BAKU -- Azerbaijan is considering legislation to ease visa regulations for tourists this year, which has been declared by Baku the "Year of Tourism," RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.
A bill on new visa liberalization rules was presented by the government to parliament last week.
The bill would allow tourism companies in other countries to apply for tourist visas via Internet to Azerbaijani embassies and consulates.
The approved visas would be sent in electronic format to the e-mail addresses of the tourism companies. The electronically issued visas would not be attached to passports but be presented by tourists with their passports at border checkpoints.
Information about the documents needed, the application form, and fees required for the visas would be posted on the Foreign Ministry's website.
Visa applications would have to be ruled on within 15 days of the application being received. Under the new legislation, tourist visas would be valid for 30 days.
In October, authorities toughened visa regulations for foreigners who previously could get a visa upon their arrival at the Baku airport.
But the latest bill refers only to tourist visas.
The new legislation is expected to be passed as the ruling party has an overwhelming majority in parliament.