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Form & Benefits
The special residence permit (passport) has a validity of 10 years. It looks very different from temporary/permanent residence permits as it is issued in the form a passport, not a card. However, all types of residence permits (temporary, permanent or special) offer more or less the same benefits. In particular, they allow the holder of the permit to travel freely to and from Armenia without a visa, to live, work, study, do business and engage in any other lawful activity in Armenia without work permits or other papers.
One notable advantage of the special passport is that its holder can own land directly in his own name, without the need to establish a legal entity.
In practice special passports are issued to foreigners of Armenian origin, i.e. ethnic Armenians. In exceptional cases special passports can be issued to non-Armenians who are engaged in economic or cultural activities in Armenia.
Procedure & Time Line
The procedure of issuing special passports is more complicated compared to temporary/permanent residence permits and in many aspects is similar to the procedure for citizenship application. The time required to obtain a special passport is around 60 days. Unlike temporary/permanent residence permits the final decision on granting or denying a special passport is made by the President and cannot be appealed.
Establishing Armenian Origin
Armenian origin is normally proved by producing a government- or church-issued document showing the ethnicity of the applicant. A baptism certificate of the applicant and or his parent (grand-parent) is a common way to establish Armenian origin.
The children of the holder of a special passport also can obtain special passports free of charge if they are below the age of 16. Individuals aged 16 and higher must apply separately.
The special residence permit can be extended for an indefinite number of times, each time for 10 years.
Holders of special passports are not considered to be Armenian citizens and, therefore, are not subject to mandatory military service.
No, you can apply for and collect your special passport through a lawyer or any other representative with a valid power of attorney.
Currently the official fee for issuing a special passport is 150,000 Armenian drams or around 310 US dollars. This fee is collected at the time the application is filed and is refunded if the application is denied.
You can apply for a special passport at the Immigration Office (Passport & Visa Department of the Police) in Yerevan, Armenia. You can also apply for a special passport through an Armenian embassy or consulate in your country.
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