As it is known, information on the adoption of the decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on the establishment of an electronic visa information system of the Republic of Tajikistan was disseminated in the media in 2014. Our readers pay close attention to the implementation of this project.
In this regard, at the request of readers of NIAT «Khovar», we offer an interview with the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Ms. Rahmon Ozoda Emomali on the state of execution of orders and prospects of development of consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan.
Question: Dear Ms. Rahmon Ozoda Emomali, we are pleased that you took the time to interview with us. As you know, in order to simplify and liberalize consular services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan carries out an interesting initiative. What has been done recently by the Ministry in this direction?
Answer: I would first of all like to congratulate all of the readers of the web-site NIAT «Khovar» on the occasion of the Constitution Day of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Indeed, the initiatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on innovation in the public services are supported by society and government. The introduction of biometric passports with electronic chips in 2010 has been the first step towards the introduction of e-services. Then, in 2013, another initiative has been implemented, particularly the system of identification cards, replacing the internal passport of the citizen of the Republic of Tajikistan. These two steps have been proven their reliability, contribute to the production of travel documents in line with international requirements, as well as facilitate electronization of data on citizens.
Question: Could you also share your future plans?
Answer: To be honest, we have a lot of plans. As you know, the first brick on the foundation of the building of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was laid by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon on September 7. Construction of the building is intended to improve the quality of consular services. Funds for the construction of the building, which will be put into operation on the day of the 25th anniversary of the state independence of the country, are allocated out of the consular fees.
Now, the Ministry decided to implement a number of projects for the further development of electronization of public services, strengthening of national security through the creation of an integrated system of management of the state border, as well as to introduce a single control system for the issuance of visas for foreign citizens — a simplified system of obtaining visas through «electronic visas».
Question: Are these projects also linked to the border system?
Answer: It is a topical question. Terrorism and extremism that threaten national security of countries are greatly expanded over the recent years. The Republic of Tajikistan is also well aware of these threats. Implementation of successful projects for the application of «e-visa» and the electronic visa information system of the Republic of Tajikistan would be impossible without the creation of appropriate infrastructure in the border system of the country. Therefore, along with all embassies and consular office of the Republic of Tajikistan abroad being connected with the Ministry, all the checkpoints across the state border of the Republic of Tajikistan will likewise be connected to each other and become a single management system.
Moreover, all embassies and consular offices of the Republic abroad will be provided with a special visa program control and all checkpoints across the state border of the Republic of Tajikistan will be provided with a special program regulating entry and exit of citizens of the country and its guests. It should be noted that these facilities will be provided with fingerprint scanners, equipment for reading biometric passports, photo equipment, scanners for copying, etc.
Ultimately, the Ministry will have a unified control system of visas and border guards of the country — a unified system of border management.
Question: So, can we state that these projects are essential for strengthening the security of the country?
Answer: Certainly. Getting information about issuance of visa to a foreign citizen, in general, for their entry into and exit from the country requires time and massive efforts. As a result of these projects not only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Border Troops, but also security and migration bodies within the framework of their powers, will be able to fully control and get quick access to information.
Question: If I understand correctly, does it mean that the cases of artificial (bureaucratic) barriers shall be reduced?
Answer: Absolutely. In some extent, coordination and long working registration of documents and information between authorities shall be reduced. It should be noted that the Ministry in the process of its activities development shall provide these bodies with free management and electronization system.
Furthermore, it is expected that the «e-visa» project will give a serious impetus to the further development of electronization of public services.
Question: You referred to «electronic visa». How it looks like?
Answer: E-visa — a type of visas issued to foreign nationals and stateless persons electronically. A special program and website are developed for the issuance of e-visa.
Question: What are the advantages and the need to introduce electronic visa, what is the procedure for its issuance?
Answer: Imagine that at present only a few countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, Bahrain and others have the system of «electronic visa». Fortunately, Tajikistan will soon join the rows of these countries. Today's life is radically different from the past. XXI century is considered to be the era of information technology. In this age it is difficult to imagine one’s life without technology and information.
Another advantage of this project is related to the creation of favorable conditions and friendly environment for tourists, participants of conferences, symposia, seminars, and persons arriving in the Republic of Tajikistan to attend the business negotiations. The introduction of e-visas will create conditions for citizens traveling to the Republic of Tajikistan and those countries which consular offices are note represented in the Republic of Tajikistan. E-visa would also help to eliminate intermediaries and corruption factors in the process of obtaining the visa of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Question: Can «E-visa» be issued to all foreign nationals?
Answer: No. Electronic visa will be issued only to citizens of those countries in respect of which the Republic of Tajikistan established a simplified regime for the issuance of visas (for the time being number of such countries accounts 80). They can, without referring to any institution, at the place of their location, staying at home, through the Internet, by providing relevant information and payment of services receive e-visa to their emails. It is not necessary for a person to come to the Consul for the e-visa.
When crossing the state border of the Republic of Tajikistan, owner of the e-visa shows his passport and e-visa to border guards, following an inspection of relevant documents, before being permitted to cross the border.
Question: If request will be made in any desired location, if a person does not need to come to the Consul, how can he or she pay e-visa?
Answer: The payment for processing electronic visa will be carried out by means of international payment systems, including through the VISA and MasterCard.
Question: For how long an electronic visa will be issued?
Answer: E — visa is a single-time, its holder can stay on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan for not more than 45 days from the date of entry.
Question: If a person intends to stay in the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan for a period exceeding 45 days, will a person be refused to get e-visa?
Answer: Yes, absolutely right. Such a person will not be granted an electronic visa. Those coming to the Republic of Tajikistan on official, diplomatic, labor, investment, educational and private visit and the length of their stay exceeds 45 days, can get a visa of the Republic of Tajikistan in the usual manner in embassies and consular offices of the Republic of Tajikistan abroad and the Main Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I must say that the level of service of electronic information system will comply with the Schengen visa issuance system.
Question: In fact, interesting initiatives! When these plans are expected to be implemented?
Answer: Ministry on the basis of the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with the Agency for public procurement of goods, works and services under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan with a wide participation of companies announced an international tender. 8 foreign and domestic companies have participated in the first stage of the tender, and they are all, based on the Decision of the Tender Committee were admitted to the second stage of the tender. According to the results of the second phase of the tender, a French company has won the tender. In this regard, the Ministry together with the company-winner is committed to making efforts to implement these plans in the first half of 2016.
Thank you for the substantive interview and wish you every success in the implementation of your ambitious plans. Thank you, good luck!