May 17, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

How to get citizenship in Armenia and move to the land of mountain peaks and pomegranates

In Armenia, a growing economy, safe environment, and exceptionally welcoming people are not just benefits but integral aspects of daily life. Citizens of the country enjoy a mild climate, pristine ecology, and the backdrop of ancient landmarks.

For foreigners aspiring to join them and secure an Armenian passport, a three-year naturalisation process typically applies as a general standard. However, repatriates, spouses of Armenian nationals, and parents of underage children with Armenian citizenship enjoy an expedited process.

Read on to learn all the ways to get an Armenian passport.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Explains the details of obtaining Armenia citizenship

How to obtain citizenship in Armenia

How to get citizenship in Armenia and move to the land of mountain peaks and pomegranates

Grounds for obtaining citizenship in Armenia

Birth. Children born into a family where at least one of the parents is an Armenian national becomes a citizen regardless of place of birth.

If both parents are Armenian or one of the parents is unknown or does not have a nationality, the newborn obtains citizenship automatically.

If one parent is Armenian and the other is a citizen of another country, then the child obtains citizenship upon written agreement of both parents.

Naturalisation. Foreign individuals who have been living in Armenia with a residence permit for at least 3 consecutive years prior to the application can obtain a passport by naturalisation.

Some candidates for citizenship are eligible for a simplified naturalisation procedure that does not require 3-year residence in the country:

  1. Spouses of Armenia citizens.

  2. Parents of underage children who have Armenian citizenship.

  3. Children of former citizens of Armenia.

  4. People of Armenian descent.

Citizenship by investment is not available in Armenia. The country’s government has been discussing the possibility of introducing such a program since 2022, but the final decision is yet to be made.

If accepted, the citizenship-by-investment program will enable foreigners to obtain a passport for a contribution of at least $150,000.

Citizenship-by-investment programs have been successfully launched in other countries: for instance, Vanuatu, Caribbean countries, and Egypt have already introduced such initiatives.

The minimum investment to obtain a second passport is $100,000 — this is the threshold in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Lucia.

How to obtain citizenship in Armenia as a repatriate

People of Armenian descent can obtain a passport if they provide evidence of Armenian roots.

To prove their Armenian roots, repatriates show one of the following documents:

  1. Certificate of baptism issued by an Armenian Apostolic Church apostilled at the Armenian embassy.

  2. Passport and birth certificate of candidate’s parent, grandparent or sibling mentioning that they are of Armenian nationality.

  3. Official paper issued in the country of applicant’s first citizenship mentioning their Armenian ethnicity.

Aside from that, the applicant provides their passport and birth certificate and a filled-out citizenship application form. All documents should be translated into Armenian and apostilled.

Repatriates can apply for citizenship at the embassy or in Armenia. If they are submitting their papers within the country, they can make an appointment online on the Migration and citizenship services platform.

The waiting time for an appointment can reach 6 months. When the day comes, the applicant brings their papers to the Passport and Visa Office in Yerevan.

The processing time for citizenship applications is 90 days. After approval, the repatriate applies for issuance of their passport.

When receiving their passports, applications undergo an oath-taking ceremony.

The application fee for citizenship and issuance of the passport is AMD 1,000, or €2.3 each.

General rules of naturalisation in Armenia

A person who does not have initial ties with Armenia, such as descent, marriage to an Armenian national or having an Armenian child, can obtain citizenship after 3 years of legal residence in the country.

A foreign national can obtain a residence permit in Armenia if they:

  • study at an Armenian university;

  • are employed by a local company;

  • have a business in Armenia;

  • are an ethnic Armenian;

  • are married to a national or have a child who is a citizen of the country.

There are three types of residency permits: for 1, 5 or 10 years.

One-year residency is available to students and employees of Armenian institutions and companies. The issuance fee of this residence permit is AMD 105,000, or €243.

Five and ten-year residency cards are available to entrepreneurs, relatives of Armenian citizens, and ethnic Armenians. The issuance fee of these residence permits is AMD 140,000—150,000, or €324—347.

Applying for citizenship is possible after 3 years of legal residence in Armenia. For the application, they provide the following documents:

  1. Citizenship application.

  2. Valid passport.

  3. Birth certificate.

  4. Marriage certificate, if applicable.

  5. Spouse’s passport, if applicable.

  6. Valid residence permit.

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Practical Guide

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Citizenship in Armenia through marriage or parenthood

An accelerated procedure of obtaining nationality is available for spouses and parents of Armenian citizens.

Spouses of Armenian nationals can apply for a passport only two years after registering their marriage.

If the candidate is applying on the grounds of parenthood, they can do so only before their child turns 18 but after two years of parenting them.

In both cases, the candidate is required to obtain a residence permit a year prior to application for citizenship. However, they are not obliged to factually reside in Armenia all that time, holding the permit will be enough.

For citizenship, applicants provide the following documents:

  1. Their passport and birth certificate.

  2. Filled-in citizenship application.

  3. Marriage certificate or their child’s birth certificate.

  4. Spouse’s passport and birth certificate, if applicable.

Citizenship obtaining procedure. Applicants submit documents in person. First, they make an appointment on the Migration and citizenship services platform and then submit their documents to the Passport and Visa Office in Yerevan.

The authorities review documents within 90 days. After approval, the new citizen requests an Armenian passport and undergoes an oath-taking ceremony when receiving it.

The processing fee is AMD 1,000, or €2.3 — for citizenship application and passport issuance each.

5 benefits of citizenship in Armenia

1. Growing economy. Over recent years, Armenia has demonstrated resilience and growth, diversifying its sectors and attracting foreign investment. The country’s economy achieved an estimated growth rate of 12,6% in 2022 and 7% in 2023, driven by foreign exchange, expats, and businesses.

2. Business opportunities. Foreigners don’t need residency status or starting capital to open a company in Armenia. The country is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, which ensures free trade between CIS countries.

The biggest sectors in Armenia providing the most promising opportunities to businessmen are information and technology, agriculture, tourism, and construction.

3. Multiple citizenship is allowed. Foreign nationals obtaining a second passport in Armenia are not obliged to renounce their first nationality. This may be only if the applicant’s country of origin prohibits dual citizenship.

4. Expat-friendly environment. The population of Armenia is known to be welcoming and hospitable — and this goes beyond personal interactions.

Nearly every service in the country is available in at least three languages: Armenian, English, and Russian. This multilingual accessibility extends to government agencies and bank websites, ensuring ease of navigation and communication for residents and visitors alike.

5. Rich cultural heritage and picturesque nature. Despite being a relatively small country, Armenia has a lot to impress foreigners with.

The country offers a variety of cultural and natural attractions. Expats and tourists can explore ancient sights set against the backdrop of rugged mountains and peruse bustling markets filled with local crafts.

The country boasts diverse landscapes with lush forests, serene lakes, and striking canyons.

Armenia citizenship | Amberd fortress

Hiking is one of the most popular leisure activities in Armenia. All country’s regions have trails, including Aragatsotn with its hike around the Amberd fortress

Brief guide to Armenia: essential things expats should know

Yerevan is the capital of Armenia and the most comfortable city to live in. The city’s population is around 1 million people, with up to 100,000 expats.

Armenian is the main language. However, international languages are widely spoken. In big cities, such as Yerevan, Gymri and Vanadzor, people speak English and Russian.

Yerevan is one of the safest cities in the world. According to Numbeo’s Safety Index, the capital of Armenia is ranked 21st on the list of cities that are safe to live in. According to the crowd-funding database, Yerevan is safer than Copenhagen, Rotterdam, and Vienna.

The cost of living in Armenia is low compared to Western countries. To live comfortably in the capital, a single person needs less than €700 monthly, excluding rent.

Rental prices, however, have risen within the past couple of years: on average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost €800 per month.

Yerevan is a comfortable hub for frequent travellers. It takes a 3—4 hour flight to reach popular destinations in Europe and the Middle East, such as Athens or Dubai. The border with Georgia is a 4-hour picturesque drive away from Yerevan.

Armenia might apply for EU membership. Armenia’s relationship with the European Union has become closer over the past years, and the discussion of the state’s application for membership candidacy is currently on the table.

If Armenia applies and gets accepted, the country’s nationals will be able to travel, work, and reside freely in any EU country.

Сountries to obtain second citizenship as an investor

Investors looking to obtain second citizenship to gain freedom of movement and have easier access to Europe and other destinations can consider obtaining a passport in countries that provide an investment path.

Caribbean countries that offer citizenship-by-investment programs are:

In any of these countries, a foreigner can get a second passport by investment in about 6 months.

Caribbean passport holders can travel to Europe or other destinations freely: citizenship in any of these Caribbean states allows travelling to over most countries visa-free. Besides, they can apply for long-term visas to the US.

Other benefits of a Caribbean passport include business opportunities and a chance to optimise taxes.

Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment is available to foreign nationals who are willing to contribute over €690,000 to the country’s economy.

This initiative allows investors to obtain a residence permit first and then a passport. Acquiring citizenship becomes available in 1 or 3 years of residence, depending on the sum of the contribution.

There are three mandatory investment conditions:

  1. Contribution to the National Development Fund — €600,000 for citizenship in 3 years of residence and €750,000 for citizenship in 1 year.

  2. Charitable donation to a non-governmental institution of at least €10,000.

  3. Purchase or rent of real estate.

If the investor chooses to buy a property, its price should be no lower than €700,000. The obligatory ownership period is at least 5 years from the day of obtaining citizenship.

For rental real estate, the minimum price is €12,000 per month for the initial residency period of 1 or 3 years and €16,000 for the five years following the obtainment of citizenship.

Citizens of Malta can travel to over 185 countries visa-free, including the Schengen states and the US. Besides, they can freely work, study and reside within the territory of the European Union.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Key takeaways: how to become a citizen in Armenia

  1. Individuals can obtain citizenship in Armenia by birth or naturalisation. The general rules of naturalisation require one to reside in the country for at least 3 years.

  2. People of Armenian descent, spouses of Armenian nationals and parents of underage citizens can get naturalised faster — after only one year of legal residence in the country.

  3. Citizenship by investment is not available in Armenia. Investors looking to obtain a second passport may consider Caribbean programs or obtain Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently asked questions