Armenian citizenship by investment: Is it right for you?

Armenian citizenship by investment

Are you looking to obtain Armenian citizenship? If so, investing in the country may be a viable option for you. Armenia is currently developing an attractive citizenship-by-investment program that will allow foreign investors and other notable persons to obtain citizenship.

The term Armenian citizenship by investment refers to the plans of the Armenian government to use the amendments of the Armenian Citizenship Law made on July 7, 2022 in order to open new paths for obtaining Armenian citizenship by foreign nationals. The draft proposal outlines categories under which one can be granted citizenship through a significant economic, cultural, or athletic contribution.

But, what are the requirements for acquiring Armenian citizenship through investment? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the investment requirements for obtaining Armenian citizenship. As well as give some reasons why you may consider this a good option for your second passport. So, let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know about Armenian citizenship by investment!

After reading this post, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. Let me know about your experience with obtaining citizenship of our country through investment. If you have any practical tips, I’ll gladly share them with my audience.

Requirements to obtain Armenian citizenship by investment

According to the draft law, the Republic of Armenia can grant citizenship to those who make a significant contribution in the areas of the economy, science, education, culture, healthcare and athletics. Since the law hasn’t come to power yet, we don’t know all the details at the moment. The Cabinet of Ministers is yet to determine the exact list of things that can be considered a significant contribution. However, the idea is pretty clear and it’s worth exploring.

Below are listed the requirements that you need to meet to be considered for getting your Armenian citizenship by investment. Those presented here are according to the current draft plans of the government.

  • Donation of at least $150,000 to any scientific or educational foundation in Armenia
  • Investment of at least $100,000 in an IT company or a venture fund
  • Investment of at least $150,000 in real estate in Armenia or in a local company with the condition that you hold the investment for at least 10 years
  • Acquisition of government bonds worth at least $150,000 and holding them for at least 7 years
  • Having 20+ years of work experience in a publicly traded IT company, or 10+ years of work experience in science (in case you authored 5+ published scientific articles)
  • Being engaged in dissemination and preservation of Armenian culture, heritage, and identity
  • Having a scientific title of a docent, professor in the area of healthcare.

Also, note that once this law is in power, it should provide an exemption from the standard requirements for obtaining Armenian citizenship by naturalization or by descent. You can read more detailed information about the necessary documentation and the application process at the links. So, the “investment path” could end up being much simpler for many people who don’t have Armenian heritage or cannot live in Armenia long-term for any reason.

Processing time and decision

The path to Armenian citizenship through investment can also be faster than other options. That’s because the idea of the law is that applications based on “significant contributions” will be handed to the President directly by the Office of the Prime Minister. So, once you apply, the decision could be available within 2-3 months.

It’s also good to know some of the factors that can affect the decision of the Armenian government in granting you citizenship. Those can be for example the investment size, charitable contributions, job creation potential, tax payments, your other passports or presence of Armenian heritage, ties to the country and more.

Where to apply?

Currently, this is just a draft law proposal. So, it isn’t possible to apply for Armenian citizenship by investment at the moment. However, it will most likely be possible in the future. In the meantime, you could apply for Armenian citizenship following a similar path, if you can prove that you’ve provided an “exceptional service” to Armenia.

This path currently isn’t standardized in any way, and the decision is made by the government on a case-by-case basis. But if you are seriously interested in this option, and cannot wait for the official new law to come to power, I’d recommend contacting Vardanyan & Partners law firm. I am sure they will be of great assistance to you. I used their services when purchasing a plot of land in Armenia, and they were super helpful. You can also scan through their ultimate guide to acquiring Armenian citizenship, where they look into this topic in more detail.

Also, I recommend that you watch this video below. It will also bring some clarity to you regarding the application for citizenship by investment.

Is Armenian citizenship by investment worth it?

If you ask me, I’d say obtaining a second (or sometimes even a third) citizenship is almost always a good thing, when you have that option. In the majority of cases having multiple passports gives you more freedom to move around and travel. And, it also gives you the opportunity to manage and optimize your taxes better.

Given that the future path to Armenian citizenship by investment (whether financial, scientific or otherwise) will probably require significant inputs from you, I’d say you should only consider it if you don’t have other options. Those may be the presence of Armenian ancestors or your long-term residence in Armenia and others. This is especially true if the language is not a barrier. Even if you know only Russian, you can get your business done in Armenia. To know more, read my blog post “Why do Armenians know Russian?”

But having Armenian citizenship is definitely worth it for several reasons. Let me outline some of those that I think will be relevant for the majority of my readers:

  1. Armenia explicitly allows dual citizenship. So, you don’t have to give away your current passport in order to obtain an Armenian one. This, obviously, allows you to combine the benefits of the Armenian passport with those that your current citizenship offers anyway.
  2. An Armenian passport allows you to travel visa-free to 65 countries, including Russia, China and Iran. These are countries that require visas from holders of passports of the majority of countries of the “Global West”. So, an Armenian passport can save you money and time if you’re planning to visit these countries or do business there.
  3. There are serious prospects that in the near future, Armenian citizens will be granted visa-free travel access to the counties of the Schengen area, which covers most of the EU and some other countries like Norway and Switzerland.
  4. Armenian citizenship allows you to purchase agricultural land and forest. In fact, these are otherwise the two types of properties foreign citizens cannot own in Armenia.
  5. Armenia has one of the most business-friendly environments in the world. According to the World Bank, Armenia ranked among the top 50 countries on the Ease of Doing Business Index in 2020. And when it comes to the ease of starting a business and registering property the country ranks 10th and 13th in the world respectively.
  6. Armenia has a very good tax environment and particularly low taxes (and in some cases complete exception) for IT companies and start-ups.

Final thoughts on Armenian citizenship by investment

Obtaining Armenian citizenship by investment is a possible option for anyone who wants to have several passports and invest in a beautiful country like Armenia. The requirements for acquiring Armenian citizenship through investment seem straightforward for now. Although currently, we can only judge the draft law proposal only. And since Armenia is a very dynamically growing emerging market, investing in Armenia can be a wise decision. It’s especially good for those seeking to diversify their investment portfolio and obtain a second passport.

If you found this post useful, you can give me feedback by writing me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’ll be happy to talk to you. Looking forward to getting replies from you!

Featured image credit: David McBee on Pexels

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