Obtaining Temporary or Permanent Residency in Armenia
What are the available types of residency in Armenia?
The following residence permits are available:
Temporary residency (for a period of 1 year)
Permanent residency (for a five-year period)
Special residency (for a ten-year period)
Who can obtain temporary residency in Armenia?
Circumstances qualifying a person for temporary residency are as follows:
Studying in Armenia
Having a work permit
Being a spouse, parent or a child of an individual who holds a temporary residency
Being a spouse or a family member (parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchildren) of a person who holds Armenian citizenship, special or permanent residency status
Running a business in Armenia
Being of Armenian descent
Other cases provided for by the law
Who can obtain permanent residency in Armenia?
Circumstances qualifying a person for permanent residency are as follows:
Being a spouse or a family member (parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchildren) of a person who holds Armenian citizenship, special residency status, having accommodation in Armenia and having legally resided in Armenia for three years
Running a business in Armenia
Being of Armenian descent
Having temporary residency is not, as such, a prerequisite for obtaining permanent residency.
Which government body accepts applications?
An application must be submitted to the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of Armenia (address: Davtashen, 4th District, 17/10 Building, Yerevan, 0054, Armenia).
What documents are required?
The following documents should be submitted:
Three color photos - 35 x 45 mm
Passport, copy of the passport and the notarized translation of the passport in Armenian
Documents demonstrating the grounds for obtaining (extending) a residence permit (e.g. documents showing that the person is running a business)
Receipt for the payment of the state duty (AMD 105 000 for temporary residency or AMD 140 000 for permanent residency, for US citizens AMD 85 000 and AMD 90 000 respectively)
What are the differences between temporary and permanent residence permits?
The main difference is in the term of the permit. Temporary residence permits are issued for a one-year term, while permanent residence permits are valid for five years (in both cases with a possibility of extension).
The conditions for obtaining residence permits also differ. Although, running a business, being of Armenian descent or having a family member who holds Armenian citizenship or special residency status can qualify a person for both temporary and permanent residency.
Besides, while the state duty for the issuance of a temporary residence permit is AMD 105 000, the amount to be paid for permanent residency is AMD 140 000.
How can a person obtain a residence permit on the basis of running a business in Armenia?
In order to prove that a person is running a business in Armenia, registration documents of a commercial organization or a sole proprietorship must be submitted (e.g. certificate of registration, Articles of Association (Charter) of the organization). However, these documents may not be sufficient to demonstrate that the business is actually operational. Therefore, the applicant may need to submit other documents as well (such as tax reports, contracts, receipts, etc.).
Running a business in Armenia is one of such grounds which can qualify a person for obtaining both temporary and permanent residence permits (see Article 15 § 1 (e), 16 § 1 (b) of the RA law “On Foreigners”).
After the application has been submitted, the Passport and Visa Department can check if the applicant, in fact, is running a business. For that purpose, the Passport and Visa Department can collect information by sending inquiries to government agencies and other organizations or by visiting the business premises of the applicant.
What does the term “running a business” mean?
Civil Code of Armenia defines the concept of running a business which can be done by:
Establishing commercial organizations or owning a stake therein
Registering as a sole proprietor
In some limited cases without any registration
Do foreigners need a residence permit to start a business in Armenia?
No. It is not required to have a residence permit in order to start a business. On the contrary, the business already must be operational before a person applies for a residence permit by relying on that circumstance.
How can a business be registered in Armenia?
The process of company registration is explained in the COMPANY REGISTRATION of this website.
How long does the processing of the application take?
The decision on the application is made within 30 days after it has been lodged with the Passport and Visa Department. Within that period, the Passport and Visa Department reviews the documents and decides whether or not to issue the permit.
When and how is the term of residence permit extended?
To have the term of the residence permit extended, foreigners must submit a new application to the Passport and Visa Department at least 30 days before the expiration date of the existing residence permit, enclosing the required documents.
The notarized translation of the passport in Armenian is not required when applying for an extension since it had been submitted with the initial application. Even though it is not expressly stated, this exemption also applies when applying for permanent residency. This is because Articles 5, 9 § 1 of the Law “On the Fundamentals of Administration and Administrative Procedure” basically provides that if a person has submitted certain documents to a particular administrative body, the resubmission of the same documents is not required in future administrative proceedings. This rule does not, however, absolve the person of the requirement to resubmit documents that attest to changing circumstances (e.g. health certificate).
What are the consequences of overstaying the visa or residence permit?
If the person does not voluntarily exit the territory of the Republic of Armenia after his residency has expired, the Passport and Visa Department can file a deportation claim with the administrative court which has the authority to deliver a judgment on deportation.
In addition, an administrative penalty in the amount of AMD 50 000-100 000 can be imposed (Article 201 § 1 of the Code of the Republic of Armenia on Administrative Offences).
The deportation of a person from Armenia or failure to pay the penalty can serve as a basis for refusing a visa or a residence permit in the future.
Counsel can assist you in obtaining a residency permit in Armenia.
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