Armenia’s visa policy: all you need to know

Armenia visa and Karabakh visa policies

Questions about Armenia’s visa policy increasingly become more frequent as Armenia is opening up to international travelers. Shall I get my Armenian visa online or get it upon arrival? How much is the visa going to cost me? Do I even need a visa to travel to Armenia? These and many other questions pop up. And, I have the answers for all of them. So, let’s have a look at Armenia’s visa policy.

And, if you find this article useful, please DO let me know! Take pictures when you enter Armenia with your visa, and tweet or instagram those to me with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’m very curious to hear from you about your experiences in Armenia.

Do I need a visa for Armenia as a traveler?

US citizens, as well as most Europeans and citizens of many countries in the Middle East are allowed visa-free entry to Armenia for up to 180 days.

Travelers from these countries can visit Armenia on the bases of so-called visa free policy. To be 100% sure I recommend you check it here, on the Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. There you can quickly verify whether you need a visa with your passport or not. It’s a very simple drop-down menu where you need to indicate where you are from (i.e. which country’s passport you hold) and what kind of passport it is.

Most of my readers will need to choose Ordinary passport in the second drop-down. Since other options are for diplomatic representatives, military and other special categories of visitors, you can ignore those. As soon as you choose your options in both drop-downs, a message appears underneath that and it tells you exactly what you need to know.

Currently citizens of over 45 different countries can enjoy visa free travel in Armenia, for up to 180 days per year. In January 2020 China joined the list of those countries, and I believe the list will keep growing.

How to get a visa to travel to Armenia?

If you aren’t lucky to be from one of the visa-free countries, you will need to get an entry permission. Here, Armenia’s visa policy splits the citizens of other countries into two groups: visa eligible countries and those citizens of which are required to get a visitor’s invitation first.

Visa is required upon arrival to Armenia

The first list puts together countries, citizens of which need to obtain a visa upon arrival or get an Armenian e-visa online. You can find most of countries in Latin America and South-East Asia in this list.

You can obtain a visa upon arrival only in case you arrive to Armenia through one of the official ports of entry. It’s worth noting that the form is bi-lingual (Armenian and English), so it should be easy to fill it in for anybody who speaks English a bit. You just need to fill it in, attach a recent passport format photo (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm) of yours and pay the fee. This can be done simply upon arrival to any of the official ports of entry – border crossings through Georgia and Iran and both international airports, i.e. in Yerevan and in Gyumri. Read more about airports in Armenia in that post.

Buy the way, flying to Armenia through Gyumri is a great idea! It’s a beautiful old city and you will definitely have a lot of fun there. Check out my other post to see why I included Gyumri in my list of top cities to visit in Armenia. And if you happen to be traveling from Georgia, I think you might like my post about different ways of getting from Tbilisi to Yerevan. Enjoy!

How to get an e-visa for Armenia?

If you want to obtain an Armenian e-visa, you need to apply for it online at least 3 business days before crossing the border. You can request your e-visa through this online form of the Ministry. In order to fill in the form, you will need your passport information and a digital photo. The form is available in English and Armenian.

You will need the information from your passport and a good quality passport format photo to file in your request online. All you need to do is to fill in the online form, upload your photo, pay the fee and wait for up to 3 business days. You can also check the status of your e-visa application on the same page.

Also, similarly to visa upon arrival, you can only have your e-visa verified in case you enter the country through an official port of entry. The Armenian e-visa fee is the same as for a visa upon arrival. Scroll down to see a table with visa fees split by type and duration.

Invitation to visit Armenia is required

So, the second list … Well, this one is much harsher! It outlines all countries citizens of which are required to obtain an invitation to visit Armenia first. Essentially, this means that somebody or some legal entity needs to invite you to visit Armenia. Once all the paperwork for the invitation is done, you can apply for this permission at the nearest Armenian embassy.

Examples of such legal entities who can invite you to visit Armenia could be a travel agency registered in Armenia, an NGO, a University or a business. They would need to submit your Invitation request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Armenia. However, if a regular citizen (and not a legal entity) wants to invite you to visit Armenia, they will need to submit your invitation papers to the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of Armenia. Submitting such invitation costs 5000 AMD (roughly 10 USD).

What type of visa do I need to travel to Armenia?

If your passport didn’t make it into the list of visa-free countries, don’t worry! Obtaining an Armenian visa is not a very complicated process, nor an expensive one. These are the different types of Armenian visas:

  • Visitor visa – for a short stay, this is your typical tourist visa, relevant for most of my readers
  • Transit visa – for no more than 3-4 days (valid for 1 year)
  • Official visa – for those who hold an Official passports (military etc.)
  • Diplomatic visa – for diplomatic representations. (valid for 3 years)

Armenian visa fee

The Armenian visa fee depends on the type of visa you want to have:

Visa typeVisa fee
Visitor Visa
(staying up to 21 days)
3000 AMD (6 USD)
Visitor Visa
(staying up to 120 days)
15000 AMD (31 USD)
Multiple entry visitor visa
(staying up to 60 days with 6 months validity)
20000 AMD (41 USD)
Multiple entry visitor visa
(staying up to 120 days with 6 months validity)
40000 AMD (83 USD)
Transit visa (single entry)10000 AMD (21 USD)
Transit visa (multiple entry)18000 AMD (37 USD)
Diplomatic or Official visaFREE
Armenian visa fees based on the type of visa requested

Check out this visa fee page to see a complete list of all different fees this Ministry uses. And, if you have any unanswered questions about visas for Armenia, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by phone or via email. In fact, they encourage you to do that if you scroll to the bottom of the “visa requirement checker” drop-down page I mentioned earlier in this post.

I hope this article helped you realize you don’t need a visa to travel to Armenia, or at least it helped get your visa sorted quickly. So, whichever port of entry you decide to cross our border at, smile and take a picture of your first steps in Armenia. Then, of course, tweet or instagram your pictures to me with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’ll be looking forward!

If you found this post useful, you probably like to plan your trips beforehand. Check out my other post about the best time to visit Armenia, where I put together some tips for planning your trip. And don’t forget to check on courier services to Armenia. You will definitely need it! Don’t forget to check my blog post on top 10 IT companies in Armenia. Armenia is definitely a place not only to travel but to live!

Featured image credit: Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

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