The Benefits of Having an Armenian Passport
1. Valuable Travel Document
Armenian passport allows you to travel visa-free to dozens of countries, including places with traditionally limited access to Western citizens, such as Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan etc. The EU countries maintain a visa regime with Armenia but thanks to the Agreement on facilitation of the issuance of visas between the EU and Armenia it is substantially easier for Armenian citizens to obtain EU/Schengen visas. The United States offer 10-year B visas to Armenian citizens as well as E-2 business visas.
This list includes countries which Armenian passport holders can visit visa-free or for which Armenian citizens can get a visa on arrival or an e-visa.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cape Verde
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sri Lanka
2. Preferential Treatment in EEU Countries
Because of the free movement of labor in EEU countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia) citizens of Armenia are exempted from work permit requirements and can take advantage of equal treatment in areas of labor law, social protection, including medical treatment, taxation, various immigration issues, such as address registration etc.
3. More Freedom and Options
Having a second passport can help you avoid problems that may result from your country’s foreign policy and domestic regulations (for example, difficulties with banking). A second passport can be useful if you seek more privacy or if your first passport is expired, lost or confiscated. Also, you will need a second passport if you ever decide to renounce your current citizenship.
4. Dual Citizenship Allowed
Armenian government will not ask you to give up your current citizenship. Equally, once you have an Armenian passport you can acquire other passports and travel documents without the need to notify the Armenian government.
5. Citizenship Passes to Future Generations
Once you acquire Armenian citizenship your minor children can automatically get Armenian passports and your spouse becomes eligible to apply for citizenship. Under Armenian law a child born to an Armenian father or mother can easily acquire Armenian citizenship, irrespective of the place of birth or residence. In other words, your children and grandchildren will be able to get Armenian passports even if they never live in Armenia.
6. Fast, Easy and Inexpensive Naturalization
The process of acquiring an Armenian passport normally takes less than six months. If the petition for citizenship is filed in Armenia and the case is relatively straightforward the approval is likely to come in about four-five months. Once your petition is approved you can get your Armenian passport and national ID in a matter of days or weeks if you do not want to pay for fast-track service.
You will need to provide only the essential documents and the application form asks for basic biographic information. There is no need to provide police certificates, proof of address, tax returns etc. Please contact us to check what documents will be required in your specific case.
If you are Armenian by origin you qualify for citizenship even if you do not have any knowledge of Armenian language and have never been to Armenia.
Government fees are very low even if you use optional fast-track services. To have a better idea about the fees applicable to your particular case please fill out this form.
7. Land Ownership
As a citizen you can own agricultural, forest and other types of land in Armenia, a privilege that is generally not available to foreigners.
8. Government Assistance
Armenia has a number of government-sponsored programs for its citizens, including government-financed education and medical treatment, welfare benefits for old, disabled and other classes of socially vulnerable people.
9. Life in Armenia
Armenia is generally considered to be very safe and has one of the lowest crime rates. If the economic or political situation is your country gets worse you can use your Armenian passport to temporarily or permanently move to Armenia with your family.
An Armenian passport will also allow you to participate in the political life of Armenia, to elect and to be elected.
10. Easy Renunciation
If you ever decide to give up your Armenian citizenship it is easy to do so. The government will not create any obstacles as long as you do not have any outstanding debts and obligation towards it.
How to Get an Armenian Passport
Citizenship by Residency
This citizenship program is for those foreigners who are ready to acquire a temporary, permanent or special residence permit in Armenia and hold it for three years. The law literally requires the petitioner to reside permanently in Armenia. However, because permanent residence is not defined by the law in practice the three year requirement applies to holding a valid residence permit. Therefore, in practice the petitioner is not required to spend a certain number of days in Armenia to become eligible for citizenship.
After three years of maintaining your resident status you may apply for Armenian citizenship, provided that you pass a test on the knowledge of Armenian Constitution. It is an easy multiple-choice test with 30 questions, and you need to answer correctly to only 16 of them to pass the test. However, the test is in Armenian and you may need to spend some time to gain basic knowledge of Armenian language before you attempt to pass the test.
Citizenship by Marriage to an Armenian Citizen
A spouse of an Armenian citizen is eligible to apply for Armenian citizenship. There are no residency requirements or waiting periods and technically the citizenship petition can be filed the same day the marriage is registered. The marriage can be registered in Armenia or abroad.
The spouse will still have to pass the test on the knowledge of the Armenian Constitution, however, he/she is exempted from the language requirements and, therefore, the test can be taken in a foreign language. If you speak English a licensed translator will be present to translate the questions for you.
Citizenship by Armenian Origin
This program is for those foreigners who are of Armenian descent or origin. The Armenian origin is normally proved by demonstrating a government- or church-issued document showing the ethnicity of the applicant. A baptism certificate of the petitioner or his parent (grand-parent) is a common way to establish Armenian origin. There are no language or residency requirements for ethnic Armenians.
Notice for Ethnic Armenians
In December of 2015 Armenians voted for a new Constitution which, among other things, set new rules for ethnic Armenians to qualify for citizenship. In particular, article 47 of the new Constitution now states that ethnic Armenians can acquire citizenship only after moving their residence to Armenia. This new restriction will radically reduce the number of ethnic Armenians who can qualify for citizenship as the absolute majority of them does not reside in Armenia. The new restrictions will be implemented after the Law on Citizenship is brought in line with the new Constitution. No draft amendments have been made public so far but if you consider applying for citizenship it is wise to do so without delay.
Citizenship by Investment
A citizenship by investment program is currently being designed by the Armenian government but no draft legislation has been made public yet.
In certain cases substantial donations or investments can be considered as “exceptional services” to Armenia for which the President may grant citizenship without any other requirements. Please contact us for more information.
Timeline, Military Duty and Other Considerations
Your spouse can apply for Armenian citizenship immediately after you are granted citizenship.
Your minor children will be granted citizenship immediately upon your request provided that your spouse gives his/her approval. Adult children generally have to go through the same procedure of naturalization.
All male citizens aged 16 to 50 are required to register with the military office. Males aged 18 to 26 are generally subject to a 2-year military service, unless they are exempted because of health or certain other issues. If you fall within this age category you may be issued a notice requesting that you appear before the military office to start your service. Ignoring this notice may result in criminal prosecution. Therefore, you may want to postpone obtaining your passport until you reach the age of 27. Those who are 27 and above are not subject to military service in times of peace but may be mobilized if a situation of war is declared. This has never happened in the past. Even if such situation is declared in the future it is highly unlikely that naturalized citizens with no military experience will be called to serve.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of registering with a military office, you can apply for and obtain a special passport, which is not a citizenship document and does not create any obligations related to military service but will grant you many of the benefits of citizenship, including land ownership.
Armenia does not apply citizenship-based taxation. Your residency in Armenia may affect your taxes if you stay in Armenia for more than 183 days in a year. However, your citizenship generally has no effect on taxes.
Timeline & Travel
Normally you will need to travel to Armenia twice. The first visit will take a couple of days and will be necessary to submit the application in person. The second visit will happen after your citizenship decree is granted (within 4-6 months after the application). The second visit is necessary to register with the military office (for male applicants), take an oath and collect your passport and ID card. For your second visit it is recommended to plan to stay in Armenia for at least one week.
Instead of traveling to Armenia you may apply for citizenship through an Armenian embassy abroad. However, this will slow down the process. In any case, you will be required to travel to Armenia to apply for and collect your passport for the first time (there are temporary exceptions for citizens of Lebanon and Syria who can obtain their passport through the embassies in these countries).
|Fee (Drams)||Fee (US Dollars)|
|Fast Issuing of Passport or ID Card - One Business Day||20,0000||42|
|Fast Issuing of Passport or ID Card - Three Business Days||10,000||21|
|Fast Issuing of Passport or ID Card - Five Business Days||5,000||10|
If there is no primary evidence, such as old government- or church-issued documents showing the Armenian origin, you may use secondary evidence, for example, statements by local Armenian community organizations or churches. Please contact us to discuss the particularities of your case.
Yes, before you file the citizenship application you will have to take a test on the knowledge of Armenian constitution. However, you are exempt from Armenian language requirements and, therefore, you can take the test in English or another language.
You can apply for citizenship immediately after your marriage is registered. If your marriage was registered in a foreign country the marriage certificate will have to be legalized (Apostille or consular legalization) and translated into Armenian language.
Please note that police and national security officers may check if you actually live with your spouse or if the marriage is merely a sham.
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