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Work permits in Armenia

Do foreigners need a work permit to work in Armenia?

Yes. Armenia applies the “labor market test” system rather than the “quota” system for regulating the employment of foreign workers. This means that as a general rule, employers have to obtain a work permit before hiring a foreigner. There are no quotas on the number of foreign workers. 

Who is allowed to work without a work permit?

These individuals can be hired without a work permit:

  • Individuals holding permanent or special residency or refugee status

  • Individuals holding temporary residency and at the same time having a family member who is an Armenian citizen or holds permanent, special or temporary residency status

  • Individuals who have been granted asylum

  • Foreign diplomats and their family members

  • Workers in near-border regions

  • Short-term visiting athletes and culture professionals

  • Founders, directors (CEOs), and authorized representatives of commercial companies with foreign capital

  • Employees of commercial organizations of foreign states

  • Specialists visiting for installation or repair of imported equipment or machinery (for up to 6 months)

  • Foreign journalists

  • Guest lecturers

  • Certain exchange students during holidays

  • Certain highly-skilled workers (the list of professions is determined by the government)

  • Individuals who are exempt from the work permit requirement on the basis of international treaties


Who has the responsibility to apply for a work permit?

The application for a work permit must be submitted by the employer.


What government body issues a work permit?

Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs (address: Government Building 3, Republic Square, Yerevan 0010).


When can an employer request a work permit?

Before submitting a request, the employer must inform the Ministry of a vacancy. The Ministry reviews its repository to see if there is an Armenian citizen whose qualifications match the job description. An Armenian citizen may be referred to the employer who can either decide to hire him or reject his candidacy.

The request for a work permit can be submitted when:

  • After informing the ministry about the vacancy, an Armenian citizen fitting the position is not nominated by the ministry or

  • The citizen nominated for the role has been rejected by the employer


What does the employer submit to obtain a work permit?

The employer must submit:

  • An application form

  • The foreigner’s passport

  • A document testifying the foreigner’s education or qualification (e.g. diploma)

  • A photo 3x4

  • A receipt for the payment of state duty (AMD 25 000)


How long does the procedure take?

The decision is made within 5 working days following the submission of all required documents.


When can the request be rejected?


The request can be rejected if:

  • The analysis of the job market does not allow giving a work permit for the vacancy

  • The law provides that only citizens are eligible for the position

  • False information or documents have been submitted

  • The employer has a record of illegally hiring a foreigner in the past

  • There are national security reasons

The rejection can be appealed in court.

What is the penalty for hiring an employee without a work permit?

A penalty in the amount of AMD 100 000-150 000 can be imposed for illegally hiring a foreigner without a work permit.

Besides, working without a work permit is a ground for revoking the visa.

What happens when an employment contract is not concluded after a work permit has been granted?

If the employer does not secure employment within one month, the work permit is revoked.

In this case, the employer may be responsible for covering the following costs both for the foreigner and each of his accompanying family member:

  • Living costs (double the amount of the minimum wage (AMD 68000) per month for 2 months)

  • Return costs (the minimum fares for the mode of transport of the foreigner’s choice)

  • Costs for returning their personal property (a lump sum four times the amount of the minimum wage)


For the government decree No. 493-N of 12 May 2016 and the application template, click here


Reading these articles and acting in accordance with them does not create an attorney-client relationship.  For simplicity, the articles on this website skip rules concerning certain less common situations and may not express strictly accurate legal wording. The information here is based on our own understanding and interpretation of legal provisions, and in some cases, may not reflect recent changes in the legislation and practice. You can contact us for more information

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