Urgent Ukrainian visa question...
October 15, 2010 4:12 AM   Subscribe

Hideous Azerbaijan/Ukrainian visa snafu- urgent advice needed!

So, I just flew from Kiev to Baku. I had a single-entry visa to Ukraine, and I'm an Australian passport holder. I arrived at Baku airport to discover that Azerbaijan has chosen this morning to stop issuing visas on arrival (the airline didn't know this, nor did many of the airport staff in Baku). My choices are: get deported back to Ukraine, or buy an onward ticket from Baku to wherever will take me.

Does anyone know if Ukraine will allow me to re-enter? I don't want to get on a plane back to Kiev only to be denied entry there... The Baku airport immigration staff assure me that it will be fine but I'm not sure that I trust them for some reason.

I have been in touch with Australia's nearest embassies but they can't do a whole lot.

Anyone been in a situation like this?
posted by the duck by the oboe to Travel & Transportation around Azerbaijan (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure that you just haven't met (read: bribed) the right person with Azeri customs yet? I've been through a lot of border crossings land, air, and sea and often there is someone who takes a "fee" for a stamp in the passport. Asking "is there anyone that I can talk to about this?" in a concerned but respectful tone usually gets you an invitation to meet this person (usually a man who looks exactly as you'd imagine). You ask him, "isn't there any way I can get a visa here at the aiport?" and he says something like, "well, yes, you can pay the [airport tax; visa expediting fee; insert creative euphamism for bribe here] of [fourty] US dollars cash." He may even give you a receipt (illegible though it may be)! Then they will charge you the actual visa fee, hustle you off to a cab (driven by his cousin) who will take you to a hotel (owned by another cousin).
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:59 AM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

The 10th Reg is totally right.

posted by k8t at 10:35 AM on October 15, 2010

I'm not sure that bribes will work - I get the US gov's international security bulletins, and it's saying that the Azeri single-entry visas aren't being issued.

I don't know about the Ukrainian situation, but would recommend asking at the Lonely Planet's Thorntree forums. Good luck.
posted by quadrilaterals at 1:22 PM on October 15, 2010

Oh, the Ukrainian Embassy in Australia's visa office can be reached at (02) 6230 7940, if that helps.
posted by quadrilaterals at 1:24 PM on October 15, 2010

Response by poster: Believe me, there were a few of us in the same boat and every variation of 'facilitation payment' was tried. These people were too stupid to be bribed.

I did manage to find one person there who knew what would happen if Ukraine wouldn't allow me to re-enter- they would deport me back to the country I entered there from. Which in this case was Russia... To which I had an expired single-entry visa. And so on through Central Asia and China. Bugger that!

After twelve hours I managed to get my passport back and buy a ticket to Istanbul and got the hell out of there. Now I'm sitting in front of the Blue Mosque enjoying the day and the free public wifi.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:43 AM on October 16, 2010

Looks like this was by presidential decree. (Heard via twitter.)
posted by k8t at 2:02 PM on October 17, 2010

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