Legal Residence in Armenia – Ultimate Guide

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Written By Nerses Isajanyan

Gaining legal residence in Armenia refers to obtaining the right to live legal in the country. In terms of life as an expat, Armenia has everything you could want in a country. Diverse, and beautiful nature, rich history and culture, and a very low crime rate. 

Even more, Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is one of the safest cities in the world.

While it is a small country in size and population, it’s economy is the fastest-growing economy in the Eurasian Union. This increased economic growth makes it an excellent option for entrepreneurs. 

Armenia has three types of residence permits. They are temporary residence, permanent residence, and a special residence status the country reserves for the Armenia diaspora abroad. 

In most cases, expats opt for a temporary residence permit. The main purpose is to grant foreign citizens the right to live in Armenia. Many use it for an initial foray into the country, and as in many countries. A temporary residence permit can eventually serve as a path to citizenship.

An Armenian residence permit grants you and your family members:

  • The right to unrestricted stay in Armenia;
  • Visa-free travel to Armenia;
  • The right to engage in any lawful activities, such as doing business, working, studying or retiring;

Another thing to note is that as a resident, you may invite foreigners to visit Armenia. Residents also enjoy constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the right to healthcare, social security, education, property and privacy rights, freedom of speech, and religion. Residents are also exempt from Armenia’s compulsory military policy.

Temporary Residence

The most common form of residence in Armenia for a foreigner is a temporary residence permit. This allows foreigners to live in Armenia for up to a year and can be extended for an additional year. There isn’t a limit on how many times you can extend the permit. However, the application must be filled at least 30 days before the active permit expires.

To qualify for a temporary residence permit, a foreigner must be able to show that they will stay in Armenia for a year or more. 

Valid reasons for obtaining a Temporary Residence permit in Armenia include: 

  • Education;
  • Work permit;
  • Being the spouse, parent or child of a foreigner with temporary residence status in the Republic of Armenia;
  • Being the spouse or close relative (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandson) of a citizen of the Republic of Armenia or a foreigner with permanent or special residence status;
  • Doing business in Armenia;
  • Being of Armenian nationality

The state fee is 105.000 AMD (US$ 217) for a temporary residence permit. When applying for a temporary residence permit in Armenia you must include the following with your application:

  • An Application;
  • Three color photos of size 35 x 45 mm.;
  • Passport, the copy of the passport and notarized translation of it in Armenian;
  • Documents substantiating the circumstance of obtaining a residence in Armenia;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Receipt of the state fee payment.

The application should be submitted at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia. The main office is located in Yerevan.

Permanent Residence

The next form of residence in Armenia is known as Permanent residence. It is granted for 5 years and can be extended for an additional 5 years. 

If you plan to extend your permanent residence permit, you must apply at least 30 days before it expires. Similar to the temporary residence permit, certain criteria must be met to qualify for a permanent resident permit. A foreigner must be able to:

  • Prove the existence of a spouse or close relatives (parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, grandchildren) who are citizens of the Republic of Armenia or have special residence status in the Republic of Armenia, place, and means of living and that he/she has lived in the Republic of Armenia for at least three years
  • Operates business activity in Armenia
  • Is of Armenian nationality or carries out business in the Republic of Armenia

The basic steps to apply for a permanent residence are the same as applying for the temporary residence. The state fee for a permanent residence permit is 140.000 AMD (US$ 294). 

You must apply at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia. When you apply, you must submit the following:

  • An Application;
  • Three color photos of size 35 x 45 mm.;
  • Passport, the copy of the passport and notarized translation of it in Armenian;
  • Documents substantiating the circumstance of obtaining a residence in Armenia;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Receipt of the state fee payment.

Special Residence Status

The third residence status is a special residence status. This status, which was conceived in 1994, is granted by the Prime minister of Armenia to foreign nationals of Armenian descent.

However, it also includes special groups of people such as those that provide significant service to the State of Armenia, or to those that are active in economical or cultural events in the country.

Special residence status usually lasts for 10 years. Much like the other residence permits above can be granted more than once.

How it is issued differs from the temporary and permanent residence permits. In this case, it is given in the form of a special passport rather than a card. 

It allows its holder 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 agricultural and another land directly in his/her name without the need to establish a legal entity.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia decides on granting or rejecting the status of a special residency. You are unable to appeal the decision as it is final. Children under 16 can also get special passports. 

It takes around 60 days and costs 150.000 AMD ($312 US) to obtain a special passport. You will apply at the same Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia as you would for either temporary or permanent residency.

One additional item to note is that unlike residency and citizenship applications, an application for a special passport can be filed remotely. To do this the applicant should grant their representative power of attorney. Keep in mind that this would be an additional expense.

Armenian Citizenship

Most people who are applying for residence permits in Armenia are ultimately looking to obtain Armenian citizenship. If the main goal is to stay long term in Armenia, a permanent residence will offer most of the benefits that as having Citizenship. However, holding an Armenian passport does have its benefits such as:

  • Dual citizenship allowed;
  • Valuable travel document;
  • Citizenship passes to future generations;
  • Preferential treatment in Russia and other EAEU countries;
  • Ownership of land;
  • Government assistance;
  • Tax benefits;
  • Easy renunciation;

Legal grounds for obtaining Armenian citizenship

There are several grounds on which you can claim Armenian citizenship. They are citizenship by residence, by ethnicity, by marriage, or by exception. By exception has similar requirements as obtaining the special resident status.

Citizenship by Residence

Any person that is at least 18 years old that does not hold Armenian citizenship can apply for citizenship if he/she meets the following criteria:

  • He/she has been permanently residing in the Republic of Armenia for the last three years
  • He/she knows the Armenian language
  • He/she knows the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia

Citizenship by Ethnicity

Ethnic Armenians qualify for citizenship without having to meet any language or residency requirements. You should note, however, certain formal requirements must be met to establish Armenian origin.

Having an Armenian name or speaking Armenian fluently is not by itself sufficient. You will have to produce a document showing that you (or your parent or grandparent) are/were an ethnic Armenian. 

The most common way to do this is to show a baptism certificate issued by a church organization that confirms the Armenian ethnicity. In certain countries, the Armenian ethnicity is sometimes written in government-issued documents (e.g. birth certificate, family records, etc.). 

Citizenship by Marriage

If you are a spouse of an Armenian citizen you are eligible to apply for Armenian citizenship, provided that you meet the following criteria:

  • The marriage has been officially registered for the last two years.
  • You have been a resident of Armenia for at least 365 days during these two years or you have a common child who is an Armenian citizen.

Citizenship by Exception

In certain cases, a substantial donation or investment in Armenia can be considered as an “exceptional service” to Armenia. If the Prime Minister agrees, then this can be grounds to get citizenship without further requirements.

Generally, this type of citizenship is expedited. It can take anywhere from 2-3 months and again relies on the Prime Minister’s office. He/she is able to directly present potential candidates to the President without having to go through third parties.

They consider each case on its merits and factors that may influence their decision. Some things to keep in mind are the size of the investment and/or charitable contributions, creation of jobs, payment of taxes, the nationality of the applicant, his/her ties to the country, etc. 

While there are no set rules to define what level of contribution constitutes as “exceptional” there has been a research paper published. It recommends granting citizenship to foreigners who invest more than $100,000 or donate more than $50,000.

All Armenian citizens must have a registered address․ Registered addresses are typically used for delivering official notices. It does not matter how you get citizenship. All methods require you to register.

If a foreign address was specified in your citizenship application it will be automatically registered as your official address. If you want to register a local address (e.g. because you want your passport or your ID card to show “Armenia” as your country of residence) you will need to show proof that you reside in Armenia. It can be a certificate of ownership or lease of a residential property or the owner’s consent to the registration. If none of these documents are available you may request the local police to make a report to check (normally takes up to two weeks) and confirm that you reside at the address in question. 

If you are a male under 50 years of age, registering a different address may require you to register with another military office located in the new area of your residence. 

Consular registration is required if you become a resident of a foreign country, i.e. stay there for more than 183 days. 

If your application for citizenship is rejected you are allowed to reapply after one year. Acquiring citizenship is not a right but a privilege that may or may not is granted by the President of the Republic. Therefore, the rejection cannot be appealed in court or otherwise. Moreover, no explanations will be given on the reasons for rejection.


As you can see, there are plenty of options available to gain legal residence in Armenia. If you’re looking to experience life abroad, have a career, or ethnic roots to Armenia, we highly recommend that you ensure you legally handle everything and are in compliance with local immigration laws.

This post is meant to be informative and does not constitute legal advice. We highly recommend that you speak with a qualified Armenian immigration lawyer. They can help you understand the options available to you.

While living abroad, it was difficult for us to get in touch with verified lawyers that were willing to bill reasonable rates. This is one of the reasons that we have started Expatriant. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at Expatriant.

2 thoughts on “Legal Residence in Armenia – Ultimate Guide”

  1. Hi .. I have a residency at armenia but expired in June and as I left the country to Dubai and could not return due to the corona lockdown of the airports I could not renew. Do I need to acquire a visa to come in or my residency is still valid to enter and renew upon arrival. Please advise.

  2. Hello..can you get temporary residence in Armenia based on retirement? I have USA passport

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