Major concerns of foreign refugees in Azerbaijan include illegal employment, lack of education and healthcare. These people have to work illegally or stay unemployed, as sometimes they do not meet the requirements of the labor code. Therefore, entrepreneurs are often not interested in hiring them either.
The lack of necessary documents causes difficulties for the education of refugee children.