ArmeniaOfficial Name: Republic of Armenia
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
At least one page required for entry visa
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
1 American Avenue
Yerevan 0082, Republic of Armenia
Telephone: +(374) 10-464-585
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(374) 10-494-444 and during business hours (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm) +(374) 10-494-686
Fax: +(374) 10-464-742
Armenia is a constitutional republic with a developing economy. Tourist facilities, especially outside the capital city of Yerevan, are not very developed, and many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries may be difficult to obtain. Read the Department of State’s Fact sheet on Armenia for more information on U.S. - Armenian relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You need a passport to enter Armenia. For Americans who are of Armenian descent, please review the Special Circumstances below regarding departing Armenia. American citizens are allowed visa-free entry to Armenia for up to 180 days per year. For visits of longer that 180 days, visitors must apply for a residency permit through the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For further information contact the Armenian Embassy at 2225 R Street NW, Washington D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 319-1976 and (202) 319-2982; or the Armenian Consulate General in Los Angeles at 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 210, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, tel. (310) 657-7320.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Armenia. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Armenia before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Additional information about Armenian citizenship can also be found on the Embassy of Armenia’s website.
Safety and Security
Separatists, with Armenia’s support, continue to control most of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other Azerbaijani territories. The final status of Nagorno-Karabakh remains the subject of international mediation by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, co-chaired by Russia, France, and the United States, and a cease-fire has been in effect since 1994. Be extremely cautious near the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian positions in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, as intermittent gunfire continues, often resulting in injuries and deaths. Because of the existing state of hostilities, consular services are not available to U.S. citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh or the surrounding territories. Please consult the Country-Specific Information sheet for Azerbaijan for supplemental information.
Armenia has land borders with Turkey, Iran, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.The borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan remain closed and continue to be patrolled by armed troops and/or border guards who stop all people attempting to cross. Although de-mining operations have been largely completed, isolated land mines remain in some areas in and near the conflict zones with Azerbaijan including Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories and the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Traveling to the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia without the consent of the Government of Azerbaijan could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future.
Political rallies in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential elections turned violent, as clashes between government security forces and opposition demonstrators resulted in dozens of casualties and 10 fatalities. In the fall of 2014 and early 2015, increased violence against civic and political activists resulted in detentions and injuries. Visitors should be mindful that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful could turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. Information regarding demonstrations that have been brought to the attention of the U.S. Embassy can be found on the Messages for U.S. Citizens section of the Embassy website.
Armenia is an earthquake- and landslide-prone country. A Soviet-era nuclear power plant is located in Metsamor, approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Yerevan.
- To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Armenia on Twitter and visit the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before travel to consider your personal security. Here are some useful tips in our Traveler’s Checklist.
CRIME: Crime against foreigners is rare in Armenia. Break-ins, particularly of vehicles, and theft are the most common crimes. The overall incidence of violent crime remains lower than in most U.S. cities, however one should still exercise caution. Several U.S. investors have reported involvement in property ownership disputes, and have had to seek legal recourse through long, and often unsuccessful, court proceedings.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport;
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape;
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities and, if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Armenia is also 911. Additionally, one can dial 101 for fire, 102 for police, 103 for medical emergencies, and 104 for gas leaks.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Armenia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own.
Persons violating Armenian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Armenia strictly enforces its laws relating to the possession, trafficking, and use of illegal drugs, including marijuana. Further, Armenia prohibits receipt of packages that contain illegal drugs, including small amounts of marijuana. The fact that the sale of marijuana is regulated in the state in which you reside or that you have a physician’s prescription for medical marijuana may not protect you from prosecution for drugs in Armenia. Persons arrested for violating Armenia’s drug laws may be detained for lengthy periods of time while the investigations proceed, and if convicted, face significant prison sentences. There have also been instances where Armenian customs officials have confiscated prescription medication from travelers upon their arrival. If you have prescription medication needs, be sure to check with the Armenian Customs Agency to see if your medication is considered a controlled substance in Armenia.
There are some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws.
Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. embassy at (+374-10) 494-444 as soon as you are arrested or detained.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Armenia remains largely a cash-only economy. Credit cards are accepted at some businesses, including major hotels and restaurants in Yerevan, but rarely outside of the capital. Limited facilities exist for cashing traveler's checks and wiring money into the country. There are a number of ATMs in the center of Yerevan. Card skimming is on the rise at ATMs throughout Armenia. Dollars are readily exchanged at market rates. You may experience problems with local officials seeking bribes to perform basic duties. Armenian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Armenia of items such as firearms, pornographic materials, medication, and communications equipment. To export antiquities and other items that could have historical value, such as paintings, carpets, old books, or other artisanal goods, you need to get special authorization in advance from the Armenian Ministry of Culture. Please contact the Embassy of Armenia in Washington, D.C. or Armenia’s Consulate General in Los Angeles for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Dual nationals: Armenian legislation permits Armenian citizens to hold dual citizenship. U.S. citizens who emigrated from Armenia to the United States and subsequently acquired U.S. citizenship without explicitly giving up their Armenian citizenship are required by Armenian law to document their Armenian citizenship by obtaining an Armenian passport. Armenian citizens are entitled to certain rights, such as the right to vote in Armenian elections, though Armenian citizenship also entails specific legal obligations, including military service for certain males (see below). U.S. citizens interested in obtaining Armenian citizenship must register their dual citizenship with the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia (formerly OVIR) by simply presenting proof of their other citizenship (e.g. passport). For more information, please consult with the Passport and Visa Department of the Police (tel.: 374 10 37 02 63) and/or the Foreign Ministry's website.
Armenian law requires that all Armenian citizens enter and depart Armenia on their Armenian passports. If you are an Armenian citizen according to the law of the Republic of Armenia, you will be required to obtain an Armenian passport prior to departing Armenia. The law applies to children considered Armenian citizens under Armenian law, including children born in the United States to two Armenian citizens, even if those children have never held an Armenian passport. Individuals who are dual citizens, or could be dual citizens, should inquire with the Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C. prior to traveling to Armenia to determine if they will be required to obtain an Armenian passport to depart Armenia at the end of their visit. The full text of the Armenian Law on Citizenship is available online.
Compulsory military service: In addition to being subject to all Armenian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals are also subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Armenian citizens. Male U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who are also considered to be Armenian citizens are subject to conscription and compulsory military service upon arrival, and to other aspects of Armenian law while in Armenia. Armenian authorities have regularly detained U.S. citizens on these grounds upon their arrival in or attempted departure from Armenia. In most cases, ethnic-Armenian travelers over the age of 18 accused of evading Armenian military service obligations are immediately detained and later found guilty of draft evasion. Penalties for those convicted are stiff and include jail time or a substantial fine. Those who may be affected are strongly advised to consult with Armenian officials at an Armenian embassy or consulate regarding their status before traveling.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no specific laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Armenia, though there are no legal impediments to the organization of LGBT events. However, traditional cultural attitudes result in LGBT individuals often facing de facto discrimination and harassment by state and private actors. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Armenia you may review Section 6 of the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Armenia, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Although Armenia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, Armenian authorities have yet to enforce it. Therefore, assistance for individuals with disabilities, i.e., handicapped parking and/or wheelchair ramps, is nonexistent. This can make it difficult to frequent restaurants, stores and clubs.
Although there are many competent physicians in Armenia, medical care facilities are limited, especially outside the major cities. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking physicians in the area. Most prescription medications are available, but the quality varies. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Armenia, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Travel in Armenia requires caution. Public transportation, while very inexpensive, may be unreliable and uncomfortable. Minibuses are more dangerous than other forms of public transportation. These vehicles are often overcrowded and poorly maintained, lack common safety features, including seatbelts, and are frequently involved in accidents.
Drivers in Armenia frequently ignore traffic laws, making roadways unsafe for unsuspecting travelers. Those driving in towns at night should be especially cautious. Pedestrians often fail to take safety precautions, and often cross unlighted streets in the middle of the block while wearing dark clothing. “Road rage” is becoming a serious problem on Armenian streets and highways. To reduce your risk of being a victim of aggression, yield to aggressive drivers. Though crime along roadways is rare, the police sometimes seek bribes during traffic stops and sometimes harass drivers using U.S. or international driver’s licenses.
We recommend that U.S. citizens not travel at night due to poor road conditions. Winter travel can also be extremely hazardous, especially in mountain areas and higher elevations. Areas near the line of contact with Azerbaijan remain potentially dangerous. In August 2014, due to increased tension in the security situation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Tavush Province, the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan advised U.S. citizens to avoid travel to this border area. Villages and their connecting border roads in this area include, but are not limited to: Vazashen, Varagavan, Paravakar, Aygepar, Azatamut, and Barekamavan.
On weekends, the number of intoxicated drivers on Armenian roads increases. Be extra careful on the main highway from Yerevan to the resort areas of Tsaghkadzor and Sevan. Traffic police will attempt to stop individuals driving erratically and dangerously, but the police presence outside of Yerevan is limited.
With the exception of a few major arteries, primary roads are frequently in poor repair with sporadic stretches of missing pavement and large potholes. Some roads shown as primary roads on maps are unpaved and can narrow to one lane in width, while some newer road connections have not yet been marked on recently produced maps. Secondary roads are normally in poor condition and are often unpaved and washed out in certain areas. Signage is poor to nonexistent. Truck traffic is heavy on the main roads linking Yerevan to Iran and Georgia. Police and emergency medical services may take considerable time to reach remote regions.
The quality of gasoline in Armenia ranges from good at some of the more reliable stations in cities to very poor. The gasoline and other fuels sold out of jars, barrels, and trucks by independent roadside merchants should be considered unreliable.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Armenia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Armenia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.