State control over observance of the rules regulating usage of foreign labour force
Baku, August 15 (AzerTAc)
A year has passed since the Migration Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan entered into force.
Chief of the State Migration Service Firudin Nabiyev commented AzerTAc upon the issues related to fight against illegal migration and organizing state control over observance of the rules regulating usage of foreign labour force.
Migration processes, protection of rights and freedom of migrants, particularly migrant workers are one of the most actual issues in the modern world. In Azerbaijan attaching great importance to universal democratic values and taking successful steps in the direction of integration to world community, solid measures have been implemented by government towards management and assurance of regulation of migration processes in compliance with international norms, protection of rights and freedoms of foreigners and stateless persons, taking care of migrants, and significant achievements have been gained in the area of protection of the rights of migrant workers and their family members. Migration Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan which entered into force on August 1, 2013, also opened broad opportunities for progressive steps in this direction.
In accordance with the strategy founded by Great Leader Heydar Aliyev rapid socio-economic development observed in Azerbaijan, expansion of international communications in the energy and transport sectors, as well as the geopolitical situation of our country resulted in the intensification of migration processes. Stability, progress and measures taken to improve social welfare of the people, provided as a result of the policy which is successfully continued and developed by President Ilham Aliyev, turned our country into a more attractive place for foreigners. Issues like ensuring national security, sustainable socio-economic and demographic development, rational use of intellectual and labor potential of migrants are priority directions, as historically migrants go to the developed countries.
Simplification of a number of procedures for the migrants arriving in Azerbaijan in accordance with the Migration Code should be emphasized. 900 thousand migrants arrived in the Republic of Azerbaijan last year, this is a fairly large number. Measures taken by the State Migration Service, having law-enforcement status and implementing state policy in migration sphere and the competences in managing and regulating migration processes envisaged by the legislation, are welcomed with great satisfaction by both migrants and public. However, there are cases of illegal stay and residence of foreigners and stateless persons in our country and employing foreign labour force by employers without obtaining work permit and concluding labour contract in a prescribed manner in order to engage in paid labour activity. Naturally, such things can be accepted as signs of forced labour and can form undesired opinion about Azerbaijan, which is loyal to build a legal and democratic state.
Today there are sufficient foreigners desiring to engage in paid labour activity in Azerbaijan which stands alongside with the developed countries in terms of economic growth, even ahead them in some directions.
What should a physical person – a migrant worker, who legally migrate from one country to another, particularly to Azerbaijan, do in order to engage in paid labour activity?
Activity directions of the State Migration Service, determined with "Regulations on the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan" approved by Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, dated March 19, 2007 are as follows:
-To participate in implementation of measures on regulating foreign labor migration processes;
-To prepare proposals joint with the relevant government agencies for attracting foreign labor force into the country;
-To attract foreign labor force and issue permits for its usage, to issue work permits for foreigners and stateless persons to carry out paid labour activity on the basis of “single window” principle, to extend their validity period, as well as to revoke issued permits on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
-To carry out inspections at workplaces where migrant workers are working, to find out whether they have proper status and work permits, to take relevant measures in a way envisaged by the legislation;
-To take measures to provide foreigners and stateless persons with legal information related to the rules of stay and residence on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
-To create necessary conditions for social protection of migrants, to take measures for their adaptation to local conditions, to protect their rights within its competences, etc.
According to the requirements of Migration Code foreigners and stateless persons intending to reside temporarily and engage in paid labour activity on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan should obtain a work permit in addition to the temporary residence permit. Work permit is an official document authorizing foreigners and stateless persons to engage in paid labor activity on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Work permits for foreigners are issued by the State Migration Service which stands guard over national interests and economic security of our country. Thus, in accordance with the legislation, every able-bodied and over 18 years old foreigner or stateless person can work in the Republic of Azerbaijan after obtaining work permit from State Migration Service through juridical persons, physical persons dealing with entrepreneurship activity without establishing juridical persons, and branches and representations of foreign juridical persons employing him/her. Principal conditions for carrying out paid labour activity by foreigners and stateless persons in our country 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 labour resources.
Employers should employ foreigners and stateless persons only in their own working place and should conclude a labour contract in compliance with validity period of the work permit. In the following cases foreigners and stateless persons are not required to obtain a work permit:
-Persons holding permit for permanent residence on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
-Persons engaged in entrepreneurship activity on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
-Employees of diplomatic representations and consulates and international organizations;
-Heads of the organizations established under international agreements and their deputies;
-Persons employed by relevant executive authority;
-Employees of mass media accredited in the Republic of Azerbaijan;
-Persons dispatched for a business trip for not more than 90 days within a year to the Republic of Azerbaijan in the spheres of activity defined by relevant executive authority;
-Academic staff and lecturers invited to institutes of higher education for delivering lectures;
-Art workers, trainers and sportsmen invited to work in sport clubs registered at relevant executive authority;
-Persons engaging in professional religious activity in the officially registered religious institutions;
-Heads of branches and representations of foreign juridical persons in the Republic of Azerbaijan and their deputies;
-Persons married with the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan, provided that the citizen is registered on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan upon place of residence;
-Persons submitted application for obtaining refugee status, obtained refugee status or granted political asylum;
-Persons having in their custody citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan who are under the age of 18 or I group disabled persons.
-Persons involved in labour activity in cases defined by relevant executive authority.
Work permit is issued for 1 year or in case the labour contract is signed for the period of less than 1 year it is issued for that period. It should be noted that applications for a work permit are processed within 20 business days. Validity of the work permit can be extended each time for not more than 1 year. In order to extend validity of work permit employer should submit an application to the State Migration Service at least 30 days prior to its expiration. Work permit is presented to employer after the document certifying payment of the state fee for such permit is submitted.
A state fee in the amount defined by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan is paid by the employer for obtaining work permits for foreigners’ paid labour activity in our country and extension of their validity. After submitting document certifying payment of the state fee for issuance of this permit, the work permit is presented to the employer. Additional state fee is not required for new work permit if foreigner or stateless person is transferred to another job within the same employer. Migrant worker who is legally employed on the territory of Azerbaijan pays the taxes envisaged by the legislation.
Involvement of foreigners and stateless persons in paid labour activity on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is regulated by labour migration quota. In accordance with the “Rules on determination of quota for labour migration”, approved by the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers dated June 4, 2009, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection drafts the annual quota of an advisory nature. The Cabinet of Ministers approves this number. Quota is the last limit of the number of foreigners supposed to engage in paid labour activity on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan within a year. Last year, 12 thousand quotas were allocated for migrants.
Control over the rules on validity of work permit is carried out by the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan
-monitors observation of the requirements of Migration Code and the normative legal acts that regulate employment of foreigners and stateless persons as manpower;
-inquires information or reference from the employer and a foreigner or stateless person about issues arising during monitoring;
-revokes the work permit in the cases if there are grounds for revoking work permit;
-involves to liability foreigners and stateless persons employed without work permit, as well as employers who employed them without work permit in a way envisaged by the Law.
Employers are obliged to provide normal conditions necessary for conducting monitoring and to present required documents. Representatives of other state authorities can be involved in the supervisory monitoring conducted by the State Migration Service.
According to Article 340.1 of Administrative Offences Code, officials subject to a fine of three thousand to five thousand manats and juridical persons - from thirty thousand to thirty-five thousand manats in the cases of violation of the rules on employing foreigners and stateless persons, that is employment of a foreigner or a stateless person by an employer without work permit by violating the requirements of the legislation.
Conducting complex inspections against illegal migration have been continued during six months of the current year. Administrative violation was revealed in 103 entrepreneurial subjects out of 173, where inspections were carried out by the Service.
In order to cope properly with the tasks set by President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev over State Migration Service, the body mobilizes all its force and implements regular measures in this direction. Revealed administrative violations are investigated in accordance with the requirements of the legislation and relevant decisions were made. During the first half of 2014, 15 526 cases concerning infringement of requirements of administrative legislation by foreigners and stateless persons have been revealed. Residence of 1736 of them in the country was legalized, decisions were made on 11 756 foreigners to leave the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 48 hours in a way envisaged by the regulations of Administrative Offences Code and on 1943 foreigners to be removed in administrative order from the country.
Azerbaijan is a legal state. Identification of the persons intending to earn income via engaging in entrepreneurial activities, employing foreign labor force without work permit, prevention of such offenses arise from the principles of the legal state.