Area: 29,700 SQ.KM.
Capital: YEREVAN (1,075,000)
LITERACY RATE: 99.6%
KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH: 40%
climate: summer 35c; winter 0c
Currency: Dram ($1 = 475 AMD)
average Monthly salary: $378
gdp growth (2018): 5.2%
gdp per capita: $4,212
wp doing business rank (2019): 41
unemployment RATE: 16.9%
inflation rate (2018): 2.5%
As a general rule, a holder of an Armenian visa is not entitled to work in Armenia unless s/he also holds a work permit. Highly skilled foreign specialists, business owners, executives and certain other categories of workers are exempt from work permit requirements.
The transfer of staff (skilled or non-qualified) is subject to obtaining a work permit and, where necessary, a temporary residence permit. In Armenia, for work permit requirements, no distinction is made between intra-company transfers, local hires or subcontracting employment. The work permit has to be applied for on behalf of the legal employer and is issued for the duration of the employment contract. The law requires the employer to search for Armenian citizens to do the job.
Work permit requirements do not apply to the following categories of foreigners:
A business visitor cannot undertake work activities while in Armenia, unless these activities are exempted from work permit requirements. Permitted activities during a business trip include meetings, interviews, discussions, negotiations, exploring business opportunities, attending conferences, conducting site visits, taking orders or purchasing goods or services. Payment by an Armenian entity of salary or other remuneration would be evidence of work.
Employers which already employed foreign labor at the time the work permit regulations came into effect do not have to apply for work permits until the current employment agreements expire. However, they must present copies of such employment agreements to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MLSA) within 60 days. Any new hiring will require a work permit.
Exemption for workers employed by non-Armenian employers.
Unless a foreign individual is exempted from work permit requirements, the employer must first obtain a work permit by applying to the MLSA. The migrant will normally then apply for a temporary residence permit in order to be granted the permission to live and work in Armenia.
The process at the MLSA involves a test of the Armenian market to ensure that there are no qualified and available Armenian workers to fill the position. If MLSA identifies Armenian nationals who may fit with the employer’s requirements they will be referred to the employer for an interview. The employer does not have to advertise the vacancy or to offer a certain wage (as long as the minimum monthly salary requirements are satisfied).
If no candidates are referred by the MSLA to the employer or if the employer rejects these candidates for valid reasons, the employer is then allowed to apply for a work permit for a particular foreigner. The work permit has a fixed term and is renewable on request. From the moment when a work permit is granted the foreign national can start working in Armenia.
After obtaining the work permit the foreign national has to file an application for a temporary residence permit at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police in Yerevan. The application must be accompanied by supporting documentation, including medical test results. The temporary residence card is issued within approximately 30-45 days of the application date.
Under the current regulations obtaining a work permit can take as little as 13 business days.
The employer or the employee will have to pay the fees for obtaining a work permit (AMD 25,000 or around USD 52) and, if necessary, a temporary residence permit (AMD 105,000 or around USD 219).
The following documents must be filed by the employer with the MLSA:
All documents, except for the employee’s passport, are retained by the MLSA.
The Code of Administrative Offences provides penalties for immigration/work permit violations. Failure to obtain a work permit/residence permit is punishable by a monetary fine of AMD 100,000 to 150,000 (around USD 208 to 313). Overstaying a visa or otherwise violating the immigration status is punishable by a fine of AMD 50,000 to 100,000 (around USD 104 to 208).
If, after obtaining a work permit, the employer fails to provide the position the permit was obtained for, the employer must cover the return travel costs, living, and personal property transportation expenses of the employee and the family members accompanying them.
The employment agreement shall be executed in writing, in the form of a single document, in two copies - one for the employee and the other for the employer. The agreement shall comply with the labor regulations and the employee's rights and privileges guaranteed by the laws shall not be restricted. If any regulatory amendments are enacted that improve the employee's situation the employment agreement shall be amended accordingly.
The agreement shall contain the following information:
The highlighted items are considered "essential terms" and their amendments shall follow a special procedure, including advance notices to the employee.
The following are additional terms that must be included in employment agreements signed with foreign employees working on the basis of a work permit:
The employer shall register the newly hired employee electronically with the tax office not later than on the first day of work. Moreover, the employer shall document all processes regarding the employee (hiring, firing etc.) in the form of employer's "internal acts" (orders, decrees, etc).
Employment agreements can be for a specific term or for an indefinite term. Normally, the employment agreement shall be signed for an indefinite term, while agreements for a specific term are allowed only in certain instances where the indefinite term is not suitable because of the nature or the conditions of the work. In addition, agreements for a specific term can be used:
There is a presumption that an agreement for a specific term is automatically converted into an agreement for an indefinite term if it is extended or if a new agreement is signed within one month following the expiration of the previous one. However, this presumption still does not work if the nature or the conditions of the work do not make it possible to sign an agreement for an indefinite term.
Non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants may not be enforceable in Armenia.
The employer is expected to have in place the following internal rules and policies:
It is the duty of the employer to notify the employee of all the internal policies, including disciplinary rules, working conditions, work safety and fire safety rules.
The regular work week in Armenia consists of five working days, Monday to Friday. As an exception it is possible for the employer to opt for a six-day work week, normally Monday to Saturday. If the nature of the work requires the business to operate during the weekends the employee shall get a another day off. The duration of work shall not exceed 40 hours per week, irrespective of whether the employer has a five-day or a six-day work week. A shorter work week may be mandated by law (e.g. in case of minors or dangerous working conditions) or may be agreed upon by the employer and the employee (part-time work). If the employee works for two different employers (concurrent employment) or holds two positions (two employment agreements) with the same employer, the maximum duration of the work shall not exceed 12 hours per day (with certain exceptions for those employed by educational and medical institutions, energy suppliers etc., as specified by a decree, allowing 24-hour shifts).
Overtime work is allowed only in certain situations where there is an emergency, a natural disaster, or if discontinuation of the work will result in material damages to the employer or a breach of its contractual obligations. The maximum duration of overtime work is limited to 4 hours per every two days and to 180 hours in a year. The total duration of the work (regular and overtime) shall not exceed 12 hours per day or 48 hours per week. Restrictions on overtime work are not applicable to those holding managerial positions specified in the internal rules of the employer. Special rules on overtime work and night shifts apply to minors and pregnant women.
An employee may be required to work on a non-working day or during non-working hours (on-call work), but not more frequently than on a weekly basis and no longer than 8 hours per day. If the duration of on-call work exceeds these limits the employee can request time-off in the next month or to add that time to his/her annual vacation or to get a monetary compensation.
The employer shall enact internal rules establishing work and rest (shift) schedules, rules on overtime and on-call work, lunch breaks etc. The employer is also required to keep details records of the attendance of each employee.
Employees are entitled to an annual leave of 20 working days (24 working days in case of a 6-day working week). Extended and additional holidays are available to certain categories of workers (dangerous, stressful etc.). The leave can be taken in a piecemeal manner but at least one portion of it shall last at least 10 working days. Employees are generally entitled to the annual leave after 6 months of work. Certain categories of workers are given the right to choose the time of their leave. Unused portions can be deferred to next years, but must be used not later than within 18 months. It is prohibited to accept a monetary compensation instead of the annual leave but if the employment relationship is terminated compensation for unused leave shall be paid.
Maternity leave normally lasts 140 days (70 days before and 70 days after the delivery). The mother can take unpaid maternity leave up to three years after the birth of her child, keeping her position in the workplace.
An employee is entitled to a lunch break after working one half of the working hours for the day but not later than after 4 hours of work. The duration of the lunch break shall be set by the employer but shall not be shorter than 30 minutes or longer than 2 hours. Additional breaks are mandated by law for minors, nursing mothers, employees working in high and low temperatures, engaged in dangerous and stressful work etc.
The time to rest between two working days (shifts) shall not be less than 11 hours, while the duration of the weekend rest (Saturday and Sunday) shall generally not be less than 35 hours.
In addition to the above, the Labor Code provides for the following types of leave:
The following are non-working public holidays in Armenia (16 days in total):
rent office space
record all minor workers, pregnant women, students and mothers of young children to comply with any restrictions on their work, those who have to undergo one-time or periodic medical testing
As of 2018 the minimum monthly salary in Armenia is AMD 55,000 (US$115). Minimum hourly wages are AMD 330 (US$0.69), AMD 367 (US$0.77) and AMD 550 (US$1.15) for 40-hour, 36-hour and 24-hour work weeks respectively. These are net (after-tax) amounts and employers must gross them up to account for taxes. Thus, the minimum gross (before-tax) salary for full-time employment will be AMD 75,168 (US$157), including the net salary of AMD 55,000, the 23% income tax (AMD 17,289), the 2,5% social payment (AMD 1,879) and the flat military tax of AMD 1,000.
Hard and dangerous labor shall be paid an additional premium of 30% (50% if the labor is extremely hard or dangerous).
Overtime work - 50%
Night work (10PM to 6AM) - 30%
Holidays and other non-working days - 100% (or an extra day off)
Can be paid in cash or via bank transfer (new regulations re restrictions on cash). Not later than the 15th day of the following month. Late payments are penalized by a 0.15% daily interest.
Business trips - expenses plus daily allowance, as set by the government
Relocation or field work - compensation as set by the government
Vacation - average salary must be paid, at least three days before
Volunteer work is currently not regulated in Armenia, with the exception of certain provisions in the Law on Charity and the Law on Public Associations. Volunteers do not enter into employment agreement but instead may be required to sign an agreement for volunteer work. Work permit requirements do not apply to foreigners engaged in volunteer work.
Men and women are entitled to equal pay. It is prohibited to compensate men and women differently for the same type of work.
- Statute of limitations
- Special terms in the Civil Procedure Code
- Actual employment relations (one-year SOL)
- Arbitration clause
2 month SOL to be restored to work. If restored must be paid compensation. If restoration is not possible then compensation for unpaid salary + one-time fee of 1-12 times the amount of monthly salary
Employer must compensate for personal injury (including professional illnesses) to the employee. According to the Civil Code.
Insurance is not mandatory.
No punitive damages and no moral damages.
Employer's responsibility for employee's actions and right of recourse
Cannot exceed 50% of the salary and shall not be less than the minimum salary
Within one month the employer must make a decision and notify the employee of it
The decision must be founded, circumstances considered
Written explanation to be requested from the employee
Within one month of detection, within 6 months (1 month if detected by financial audit) of the commission/omission
With certain exceptions Not more than 3 months' of wages unless he signed an agreement for full material liability
Safety training & instructions
Supply with protective measures
Safety level - determined in accordance with law
Normal working conditions (equipment in working condition; technical documentation; quality and timely supply of materials and instruments; energy supply; technical safety rules observance, proper lighting; heating, air conditioning; noise level; radiation level, vibration level)
Equipment - safe, comfortable
Accompanying documentation to be delivered to the employee
Chemicals - labeling, special training for employees; equipment for measuring levels, collective protection mechanism, alerting systems etc.
Notify employees about all plans, analysis and measures related to their health
Collective and individual protective measures
First medical aid and transportation to medical institution
Determine factors that affect pregnant women and mothers
Employment agreements can be for a specific term or for an indefinite term.
Other grounds for termination are:
Employment for an indefinite term can be terminated at the initiative of the employer if at least one of the legal grounds for such termination exists (see table below).
Legal Basis for Termination
Dissolution of the Company (Employer)
One month's wages
Layoffs caused by "production necessity" (i.e. urgent and unpredictable circumstances) or changes in 1) volumes of production; 2) economic conditions; 3) technological conditions; 4) conditions of labor organization
Employee does not meet the requirements for the position to be held or the work to be performed
Long-term disability of the employee
Employee reaching the age of retirement (63 or 65 years), if provided by employment agreement
Less than 1 year
10 days' wages
One to five years
25 days' wages
Five to ten years
30 days' wages
Ten to fifteen years
35 days' wages
More than fifteen years
44 day's wages
Regular failure by employee to perform his/her duties without a valid reason (two disciplinary measures in the past)
Loss of confidence in the employee (material damage, disclosure of secrets etc.)
Employee reports to work under influence of alcohol or drugs
Employee's absence from work for a whole working day (shift), without a valid reason
Employee's refusal to undergo compulsory medical examination
Offer was made to take another position.
Inform the Employment Department about layoffs (10% of the staff but not less than 10 employees) at least two months in advance
Penalties for breaking the law; the enforcing agency; criminal provisions for ..
Apprenticeship - max. 6 months and min. salary shall be paid
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Egyptian citizens generally do not qualify for a visa on arrival and cannot get an online visa (e-visa). They must obtain a visa before coming to Armenia at the Armenian embassy in Egypt or any other Armenian embassy abroad. Normally an invitation letter from Armenia is required to get a visa but this requirement can be waived at the discretion of the consular officer. Moreover, the invitation letter requirement is waived for ethnic Armenians and their family members. Please contact us for more information on invitation letters for Egyptian nationals.
Nationals (citizens) of U.A.E. or Qatar do not need a visa and can stay in Armenia visa-free for up to 180 days in a year.
Nationals (citizens) of Bahrain, Kuwait or Oman can get a visa on arrival at the airport or other border crossing point with a maximum validity of 120 days (extendable by another 60 days). It is also possible for them to get an e-visa by applying online at https://evisa.mfa.am/.
Nationals (citizens) of Saudi Arabia do not qualify for visa on arrival and cannot get an online visa (e-visa). They must obtain a visa before coming to Armenia at the Armenian embassy in U.A.E. or any other Armenian embassy abroad. Normally an invitation letter from Armenia is required to get a visa. Please contact us for more information on invitation letters for Saudi nationals.
Iranian citizens can enter Armenia without a visa. However, they can stay in Armenia for a maximum of 90 days in any given 180-day period . In other words, after staying in Armenia for 90 days an Iranian citizen must leave Armenia and stay outside of Armenia for another 90 days before re-entering the country. A stay longer than 90 days is possible if the Iranian citizen holds a residence permit. Please contact us for more information on residence permits.
Citizens of Jordan can get a visa on arrival at the airport or other border crossing point with a maximum validity of 120 days (extendable by another 60 days). It is also possible for a Jordanian to get an e-visa by applying online at https://evisa.mfa.am/.
Citizens of Lebanon can get a visa on arrival at the airport or other border crossing point with a maximum validity of 120 days (extendable by another 60 days). It is also possible for a Lebanese to get an e-visa by applying online at https://evisa.mfa.am/.
Syrian citizens generally do not qualify for a visa on arrival and cannot get an online visa (e-visa). They must obtain a visa before coming to Armenia at the Armenian embassy in Syria or any other Armenian embassy abroad. Normally an invitation letter from Armenia is required to get a visa but this requirement can be waived at the discretion of the consular officer. Moreover, the invitation letter requirement is waived for ethnic Armenians and their family members. Please contact us for more information on invitation letters for Syrian nationals.
Pakistani citizens generally do not qualify for a visa on arrival and cannot get an online visa (e-visa). They must obtain a visa before coming to Armenia at an Armenian embassy abroad (e.g. in U.A.E.). Normally an invitation letter from Armenia is required to get a visa. However, the invitation letter requirement is waived for ethnic Armenians and their family members. Due to the absence of diplomatic relations between Pakistan an Armenia it may be difficult for Pakistani citizens to obtain a visa.
Citizens of the Philippines can get a visa on arrival at the airport or other border crossing point with a maximum validity of 120 days (extendable by another 60 days). It is also possible for a Filipino to get an e-visa by applying online at https://evisa.mfa.am/.
On Nov. 22, 2017, Armenia became the easiest country for Indian nationals to visit in Europe. As they can get visa on arrival or a visa online (e-visa) before their arrival to Armenia. Alternatively, they can simply buy tickets, come to Armenia and get a visa on arrival at the airport or other crossing points at the borders with Georgia or Iran.
The decision to liberalize visa regime with India was taken by the Armenian government on November 16, 2017, following President Sargsyan’s visit to India earlier in November. The official decision is available at the official legislative website. Now all Indian nationals, irrespective of their residence,qualify for e-visas or visas on arrival. Armenia issues visas valid for 21 or 120 days, extendable by another 60 days. For longer stays residence permits are issued.
With these changes Armenia has become the most attractive country in Europe for Indians, at least from the immigration point of view. Earlier in 2017 Serbia exempted Indians from visa requirements. But the maximum stay there is limited to 30 days in a year. Visitors also must show proof of sufficient financial means (50 euros per day). Ukraine also recently allowed Indians to get visas on arrival, however visas are issued for up to 15 days and the paperwork involved (insurance, invitation, proof of financial means) is still considerable.
If you do not qualify for visa-free travel or visa on arrival/e-visa you will need an invitation letter from an individual or a legal entity in Armenia. There are exceptions for citizens of Iraq who may apply for a visa at the Armenian embassy without an invitation letter and citizens of Egypt and Syria who may also get Armenian visas without invitation, at the discretion of the consular officer.
Moreover, invitation letters are not required for ethnic Armenians (i.e. those who have Armenian ancestors). If you are Armenian by descent you can obtain a visa by showing evidence of your Armenian origin, e.g. a passport, birth certificate or certified baptism certificate attesting to your or your parents’ Armenian descent. Immediate relatives of Armenian citizens or ethnic Armenians (spouse, parent, son, daughter, sister, brother, grand-parents, grand-children) are also exempt from invitation letter requirements.
The consular officer may, at his discretion, not require an invitation letter from a foreigner who has a permanent resident status in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, UK, New Zealand, Switzerland or a Schengen country (except for Spain, Portugal and Greece).
Invitation letters issued by individuals must be filed with the Visa Department of the Police, and those issued by legal entities must be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The approval is possible only after a security check which may take 2-3 weeks or even longer.
There are several classes of visitor visas: tourism and visits to family and friends (V-1); family reunification (V-2); medical treatment (V-3); studies (V-4); attendance to cultural, athletic, scientific or other events (V-5); participation in humanitarian, charitable, technical assistance and similar programs (V-6); business, investment or work (V-7); crew members (V-8). The procedure for obtaining a visitor visa is generally the same irrespective of the specific purpose of the visit.
Armenian embassies do not issue long-term visas. If you need to stay in Armenia for longer periods you will need to obtain a residence permit (temporary, permanent or special). The residence permits are issued only in Armenia, they cannot be obtained at the embassies abroad.
21 days, single
$6 (AMD 3,000)
Max. 60 days
$1 (AMD 500) per day
120 days, single
$31 (AMD 15,000)
60 days, multiple
$42 (AMD 20,000)
120 days, multiple
$83 (AMD 40,000)
3 days, single
$21 (AMD 10,000)
Max. 4 days
3 days, multiple
$37 (AMD 18,000)
In order to get a visa at an Armenian embassy (if you do not qualify for visa-free travel or visa on arrival) you will be generally required to submit a valid passport, a visa application form and a passport-sized colored photograph. You will also have to pay the corresponding visa fee. Visas are issued at the discretion of the consular officer and additional documents may be requested to determine if you have a legitimate purpose and sufficient financial means to visit Armenia (e.g. invitation letter, hotel booking, tax returns, bank account statements etc.).
Under Armenian law visa overstay is an administrative offense currently punishable by a monetary fine of US $105 to 209 (AMD 50,000 to 100,000).
Number of Overstays within the Last Year
$105 (AMD 50,000)
Up to 30 days
$125 (AMD 60,000)
$146 (AMD 70,000)
$167 (AMD 80,000)
$188 (AMD 90,000)
More than 120 days
$209 (AMD 100,000)
Third and Subsequent Offenses
$209 (AMD 100,000)
Currently Armenia has 22 embassies in Europe, 1 embassy in Africa, 13 embassies in Asia and 5 embassies in the Americas.
Asia & Africa
Visas on arrival (at the airport/border) are issued immediately. E-visas are issued within 3-4 business days. Regular visas are normally issued by embassies within 10 days, except when an invitation letter has already been approved by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in which case the visa is normally issued on the day of application.
If you do not qualify for visa-free travel or a visa on arrival (e-visa) you must get a visa at an Armenian embassy. You can see the list of Armenian embassies above. For example, a citizen of Nigeria may choose to get a visa at the Armenian embassy in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., or Cairo, Egypt, whereas a citizen of Bangladesh may get a visa at the embassy in New Delhi, India.
An invitation letter can be filed by an Armenian resident or legal entity. If you personally know or work with someone in Armenia you should contact them for help. If you want to visit as a tourist a travel agency may issue an invitation letter for you.
Our law firm, Vardanyan & Partners, may issue invitation letters to its actual and prospective clients.
If you are in breach of immigration rules in Armenia you may be detained and deported from the country. In addition, a monetary fine and a ban on entering the country may be imposed.
You may or may not need a work permit, depending on your situation. For more information please check this section on work permits.
You shall be able to enter and exit the territory of Armenia for as long as you have a valid passport. There is no requirement that your passport be valid for a specific period of time.
If you changed your passport after getting an Armenian visa you can still use that visa if you show to the border control officer both the new passport and the old passport with the visa in it.
Under the regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union you have to declare cash in excess of US$ 10,000. Failure to declare may result in criminal liability. There are no restrictions on the amount you can bring to Armenia or take out of Armenia, provided you declare the cash.
No, currently there are no requirements of showing vaccination documents when entering Armenia.
In order to get a temporary (1-year), permanent (5-year) or special (10-year) residence permit you need to show circumstances explaining your longer stay in Armenia, such as:
In order to obtain an Armenian passport you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
Armenia recognizes dual citizenship and does not require applicants to renounce any other citizenship.
For more information, please check our resources on Armenian citizenship.
Units are now for sale in an apart hotel ideally located in the ski resort town of Tsaghkadzor (valley of flowers in Armenian), the most desirable tourist destination in Armenia, only 50km north of the capital Yerevan. Surrounded with alpine meadows, the town is situated at a height of 1,841 meters above sea level. Summers in Tsaghkadzor are mild, winters are cold and snowy. The skiing season normally starts in mid December and stretches well into March with the top slopes often fit for skiing in April. The infrastructure of tourism is highly developed in Tsaghkadzor, which is the second Armenian city after Yerevan to have the largest number of hotels.
Residents will enjoy a great view of the mountains. A professional company will manage the property. You may choose to personally use the property or rent it out and make extra money. Higher occupancy and rental rates means more income and higher resale profits. Tourism is growing by over 10% a year, making Tsaghkadzor a perfect place to earn a good return on property investment.
Updated Regulations (in armenian)
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LL.M. Georgetown University
New York Bar | Armenia Chamber of Advocates
We are a team of licensed immigration lawyers based in Armenia and Georgia. Our primary commitment is to provide quality service to clients at a compelling value that helps manage risk, overcome regulatory issues and advance their personal and business goals. We combine local experience with international expertise to provide quality legal advice in prompt, effective and efficient manner.
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