Armenia is a tiny beautiful country extremely rich in nature beauties and history.
Visa policy is quite friendly for many different kind of passports and people are usually very friendly towards foreigners.
The border with Turkey is closed, as also the one with Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabah is de facto Armenian even if not recognized by most of countries) and its enclaves.
It may represent a good stop for nomad doing the silk road between Europe and Asia. Cheap, friendly and easy to get in, hikers and mountain lovers will definitely find it worth to visit.
Hitchhiking works very well and local trasportation is also very cheap.
Spontaneous hospitality, especially in villages and small town, is granted and hospex networks work quite well in the capital.
Plenty of spots for wild camping (if the weather allows it, autumn, november can still be ok).
Street food, cheap restaurants and various "magazin" are generally very cheap.
Wi-fi is difficult to find outside of the capital, while many internet café represent a good alternative.
The local currency is not probably convenient for earning and saving, though it might be enough to cover local traveling expenses
Most visitors entering Armenia require a valid visa and passport. Visas can be obtained at any Armenian embassy or consulate overseas. Visas are also available "on arrival" at all points of entry, for those holding certain passports, and electronically.
- Valid passports or travel document of 1 month beyond validity of visa is required in order to obtain a visa to Armenia.
All visitors, except (as of January 2009) citizens of CIS countries (ex-USSR minus Baltics), need a visa to enter Armenia. CIS passport holders may stay for 90 days without a visa. See list here.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, USA and EU countries can buy a visa when they arrive at any entry point to Armenia. A 120 day visa costs 15,000 dram (about $50). A bill is under consideration to introduce a $10 visa, and plus there is a 3 day transit visa option.
Visitors from the CIS do not need a visa for up to 90 days. Visitors from other countries must apply for a visa at their nearest embassy/consulate before arriving.
For convenience at the Yerevan airport, there is a change booth and ATM before customs and immigration. There is also a hefty surcharge of approximately USD $10 for changing traveler's checks, which in general are not widely used in Armenia.
Complete list of requirements:
- a completed visa application form
- a valid travel document (its validity must exceed the validity of the requested visa by at least one month);
- one passport sized colour photograph; (scanned from passport if issued at airport/border)
- invitation, if required;
- other documents, if requested (see “Important notes”);
- visa fee (payment method may vary. Please contact the respective Embassy or Consulate).
- If traveling with any travel document other than the national passport or a UNLP (i.e. stateless person or refugee travel document), please be sure to submit the photocopy of birth certificate and detailed address of stay in the Republic of Armenia. The holders of the above-mentioned travel documents, who are originally from the Republic of Armenia, will not be granted entry visas. According to the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Armenia they are considered as citizens of the Republic of Armenia and must possess a valid Armenian passport;
- For residents of the US, Canada and Europe: If applying by mail, applicants are responsible for the cost of the return shipment. It can be either a prepaid return envelope of any registered mail with a tracking number or a separate money order in the corresponding amount to cover the cost of FedEx, DHL or other postal services. The Embassy or the Consulate of the Republic of Armenia is not responsible for documents lost in the mail;
- Visa services at the border crossing points of the Republic of Armenia will not issue visas to nationals of countries included in the list of countries, nationals of which can apply for visitor and transit visa with invitation only;
- Currently visa services at the border crossing points of the Republic of Armenia issue single-entry 3 day transit visa and 120 day visitor visa only. E-visa is valid for entry at Yerevan International Airport only;
Types of visa and cost
- Visitor visa: (good for 120 days, or 1 year) the best choice for almost all visitors. Entitles a foreigner to enter the Republic of Armenia and stay in the country for up to 120 days. A visitor visa may be issued for single or multiple entries (within up to a year period). A single entry visitor visa may be issued to a foreigner for a single visit to the Republic of Armenia during the period of validity of the visa. A multiple entry visitor visa may be issued to a foreigner for the period of one year. A visitor visa is issued when a foreigner intends to enter the Republic of Armenia for the purposes of tourism, visiting relatives or other persons, business, transportation and other professional interest, medical treatment or other short-term stay. Click here for the list of countries nationals of which could apply for visitor visa only with invitation (the list of documents required for the invitation). Please make sure that your inviting party has verified the invitation for business travelers at the Consular Department of the Armenian Foreign Ministry; for private travelers - at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia). Confirmations for business travelers are received at the Armenian diplomatic mission or consular post via internet. Private traveler must submit the original invitation form. This provision does not apply to national of listed countries with proof of Armenian ethnic origin, members of families of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia and those with proof of Armenian ethnic origin.
- Transit visa: (good for 3 days) required if Armenia is a stopping point to travel on to other countries and it may be a single or multiple. A single entry transit visa entitles a foreigner to travel across the territory of the Republic of Armenia once. A multiple entry transit visa permits a foreigner to travel across the territory of the Republic of Armenia for several times during the period of visa’s validity. A foreigner with a transit visa may stay in the Republic of Armenia for no more than 3 days during each stay. This type of visa can be obtained only in case of having basic visa for the third country, if needed.
- Special Residency Status: A 10 year multiple entry residency permit/visa is issued to those who have Armenian ancestry upon application. The process takes a few months and costs about $400. This allows for almost all the rights of citizenship, except voting and military service!
Entry visas to the Republic of Armenia should be extended prior to the expiration at the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Official and diplomatic visas are extended at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Government House 2, Republic Sq., Yerevan, tel. +37410-526950, e-mail). Visitor and transit visas are extended at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia (13A Mashtots Ave., Yerevan, tel. +37410-530182). Please note that failure to extend visa on time is considered as an administrative violation and will result in administrative proceedings and fines (50,000-100,000 Armenian Drams). Visitor and transit visas are extended at 500 Armenian Drams per extra day.
- Visitors can also apply for an electronic visa (e-Visa) online through the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (website: http://www.armeniaforeignministry.am/eVisa/ )
Armenian Embassies and/or Consulates
- For a full list, see MFA website.
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Armen Smbatian ~ Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Armiansky per. 2, Moscow 101000
Tel.: (7 495) 9241269
Tel/Fax: (7 495) 9244535
Fax: (7 495) 9245030
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Vahe Gabrielian ~ Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
25A, Cheniston Gardens,
London W 8 6TG
Tel.: (44 207) 9385435
Fax: (44 207) 9382595
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Tatul Markarian ~ Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (1 202) 319-1976
Fax:(1 202) 319-2982
Consular Section: Tel:(1 202) 319-2983, Fax: (1 202) 319-8330