Armenian Citizenship and Passport
Seeking guidance from competent local lawyers can greatly assist you in successfully navigating the naturalization process while avoiding potential obstacles. Their legal expertise can prove invaluable in reviewing, obtaining, certifying, and translating documents, as well as communicating with government agencies and monitoring your case. A lawyer can help you to obtain a passport, national ID card, and complete necessary registrations with the police and military office. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Overview of Armenian Citizenship
Legal Grounds for Citizenship Application in Armenia
Examine the legal grounds for Armenian citizenship including citizenship by descent, marriage, residency and more.
Step-by-Step Process, Timeline, Documents
Investigate the procedural aspects of applying for citizenship, encompassing considerations such as required documents, timelines and fees.
Explore procedures for a driver's license, banking systems, health insurance and more in our dedicated section.
Visa & Residency
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Legal Grounds for Citizenship Application in Armenia
Knowledge of Armenian Language
Knowledge of Armenian Constitution
Having an Armenian spouse
365 days over the last 2 years
Having an Armenian child
The Citizenship Law of Armenia allows for dual citizenship, and obtaining an Armenian passport can provide a number of benefits such as having a valuable travel document and enjoying preferential treatment in Russia and other EAEU countries. This can also serve as a "insurance policy" in case of worsening economic or political situations in one's home country, as well as providing opportunities for owning land in Armenia and government assistance such as education and medical treatment. The process of acquiring an Armenian passport is fast and easy, and children of Armenian citizens can also acquire citizenship regardless of their place of birth or residence.
- Dual Citizenship Permitted. Armenia has expressly allowed dual citizenship for its citizens, meaning that it is possible to hold more than one passport at the same time.
- Valuable Travel Document. As of 2023, the Armenian passport ranks 80th according to Henley & Partners Passport Index, and allows visa-free travel to 65 countries, including places with limited access to nationals of Western countries, such as Russia, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, and others. The EU/Schengen countries still have a visa regime with Armenia, but visa-free travel may become possible in a few years. The United States offers 10-year B visas to Armenian citizens as well as E-2 business visas.
- Increased Freedom and Opportunities. Holding a second passport can provide you with more freedom and opportunities, and can serve as a valuable "insurance policy." Armenia is known for its safety and low crime rates. If the economic or political situation in your home country deteriorates, having an Armenian passport can allow you and your family to temporarily or permanently move to Armenia. Additionally, a second passport can help you avoid problems arising from your country's foreign policies and domestic regulations, such as banking difficulties or increased tax burdens. It can also be useful for privacy or in situations where your first passport is expired, lost, or confiscated. Lastly, a second passport is necessary if you ever decide to renounce your current citizenship.
- Citizenship Transfers to Future Generations. After acquiring Armenian citizenship, your minor children can automatically receive Armenian passports, and your spouse may become eligible to apply for citizenship. According to Armenian law, a child born to an Armenian father or mother can easily acquire Armenian citizenship, regardless of their place of birth or residence. In other words, your children and grandchildren will be eligible to obtain Armenian passports even if they do not live in Armenia.
- Preferential Treatment in EAEU Countries. Because of the free movement of labor in EAEU countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia), citizens of Armenia are exempt from work permit requirements and can take advantage of preferential treatment in areas of labor law, social protection, medical treatment, taxation, immigration, and more.
- Quick, Simple, and Inexpensive Naturalization Process. The process of acquiring an Armenian passport typically takes about four months. Once your application is approved, you can receive your Armenian passport and national ID in a matter of days. Minimal documents are required, and police certificates, proof of address, and tax returns are not necessary. Government fees are also low, even when using optional fast-track services.
- Land Ownership. As an Armenian citizen, you have the privilege of owning agricultural, forest, and other types of land in Armenia, which is generally not available to foreigners.
- Government Support. Armenia offers a range of social programs for its citizens, including government-financed education and medical treatment, welfare benefits for the elderly, disabled, and other classes of socially vulnerable people.
- Tax Benefits. Obtaining an Armenian passport and establishing stronger ties with Armenia could qualify you for non-resident status in your home country or other countries and provide access to tax benefits available to non-residents. You can obtain documents such as a proof of registered address in Armenia, social security number, taxpayer identification number, and tax residency certificate, among others.
- Easy Renunciation. If you ever decide to give up your Armenian citizenship, it is easy to do so as long as you have no outstanding debts or obligations to the government.
While ethnic Armenians are exempt from meeting language or residency requirements for Armenian citizenship, certain formal requirements must be met to establish Armenian origin. An Armenian name or fluency in the language is insufficient. You must produce a document proving that you, your parent, or grandparent are of Armenian ethnicity. The most common way to do this is by presenting a baptism certificate from a church organization that confirms Armenian ethnicity. In some countries, government-issued documents such as birth certificates or family records may also indicate Armenian ethnicity. A list of accepted churches whose baptism certificates are recognized by the government is available in Annex 4 to Government Decree No. 1390/2007 (in Armenian). If it is uncertain whether your church is on the approved list of church organizations, you may need to obtain a confirmation letter from one of the following authorities: the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Holy See of Cilicia, Armenian Evangelical Church, or Armenian Catholic Church.
In line with recent changes to the citizenship law, dioceses in Armenia have been added to the list of authorized dioceses that can issue baptism certificates for citizenship-by-descent applications. As a result, churches within Armenia now have the authority to issue such certificates, which can also include a notation indicating the applicant's Armenian ethnicity.
While the Armenian law does not provide a complete list of documents to prove Armenian origin, it is crucial that the document is legalized by the Armenian embassy/consulate in the issuing country. For example, if a baptism certificate is used to establish Armenian origin it needs to be certified by the Armenian embassy before applying for citizenship. A certified copy of your birth certificate in Armenian will also be required.
According to article 47 of the 2015 Constitution, ethnic Armenians can obtain citizenship upon moving to Armenia. Suggested amendments to the Citizenship Law were recently published by the National Security Service (NSS) that may make it more difficult for ethnic Armenians to apply for citizenship. The NSS recommends restricting eligibility to those with a residence permit, but it is uncertain if/when these changes will be approved. To take advantage of current, more liberal regulations, it is advisable to proceed with the petition promptly.
Spouses of Armenian citizens may apply for citizenship if they meet two criteria: the marriage must be registered for at least two years and they must have resided in Armenia for 365 days during that period. In practice, the application will be accepted if the spouse has maintained an Armenian residence permit during this time, regardless of the actual days spent in Armenia.
If you have a minor or adult child who is an Armenian national, you are eligible to apply for citizenship regardless of your marital status. This is considered a separate legal basis for citizenship application. It should be noted that in certain cases, the Passport Office may require a marriage certificate to establish paternity.
Before submitting your application, you must pass a multiple-choice test on the knowledge of the Armenian Constitution. The test has 33 questions, and you only need to answer 17 correctly to pass. You may be accompanied by a licensed translator to assist in translating the questions if you do not know Armenian.
Please be aware that fulfilling the aforementioned requirements does not ensure the approval of your citizenship application.
If you have been living in Armenia permanently for the past three years, you are eligible to apply for Armenian citizenship. However, the term "permanent resident" is not clearly defined by the Citizenship Law. In practice, the police will accept and process a citizenship application if the applicant has maintained an Armenian resdence permit (temporary, permanent, or special) during the three-year period.
In addition to the residency requirement, you will need to pass a test on your knowledge of the Armenian Constitution. This is a multiple-choice test with 33 questions, and you only need to answer 17 of them correctly to pass. The test is administered in Armenian, and you will be asked to fill out a biographic form in Armenian as well. This means that you may need to spend some time (perhaps a couple of months) learning basic Armenian.
It is important to note that meeting the above requirements does not guarantee that your citizenship application will be approved. If your application is rejected, you can reapply after one year. Additionally, if your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision in court. However, administrative court proceedings are likely to take up to one year or even longer.
Investing, setting up a business, working, or studying in Armenia may grant you lawful residency. For more information, check the residency page.
For more information, please check this page on citizenship by residency.
Citizenship by exception can be granted in 2-3 months to those who provide exceptional services, including substantial donations or investments. The Prime Minister's office can directly present candidates to the President, and each case is evaluated on individual merits. Factors that may influence the decision include investment size, charitable contributions, job creation, tax payment, nationality, and ties to the country.
If you were a permanent resident of Armenia as of July 13, 1995, and a citizen of the former Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic without any other citizenship, you are automatically recognized as an Armenian citizen.
If you do not have any other citizenship, you can apply to be recognized as an Armenian citizen. You can apply if you are an ethnic Armenian and a former citizen of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic who does not reside in Armenia, or if you reside in Armenia and were a citizen of the former U.S.S.R. or an ethnic Armenian.
If you are unsure about whether you are recognized as an Armenian citizen, you can send a written inquiry to the Passport Office. They will typically confirm your status in writing within a few weeks. You may also authorize your lawyer or representative to send this inquiry on your behalf.
Before Armenia legalized dual citizenship in 2005, many ethnic Armenians obtained special passports to avoid renouncing their existing citizenship. Even today, some foreigners prefer to apply for special residency instead of becoming full citizens, often due to concerns about military service.
The special residence permit is valid for 10 years and can be extended indefinitely, and allows the holder to live, work, study, and engage in any other lawful activity in Armenia without additional paperwork. One notable advantage of the special passport is that its holder can own agricultural and other land directly in his/her own name, without the need to establish a legal entity. The special residence permit looks different from temporary/permanent residence permits as it is issued in the form a passport, not a card. Special passports are typically issued to ethnic Armenians, but in some exceptional cases, non-Armenians engaged in economic or cultural activities in Armenia may also be eligible. Children under 16 can also get special passports. The time required to obtain a special passport is around 60-90 days. Unlike applying for citizenship, you can apply for a special passport through a representative by granting them a power of attorney.
Individuals of Armenian descent/origin can also qualify for temporary and permanent residence permits. Some ethnic Armenians may prefer a residence permit over citizenship, particularly if it is difficult to produce a legalized birth certificate. Additionally, obtaining a residence permit rather than citizenship can help individuals avoid registering with the military office or avoid having to renounce their current citizenship, particularly if their country of origin does not allow dual citizenship.
If you are an Armenian citizen, you can request immediate citizenship for your minor children. However, if you do not live in Armenia, the consent of the child's other parent may be required, and if the child is 14 years old or older, his/her consent is also necessary. Passports for children can be issued without your presence if you provide a power of attorney to your lawyer or other representative in Armenia. Starting in 2018, it became possible for an ethnic Armenian child to obtain Armenian citizenship even if neither parent is an Armenian citizen.
Adult sons and daughters generally have to go through a separate naturalization process and meet the requirements outlined in the Armenian Citizenship Law.
If your are a spouse or a parent of an Armenian citizen, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship if you meet the criteria specified above under "Citizenship for Spouses and Parents".
Once you are granted Armenian citizenship, your spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren can apply for a temporary residence permit which is valid for one year. After three years of residence in Armenia, a permanent residence permit, which is valid for five years, may also be available. In exceptional cases, a special residence status, valid for ten years, may be granted (see above under "Special Passport and Other Residence Permits").
Step-by-Step Process, Timeline, Documents
The steps, timeline and documents will depend on the nature and legal basis of your application. By way of illustration, if you are considering obtaining an Armenian residence permit as an investor, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1 - Prepare Documents. This step involves obtaining the necessary documents, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, proof of Armenian ethnicity or other relevant documents. These documents may require additional certification such as consular legalization or Apostille. It is also necessary to provide biographical information to complete the required application forms.
Step 2 - Book an Appointment. Currently, the Immigration Office mandates that all appointments be scheduled in advance using an online booking system (https://e-request.am/en). The waiting periods for these appointments may range from a few weeks to a few months.
Step 3 - Visit Armenia. For applicants who choose to file their citizenship applications at an Armenian embassy or consular office abroad, the process may take longer as the required documents will have to be sent to Armenia and returned. If you choose to file your application in person at the Passport Office in Armenia, the duration of your stay will depend on your individual circumstances. Typically, a 2-3 day stay in Armenia should be sufficient for the translation of documents and the filing of the application. It is advisable to check the visa requirements for your country and whether an invitation letter is needed before filing your application.
Step 4 - Submit the Citizenship Application. It is required to submit the application in person at the Passport Office. It is recommended to have a lawyer accompany you to ensure a smooth process. Supporting documents must also be submitted at this stage, and it is important to note that if you are applying based on residency or marriage to an Armenian citizen, you will be required to take a test on knowledge of the Armenian Constitution.
Step 5 - Track the Application Status. Once an application for citizenship is submitted, it will usually take up to 90 business days for processing. The application will be evaluated by both the Police and the National Security Service. If these agencies issue a negative opinion, the case will be referred to the Citizenship Committee for further review, which could extend the process to 6 months. If there are any questions or concerns about the documents submitted, the security officers may contact the applicant or their lawyer to request additional information or documents. Once a decision is made, the Passport Office will notify the applicant or lawyer, and it is also possible to check the status of the application online at http://184.108.40.206/.
Step 6. Visit the Passport Office. Once your citizenship is granted, you will need to visit Armenia again to apply for and receive your passport and national ID card. This process usually takes 3-8 business days, depending on whether you need to register with the military office and whether you are willing to pay additional fees for expedited services. However, since June 25, 2022, the law now allows first-time applicants to obtain their passports at Armenian embassies/consulates abroad. If you have an obligation to register with the Military Office, it may be more convenient to apply for your passport at an Armenian embassy or consulate.
Step 7. Register with Military Office. If you are a male under the age of 55, it is likely that you will have to register with the military office in Armenia. If you have served in the military of another country, it is recommended that you bring a legalized document (consular legalization or Apostille) confirming this. The military registration process in Armenia usually takes 3-5 days. It may be a good idea to apply for your passport and undergo the military registration process at an Armenian embassy or consulate, even though this will make the process longer.
Step 8. Apply for a Passport and an ID card. Currently, when applying for an Armenian passport, you have the option to choose between a regular passport or a biometric one. The process of obtaining a regular passport may take up to three weeks, unless you opt for a fast-track service which will allow you to receive your passport or ID card on the next business day, or in three to five business days. During this stage, you will also have to register your address, and if you want to register a local Armenian address, you may need to provide proof of residence (such as a lease agreement or owner's consent). It is important to note that the issuance of biometric passports is currently suspended until 2024.
Step 9. Take the Oath and Collect the Passport. The applicant will be given a specific date and time (usually at 4 PM) to appear at the Passport Office to collect their passport and ID card. Before receiving the documents, the applicant will be required to sign an oath of allegiance to Armenia.
Remember to account for legal fees and other expenses, such as government fees, mailing, translation, and notarization. For additional information, do not hesitate to contact us.
In addition to the government fees outlined below, it is important to keep in mind that there may be additional expenses associated with the citizenship application process. These can include legal fees, translation and notarization fees, and other costs specific to your case. We recommend contacting us for an estimate of your overall budget.
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Once your citizenship is granted and the President of the Republic signs your citizenship decree, you may apply for an Armenian passport and an identification card. You have the option of choosing between a regular passport or a biometric passport (the issuance of biometric passports is currently suspended until 2024). If you initially apply for a regular passport, you can later apply for and obtain a biometric passport and have both passports valid. However, please note that the biometric passport shows your "place of residence," so if you prefer not to have this information on your passport, it is better to choose the regular passport.
You can also obtain an identification document (ID card), which is issued as a plastic card and displays your social security number (public services number).
Applicants are typically notified of the rejection by text message, which does not provide the specific reasons for the rejection. The government has the authority to reject a citizenship application without providing any reasons, according to the law. The National Security Service is responsible for making decisions on applications, and they may reject an application if they believe it could endanger national security, public order or health, or the rights and liberties of others, as stated in Article 13 of the Citizenship Law. However, this agency is highly secretive and does not report to the Passport Office, so it is not possible to know the specific reasons behind a rejection without going to court.
If your application is rejected, you have two months to appeal the decision in court, but you will need to obtain a copy of the rejection decision from the Passport Office before filing the appeal.
If your application for citizenship is rejected, you may reapply after one year.
It is important to note that military service is mandatory in Armenia for male citizens between the ages of 18 and 27, with a service period of two years. Conscripts are drafted twice a year, in January and July. If you do not wish to serve in the military, it is advisable to wait until after you turn 27 to apply for Armenian citizenship.
Additionally, it is important to understand that acquiring Armenian citizenship does not automatically confer citizenship on minor children. If the other parent of a minor child is not also an Armenian citizen, the child will not become an Armenian citizen upon the parent's acquisition of citizenship. Similarly, a child born after the parent's acquisition of Armenian citizenship will not automatically become an Armenian citizen unless the other parent is also an Armenian citizen.
Individuals between the ages of 27 and 55 who become Armenian citizens are registered in the military reserve and may be summoned for service if mobilization is declared, such as during times of war. However, it is highly unlikely that naturalized citizens who have never served in the Armenian military will be called to duty. Military registration, if required, can take an additional 4-5 business days and may include a medical examination consisting of blood and urine tests, ultrasound, electrocardiography, and a physical examination.
Male citizens under the age of 55 may be required to participate in military training sessions, which usually last up to three weeks. There have been instances where citizens newly registered with the Military Office were asked to report for military training. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you check with the Military Office to confirm their current practices before traveling to Armenia to complete the military registration and collect your passport. If you are a male applicant under the age of 55, it may be wise to complete the military registration at the Armenian embassy/consulate abroad. Please be aware that the Military Office is capable of delivering notifications to Armenian citizens who are residing abroad through the use of Armenian embassies and consulates.
Military service evasion is a criminal offense and may result in imprisonment for up to three years. A criminal case can be initiated against individuals who were registered with the military office and were served a notice but failed to report to start their service. In certain circumstances, exemptions from military service are available, such as for individuals with serious health issues or for humanitarian reasons. Dual citizens may also be exempted from military service if they have served in the military of another country for at least 12 months (18 months for alternative service).
If you require further information regarding military service obligations, please do not hesitate to contact us. Additionally, if you are worried about fulfilling military service requirements, you may wish to consider applying for a special passport (special residency status).
Acquiring Armenian nationality should not have any negative tax consequences, as Armenia's tax system is not based on citizenship. However, if you are a foreign employee or private entrepreneur working in Armenia, obtaining Armenian citizenship may trigger obligations to make social and military contributions.
It is important to note that acquiring Armenian citizenship does not automatically make you a "tax resident." Tax residency is regulated by tax laws, not immigration laws. Becoming a tax resident of Armenia usually requires spending more than 183 days in the country within a year. This means that it is possible to be an Armenian citizen without becoming a tax resident, and vice versa.
Armenia generally does not impose taxes on capital gains from the sale of securities, real estate, or other assets, regardless of where these gains are generated. Certain types of income, such as insurance and pension payments, are also exempt from taxes. Additionally, there are no taxes on gifts, inheritance, or net worth. Dividends and interest income are generally taxed at a rate of 5% and 10% respectively in Armenia.
Tax residents are not generally exempt from paying taxes on income generated outside Armenia. In some cases, exemptions may be available under international agreements for avoiding double taxation, which Armenia has with around 50 countries.
You may also be able to obtain documents such as proof of registered address in Armenia, a social security number, a taxpayer identification number, or a tax residency certificate.
All Armenian citizens are required to have a registered address. Registered addresses are typically used for delivering official notices.
If a foreign address was provided in your citizenship application, it will automatically be registered as your official address. If you want to register a local address (for example, to have your passport or ID card show "Armenia" as your country of residence), you will need to provide proof that you reside in Armenia. This can include a certificate of ownership or lease for a residential property, or the owner's consent to the registration. If these documents are not available, you may request that the local police verify your residence (which can take up to two weeks).
If you are a male under 55 years of age, registering a different address may require you to register with a different military office located in the new area of your residence.
Consular registration is required if you become a resident of a foreign country, which typically occurs if you stay there for more than 183 days.
Armenia presents a diverse range of investment opportunities characterized by advantageous conditions for both domestic and international investors. Whether the focus is on real estate or financial markets, the nation boasts a streamlined and investor-friendly process, fostering increased capital inflow. The conducive investment environment reflects Armenia's commitment to facilitating and attracting diverse investments, positioning the country as an appealing destination for global investors.
The real estate market in Yerevan has experienced rapid appreciation in recent years, with the average price of one square meter in central Yerevan rising from $885 in December 2016 to $1,651 in May 2022, an increase of 87% in less than six years. This growth can be attributed to the growing economy, increased tourism, and demand for new housing among locals, as well as subsidized mortgage loans and the appreciation of the local currency in 2022.
The process of purchasing a property in Armenia is efficient and quick, with the country ranking 13th out of 190 countries on the World Bank's "Registering Property" index. It is even possible to buy properties remotely without visiting the country.
Armenia does not have gift or estate taxes, and capital gains on the sale of real property by an individual are generally not taxed. Property tax rates range from 0% to 1% of the cadastral value, which is normally significantly lower than the market value. Stamp duties are not applicable, and only small official fees are paid, which do not depend on the value of the property. Rental income up to 60 million Armenian drams (approximately $155,000) per year is taxed at 10%, and rental income exceeding that amount is taxed at 20%.
Foreigners can own 100% of real estate in Armenia, and they have the same rights as locals to acquire, hold, lease, sell, bequeath, and otherwise dispose of their property. There is no need for foreigners to have a residence permit or any other links to Armenia. Overall, the real estate market in Armenia offers great opportunities for foreign investors seeking to diversify their portfolio and take advantage of a growing economy.
You might want to consider buying off-plan property from real estate developers and see non-taxable capital gains of 20-30% after the construction is completed. There are many construction projects to choose from, and you can find more information on websites such as ArmEconomBank, ACBA Bank, Inecobank, Ameriabank, Red Invest Group, and Construction.am.
Lands in Armenia are classified according to their designated usage (zoning), including agricultural, residential, industrial, energy, forest, and more. Foreigners can directly own household and gardening plots, lands designated for construction and maintenance of a homestead, and residential and commercial development lands. Other types of land, such as agricultural land, can be owned through a legal entity. Special residence permit holders can own all types of land. There are some restrictions on building on agricultural land, although small buildings up to 30 sq. m. are allowed. In most rural communities, structures of up to 300 sq. m. can be built on land exceeding 10,000 sq. m. It may also be possible to change the zoning of land with the help of the local municipality.
If you are interested in agricultural investments, you might consider fruit farming or wine growing, which are one of the oldest economic sectors in Armenia, with over 60,000 active entities in this industry. The most popular forms of cultivation are grape, apricot, and peach. Between 1998 and 2016, the territory of orchards doubled, and the yield increased by 14.5% between 2008 and 2017 due to implementation of innovative technologies. You may choose to buy an existing farm or set up a new one, and you may be eligible for a government subsidy. Two types of subsidies are available: compensation of up to 50% of costs incurred in setting up a vineyard (orchard) or a low-interest rate loan (2%) for a maximum amount of $2.9 million for vineyards, $5 million for orchards, and $4.7 million for berry farms.
You may qualify for residency in Armenia by purchasing an existing business or a share in one. However, such transactions can be more complicated due to the necessary due diligence checks and appraisal matters. If you are interested in investing in small and medium-sized businesses, you can find offers on the Invest in Armenia website: https://investin.am/investment-projects/. The Armenian stock exchange also lists a few large companies: https://amx.am/en/instruments/shares.
Although few companies are listed on the Armenian stock exchange, many issue corporate bonds with relatively high yields (in excess of 11% in local currency and 6% in USD). The Armenian government also issues both short-term and long-term bonds, typically with annual interest rates above 10%. You can find more information on the stock exchange website and at moneymarket.am.
Interest paid on bank deposits in Armenia is relatively high, with annual rates up to 10% for local currency deposits and 5% for USD deposits. Deposits can also be made in euros and Russian Rubles, and information on current deposit interest rates is available at moneymarket.am. Although the Armenian dram has appreciated against the USD by around 20% in 2022, exchange rates have been mostly stable over the last few decades. Banks typically withhold a 10% tax on interest payments. You can also find information on current prices of gold bars (ranging from 1 gram to 1,000 grams) at moneymarket.am. Most banks offer safety box services, allowing you to purchase gold bars and keep them in a secure location.
All banks in Armenia are licensed and closely regulated by the Central Bank of Armenia. A deposit insurance system is also in place, covering deposits up to AMD 16 million (around $41,000) for local currency deposits and AMD 7 million (around $18,000) for foreign currency deposits. However, the system has never been used as there have been no bank runs in recent history.
Setting up an LLC in Armenia is a quick and uncomplicated process, which can be completed entirely remotely. There are no limitations on foreign ownership or management of companies, no minimum investment requirements, and no renewal fees to worry about. Shareholders are afforded limited liability and can utilize the LLC structure for purposes of asset protection or tax optimization. Armenia also boasts favorable tax regulations for small businesses, with many being completely exempt from taxes. Furthermore, IT companies can benefit from special tax incentives.
Benefits: Registering an LLC in Armenia has several advantages, including:
Fast registration process (typically within a couple of days)
Shareholders enjoy limited liability
Minimal documentation requirements (only passports are needed)
No restrictions on foreign ownership or directorship
No minimum capital requirements
No need to engage local partners, agents, managers, secretaries, etc.
Permanent existence with no renewal fees
Bank accounts available in various currencies
No restrictions on repatriation of profits and capital
For more information, please see the page on incorporation.
Taxation: Armenia offers favorable tax rates for small businesses. Many types of businesses with annual sales below AMD 24 million (equivalent to around $62,000 as of March 2023) are exempt from income tax. Other businesses with annual sales below AMD 115 million (around $297,000) are also exempt from income tax but are subject to a sales tax (turnover tax) of 5% or less. Newly registered IT companies and firms operating in free economic zones, industrial zones, and certain border towns and villages are also eligible for tax exemptions.
An LLC registered in Armenia is considered a tax resident of Armenia and is taxed on its worldwide income. Tax rates are generally the same regardless of whether income comes from Armenia or another country.
Asset Protection: An Armenian LLC can be used as a holding company for assets. Setting up a tax-exempt "microbusiness" LLC can be advantageous for receiving passive income, such as dividends, of up to AMD 24 million (around $62,000) annually. Additionally, income from the sale of financial assets is not subject to taxation, regardless of the amount. However, it is important to avoid being classified as an "investment company," which requires licensing.
While it is possible to use an LLC to own real estate in Armenia or other countries, Armenian tax laws generally make it more beneficial to own such property as an individual to avoid capital gains tax on sales between individuals.
Armenian law does not recognize trusts, so assets are typically held through an LLC or other corporate structures such as a joint-stock company, foundation, or consumer cooperative. Nominee and corporate shareholders and directors are allowed, but companies must file annual statements disclosing the ultimate beneficial owners (UBO).
Armenia has a well-established banking system, with 18 privately owned banks regulated by the Central Bank. Among them, HSBC is an international bank, while many local banks have foreign capital from countries such as Russia (VTB), France (ACBA), Lebanon (Byblos, ID), Argentina (Converse), Iran (Mellat), and others. Armenian banks offer modern banking services, including online and mobile banking, debit and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx), accounts in various currencies (USD, EUR, CHF, GBP, CAD, AED, RUR, JPY), gold metal accounts, wealth management, private banking, and safety deposit boxes. They also have low charges, strong privacy, and high-quality customer service.
In Armenia, individuals are not required by law to have health insurance. However, all six licensed insurance companies offer health insurance, with annual rates usually ranging between $300 to $600 per person. These companies are SIL Insurance, Liga Insurance, Nairi Insurance, Ingo Armenia, Reso, and Armenia Insurance.
Obtaining an Armenian driving license is a two-step process that involves taking a computer-based driving theory test and a practical driving test. The theory test questions are available in Armenian, Russian, English, Arabic, and Farsi. There are a total of 1,116 questions, and the test consists of 20 questions with only two incorrect answers allowed. To register for the test, you can visit the website roadpolice.am and wait for notification about the time and place of the test. If you pass the theory test, you will be allowed to take the driving test immediately. In addition, it is possible to exchange your foreign driving license for an Armenian one if your license is issued by a country that is party to the 1968 Vienna Convention.
Foreigners can get married in Armenia without any requirement to live or have ties to the country. The registration process is typically quick and can be completed in as little as two business days. However, both individuals need to provide a "non-marriage" certificate from their country of permanent residence to confirm their marital status. If a non-marriage certificate cannot be obtained, an affidavit may be used instead. These documents must be legalized, either by Apostille or consular legalization, and translated into Armenian before they can be submitted to the Armenian Ministry of Justice. Remote registration with a power of attorney may also be possible.
What Clients Say
Their meticulous attention to detail, unwavering dedication, and commitment to ensuring their clients' needs are met are truly admirable. I strongly recommend Vardanyan & Partners for their exceptional legal services.
As an American living in Armenia, I definitely need legal representation to help guide me through the many rules and regulations here, and I am happy that Vardanyan & Partners has been able to do just that.
The team of Vardanyan & Partners led us through the whole process seamlessly by navigating the bureaucracy end to end. Extremely professional yet personal and friendly service.
Overall, I felt it could not have been any better. Everything was taken care of so smoothly, effortlessly, and managed very
It is always daunting when dealing with immigration, visas in a foreign country. The team at Vardanyan & Partners made the process for registering the business and applying for residency so much easier. I had no worries at all. The team overall really went out of their way to accommodate and assist us.
The team members were all professional, knowledgeable and most importantly, honest. They are hard-working and patient and were always responsive to my messages and questions. What I like most is, they are very well organized and have a modern system of work.
Why Choose Us
Decade of Excellence
Over 10 years of specialized experience in immigration and business setup.
Our team of locally licensed, English-speaking attorneys specializes in immigration, incorporation, and compliance matters, providing bespoke legal strategies for each client.
Fast & Fluent Communication
We prioritize your concerns with a 24-hour response policy and communicate effectively in both English and Russian.
At Vardanyan & Partners, client care is paramount. Our emphasis on honesty and transparency ensures that you are always informed and confident in your legal journey.
Benefit from our secure online payment system without the worry of hidden charges.
Reputable & Reliable
Established in 2012, Vardanyan & Partners has built a reputation for excellence and reliability. With our team, you are not just hiring attorneys; you are partnering with insured legal experts committed to your success.
What Makes Armenia a Good Choice for Residency
No Stay or Visit
Maintaining residency in Armenia does not require physical presence; remote application is possible.
Fast and Easy
The residency application usually takes about 80 days and only a valid passport is required.
Residents can sponsor extended family for residency (parents, siblings, grandchildren, etc.)
After living in Armenia for three years, citizenship can be obtained. Dual citizenship is allowed.
LL.M., Georgetown University
Licensed Attorney, Armenia: License no. 903
Licensed Attorney, New York: License no. 5148945
Our firm's reputation rests on more than just legal expertise. We pride ourselves on the values of honesty, transparency, and an unwavering commitment to client care. We recognize the unique opportunities and challenges Armenia presents, and we are here to guide you through them.
For inquiries or to schedule a consultation, you may contact us at [email protected] or +374.99.00.11.67. I look forward to collaborating with you on your journey in Armenia.
Where to find us
Nestled in the heart of the Davtashen district in Yerevan, our office is a stone's throw away from the Migration Service building, ensuring seamless coordination on immigration matters. If you refer to the map above, you will pinpoint our exact location. For those journeying from the city center, anticipate a brief 20-30 minute taxi ride to reach us. We look forward to welcoming you and addressing your legal needs.