Issuance of Biometric travel documents for refugees in Azerbaijan

GCR Objective 2: Refugee Self-reliance

Issuance of Biometric travel documents for refugees in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan 1

The project in brief

Implemented by

State Migration Service (SMS) – Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan and Lithuania


23 January 2020 - Ongoing

All refugees who apply to obtain a travel document will be provided with one in the shortest period of time possible.


Refugees residing in Azerbaijan are issued refugee cards which confirm their identities within the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Taking into account the request by the refugees on their intentions to travel internationally the SMS started to issue Travel Documents to them. The implementation of this project in collaboration with a Lithuanian company which is involved in the printing process of the travel documents, allows refugees to fully enjoy their rights to freedom of movement.   


Man and women


Resources used 

Article 6 and 12 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On status of refugees and internally displaced persons (persons displaced within the country)” envisages issuance of travel documents to refugees for international travel in accordance with Article 28 of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Main activities of the Good Practice

Travel documents are issued to enable international travel for refugees recognized in Azerbaijan. It is issued by the SMS which is the government agency responsible for the national asylum procedure and determination of the refugee status.  The travel document is issued for 5 years and can be renewed upon request of a holder. Travel document is a machine-readable and highly secured biometric document and prepared in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Doc 9303 on Machine Readable Travel Documents, and with the Article 28 of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.


Garsų pasaulis, UAB 
Salomėjos Nėries g. 69, 06304 Vilnius, Lithuania

Challenges and how they were overcome


The main obstacle to the implementation of this project was technical and administrative challenges related to the adaptation and integration of the security features of the document to the existing national identification systems.

How they were overcome

Challenges have been overcome by intensive technical consultations and dialogue between relevant government agencies.

Results of the Good Practice 

Women holding passport

Refugees have obtained an opportunity to travel abroad which was not possible due to absence of a travel document. By obtaining the Travel document, refugees and their families are able to fully enjoy their rights to freedom of movement, which will contribute to improvement of their wellbeing.

Further support required for the project to continue or scale up

Support is needed in increasing international recognition of this document which complies with ICAO standards.



Submitted by: 

Ms. Aydan Seyidova, Chief of the Refugee Status Determination Department of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan