Armenian citizenship

What are the ways to acquire Armenian citizenship?

The ways to acquire Armenian citizenship are as follows:

  • Recognition of citizenship

  • Citizenship by birth

  • Acceptance of citizenship

  • Restoration of citizenship

  • Acceptance of citizenship by group

  • On the basis prescribed by the international agreements of the Republic of Armenia

  • In other cases, provided by the Law

 

Who can acquire Armenian citizenship through recognition of citizenship?

 

  • Citizens of the former Armenian SSR permanently residing in Armenia, who, until the enactment of the Constitution, have not acquired citizenship of another country or have renounced that citizenship within one year from the day of the enactment of the Law on Citizenship;

  • Stateless Armenians or former citizens of other USSR member states permanently residing in the RA, who do not have citizenship of another country and before 31 December 2019 have applied for the acquisition of the RA citizenship;

  • Former citizens of the Armenian SSR residing abroad and who have not acquired the citizenship of another country.

 

The acquisition of citizenship by birth – Jus Sanguinis (right of blood).

 

Generally, right of blood, by which nationality is acquired through descent, is the prevailing principle in Armenia.

 

A child whose parents hold Armenian citizenship at the moment of his/her births acquires Armenian citizenship automatically regardless of the place of the birth.

                                                                              

The child whose one parent holds Armenian citizenship at the moment of his/her birth, while the other parent is stateless or has unknown citizenship, also acquires Armenian citizenship. Meanwhile, if one of the parents holds foreign citizenship, the child’s citizenship is determined on the basis of the written consent of both parents.

In the cases of the absence of such consent, the child acquires the Armenian citizenship if:

  • He/she was born in the territory of Armenia or

  • He/she will become stateless unless he/she acquires Armenian citizenship,

  • He/she resides in Armenia and the consent of one of the parents to acquire Armenian citizenship is available.

 

In what cases does the child acquire Armenian citizenship by virtue of Jus Soli principle (“Right of Soil”)?

 

The birthright citizenship enables a child to acquire citizenship of the state where he/she was born. The child who was born in the territory of Armenia acquires Armenian citizenship in the following cases:

  • His/her parents are stateless persons,

  • The citizenship of parents is unknown,

  • One of the parents is stateless and another parent’s citizenship is unknown,

  • The parents are foreign citizens but are unable to pass their citizenship to the child under the legislation of the corresponding state,

  • One of the parent’s citizenship is unknown and another parent is unable to pass his/her citizenship to the child.

  • One of the parents is stateless and another parent is unable to pass his/her citizenship to the child.

 

A child of Armenian origin and his/her parents who do not have Armenian citizenship, have the right to acquire Armenian citizenship from the moment of permanently residing in Armenia.

 

Who can apply for Armenian citizenship?

Everyone over the age of 18 with no Armenian citizenship has the right to apply for Armenian citizenship regardless of his place of residence if he/ she meets the following requirements:

  • He/she has constantly resided in Armenia over the past three years,

  • Is able to explain himself/herself in Armenian, and

  • Is familiar with the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.

 

As an exception, the following persons are eligible for Armenian citizenship without meeting the requirements of the term of residence and of ability to explain themselves in Armenian if he/she:

  • He/she has been in a registered marriage with an Armenian citizen over the last two years and has resided in Armenia for at least 365 days during that two-year period or has a child with an Armenian citizen who also holds Armenian citizenship.

  • His/her one or both parents previously had Armenian citizenship or were born in Armenia and his/her applied for Armenian citizenship within 3 years after turning 18.

  • He/she has renounced his/her citizenship after the first of January 1995,

  • Has been recognized as a refugee or stateless person residing in Armenia.

Without meeting the above-mentioned requirements, Armenian citizenship can be granted to:

  • Armenians by origin;

  • a person with no active legal capacity whose guardian is an Armenian citizen;

  • persons who have provided exceptional services to Armenia.

What procedure should an applicant go through to acquire Armenian citizenship?

The application for acquiring Armenian citizenship should be signed and submitted only by an applicant in person (in case of an applicant with no legal active capacity, it is done through his/her guardian) to the Passport and Visa Department of Police in Armenia or to the nearest Diplomatic and Consular representations of Armenia abroad.

Normally, an application is processed in 4-6 months.

 

The process starts from the Passport and Visa Department of police or the diplomatic representation of Armenia (in the latter case, the application along with the required documents are forwarded to the mentioned department of police). Then the case is submitted to the President’s office. Prior to the grant or rejection of the citizenship application, the case is subject to the consideration by the Citizenship Committee at the President’s Office, headed by the Ministry of Justice. Every case is reviewed by the National Security Service as well.    

 

Armenian citizenship is granted by a presidential decree.

The applicant is informed about every stage of the process and the outcome via email or messages. 

 

The application for acquiring the Armenian citizenship can be rejected if the applicant poses a threat to state and social security, public order, protection of the public health and traditions, rights, freedoms, dignity and good reputation of others. The rejection of the application to acquire Armenian citizenship can be issued without justification.

 

The person acquiring Armenian citizenship must take an oath and sign its text.

What documents need to be submitted to acquire Armenian citizenship?

Normally, an applicant is required to submit the following documents:

  • Application

  • Passport and its copy

  • 6 colored photos with 35x45mm size

  • receipt for the payment of the state fee in the amount of AMD 1000 (approx. 2,5 US dollar) 

 

Depending on the applicant’s status and the legal ground of acquiring Armenian citizenship additional documents may be required, such as:

  • Certificate of birth and its copy

  • Certificate of Marriage and its copy

  • The passport of the spouse and its copy or a certificate attesting the spouse’s citizenship

  • His/her child’s birth certificate and its copy

  • His/her child’s passport and its copy or another document certifying the citizenship or their child

 

What documents can attest to Armenian ethnicity?

The following documents are considered proof of the applicant’s parent’s Armenian ethnicity:

  • Baptism certificate issued by an ecclesiastical organization (acceptable list of those entities can be found in Appendix 4 of Government decree N 1390-N of 23.11.2007);

  • Government-issued documents which should be apostilled or certified by a consul;

  • Birth certificate or any ID of the parents (grandfather, grandmother, sister or brother) which contains a mention of the holder’s Armenian ethnicity. This document must be accompanied by any government-issued document confirming family ties.

 

Is dual citizenship allowed in Armenia?

Armenia allows dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is a citizenship status of simultaneously being a citizen of more than one country. Dual citizens have the same rights and obligations as Armenian citizens accept if Armenia’s international treaties or laws provide otherwise. One exception provided for by the law concerns mandatory military service. Individuals, who have served at least 12 months in a foreign military or served an alternative civilian service for at least 18 months before acquiring Armenian citizenship, are exempt from mandatory military service. Armenian citizens who have acquired foreign citizenship are subject to military conscription irrespective of their service in the foreign military (Article 21 § 1 (2) and § 6 of the RA law on “Military Service and the Status of Serviceman”).

What are the grounds for the loss of Armenian citizenship?

Armenian citizenship ceases in the following cases:

  • Change in citizenship; 

  • Armenian citizenship has been acquired through false information or documents and 5 years have not passed since the day the illegal action was committed,

  • Other cases provided for by the international agreements of the Republic of Armenia.

 

What is the basis and procedure to renounce Armenian citizenship?

 

Any citizen over 18 years old can change the Armenian citizenship by renouncing their citizenship and acquiring the citizenship of another state.

The request for renouncing Armenian citizenship may be rejected, if:

  • The applicant is under a criminal investigation,

  • There is a sentence or a judgment against the applicant pending execution; 

  • Renunciation contradicts state security interests; 

  • The applicant has unsettled obligations towards state,

  • he has not acquired citizenship of another state and does not submit an official confirmation of another state on a legal opportunity of acquiring citizenship until the signature of the presidential decree on the cessation of Armenian citizenship.

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