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Laws and regulations on draft evasion and military registration in Armenia

What is the draft evasion?

In the context of this article, we refer to draft evasion as the avoidance of compulsory military service in violation of RA laws.

What are the legal consequences for draft evasion?

Draft evasion can entail the following consequences:

  • Criminal punishment (imprisonment for up to 3 years, in the presence of aggravating circumstances for up to 5 years)

  • Inability to obtain an Armenian passport

 

How can criminal liability be avoided?

Under the RA law on “Citizens who have not performed compulsory military service in violation of the established procedures”, draft evaders can avoid criminal liability if they:

  • are over 27 years of age, and

  • have paid AMD 200 thousand for each missed draft (the total number of missed drafts must be multiplied by 200 000. In Armenia, drafts are announced bi-annually).

 

Is there a deadline?

Application RA law on “Citizens who have not performed compulsory military service in violation of the established procedures” will be in effect until December 31, 2019.

 

Whom should I apply to?

The application is submitted to the territorial military enlistment and registration office of the applicant either by the applicant himself or by his authorized representative.

Applicants who are in a foreign country can also submit their applications through the diplomatic or consular office of that country.

What information must the application contain?

The application must contain the following information about the applicant:

  • Name, surname, father’s name

  • Place of residence in Armenia or in a foreign country

  • The duration and reasons for draft evasion

  • Date of application

  • Signature

What documents must be attached to the application?

The applicant must enclose the following documents:

  • Copies of birth certificate and passport

  • Proof of residence 

  • Documents proving an exemption from or postponement of military service (if applicable). In such a case, both the originals and copies must be presented. The originals will be returned after verification. Documents issued in foreign countries must be apostilled, translated into Armenian and notarized

  • Power of attorney and a copy of the representative’s passport (if applicable)

 

What is the review process?

Applications are reviewed and the applicant is informed about the decision within 1 month. If the case requires further examination and verification, the applicant is informed in no later than 2 months.

Applications are reviewed by a special commission formed by the Minister of Defense. Upon the recommendation of the commission, the minister of defense signs an order which sets the monetary amount to be paid. Within three days following the order, the commission informs the applicant about the amount to be paid and the bank account number.

If the applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of his application, he can appeal the decision to the Administrative Court of Armenia.

 

When is the payment due?

The payment must be made within 10 days after receiving the response to the application.

What happens after the payment is made?

Within one month after the payment is made, the applicant receives the decision of investigating authorities on termination of criminal procedures. The applicant is also registered in the reserve and a military ID card is issued.

What happens if the person has left Armenia at a young age?

Many individuals, who have left Armenia before the age of 16 or stayed in Armenia completely off-the-grid, do not have military pre-registration with their territorial military enlistment and registration office (if citizens residing abroad have not registered through the diplomatic and consular office). In practice, persons who have not been pre-registered are not considered draft evaders. Consequently, if they decide to return to Armenia before the age of 27 they will be obliged to complete their compulsory military service. However, those who return after 27 will not be obliged to perform military service, nor will they face criminal charges. Therefore, they do not have to make the aforementioned payment to have criminal prosecution terminated. It is possible to check with the police beforehand whether the person is under investigation.

Who is subject to military registration?

Male citizens over 16 are subject to military registration. Without proof of registration, they cannot obtain an Armenian passport.

Are dual citizens subject to military conscription?

Armenian citizens who also have acquired foreign citizenship are subject to military conscription irrespective of their service in the foreign military. Individuals, who have served at least 12 months in a foreign military or performed an alternative civilian service for at least 18 months before acquiring Armenian citizenship, are exempt from mandatory military service. (Article 21 § 1 (2) and § 6 of the RA law on “Military Service and the Status of Serviceman”).

How can individuals who are residing in a foreign country register with their territorial military enlistment and registration office from abroad?

Citizens who plan to stay in a foreign country for more than 183 days can have their military registration through the diplomatic or consular office (Paragraphs 24, 25, 26 of Government decree N-1000 of 29.09.2016).

 

What happens after the application is submitted to the diplomatic or consular office?

Within 3 days after the application has been submitted to the diplomatic or consular office, it must be dispatched to the State Military Enlistment and Registration Commission. After receiving the package, the Commission registers the applicant within 3 days, which can be extended should there be a need to determine the applicant’s registration status. After registering the applicant, the package is sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which informs the applicant through the diplomatic or consular office.

Essentially, the procedure is completed remotely. It is worth noting that no medical check-up is necessary to check the applicant’s fitness when military registration is done through the diplomatic or consular office.

 

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