Residency and Citizenship in Armenia. Today we talk about taxation, companies, and bank accounts in Armenia.

residencia en Armenia el país de las montañas | residency in Armenia the mountain country

If you’re wondering why we’re talking about residency and citizenship in Armenia, it may remind you that we’ve already discussed in previous videos the importance of obtaining a second residence and opting for a second passport. The world is changing, and we always need alternatives, options where we can seek refuge in case of an unforeseen event.

For those who understand all of this or those who collect passports, they should know that obtaining citizenship in Armenia is possible in a very short time: in just three years. For this, you don’t need to make any significant investment or efforts.

Migrants policy in Armenia

Armenia has made efforts to develop a migrant welcoming policy that is as open and accessible as possible. Regardless of whether you opt for Armenian citizenship or obtaining a residence permit, you will encounter a simplified process that avoids long waits and the accumulation of complex procedures and requirements to be physically present.

Those holding a residence permit in Armenia enjoy the same benefits as citizens of the country, except for participating in political activities. Additionally, residents in Armenia are exempt from compulsory military service.

 Residency and citizenship in Armenia | Residencia y ciudadanía en Armenia
Don’t wait any longer and choose the right place for your Residence with Nomad Tax here.

Obtaining Residency in Armenia

One notable advantage of obtaining residency in Armenia is the flexibility regarding the length of stay in the country; no minimum stay conditions are imposed. It is possible to manage and renew your Armenian residence permit remotely. Additionally, Armenia allows for dual nationality.

Any person over 18 years old who has lived in Armenia for at least the last three years can opt for it. And by this, I mean obtaining residency in Armenia and not needing to visit the country.

Generally, to qualify as a tax resident in Armenia, it is necessary to be in the country for more than 183 days. This facilitates the possibility of acquiring Armenian residency without assuming tax obligations as a resident.

Categories of Residence Permits in Armenia

Armenian legislation for foreigners defines the following categories of residence status:

  • Temporary Residence
  • Permanent Residence
  • Special Residence

Temporary Residence (Temporary Resident Card):

This permit has an initial validity of one year, with the option to renew it annually. You may qualify for a Temporary Resident Card in Armenia for the following reasons:

  • Studying in Armenian educational institutions
  • Holding a work permit in the country
  • Being a family member (spouse, parent, child) of a foreigner with a Temporary Resident Card in Armenia
  • Being a family member (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild) of an Armenian citizen or a foreigner with a special Armenian passport
  • Heading a company in Armenia
  • Being of Armenian nationality

Elegir tu residencia en Armenia mediante la creación de una empresa | Choosing your residency in Armenia by setting up a company
Armenia has a European culture and a favorable business environment with the Middle East.

Permanent Residence (Permanent Resident Card):

This permit is granted for a period of five years, with the possibility of renewal every five years. The criteria for obtaining this permit include:

  • Being a family member (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild) of an Armenian citizen or a foreigner with a special Armenian passport, having adequate means of support and accommodation in Armenia, and having legally resided in the country for three years prior to the application
  • Heading a company in Armenia
  • Being of Armenian nationality

The issuance of the permanent resident card is done in less than two months after the application. With three years of permanent residency, it is possible to apply for Armenian citizenship. Renewal of this card must be done at least 30 days before its expiration.

Obtaining permanent residence in Armenia through business ownership or self-employment

The most interesting option for us, of course, is to obtain it as business owners. It can be obtained in both cases: by registering as self-employed or by opening a company.

Registering as self-employed in Armenia

This is an extremely easy and quick process. After submitting the documents, you will be registered within half an hour. The only difficulty you may face is collecting the necessary documents for the application: a social card and the registration of the residence card.

To obtain the social card, you need to go to the passport and migration department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. To obtain the registration of the residence card, you need to obtain a declaration from the landlord, from whom you are renting an apartment, and go to the local police station. This declaration can also be relatively easily obtained without the need to rent an apartment all year round.

After registering as self-employed, look for an accountant, and you will be ready to open a bank account in Armenia. After submitting all the documents, it would normally take about a month to open a bank account.

abrir una cuenta bancaria en Armenia | open a bank account in Armenia
Armenia has a mountainous landscape located in the southern Caucasus.

Creating a Company in Armenia

In the past two years, much has changed in the country. Many Russians, after the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war, chose to move from Russia. And Armenia was one of the main destinations. Due to this, and also due to taxation, there was a significant increase in the number of companies opened in Armenia. Additionally, Armenia was and continues to be, to some extent, used for conducting business between EU companies and Russian companies.

Russian companies establish a subsidiary in Armenia or open a bank account there to facilitate banking transactions.

One of the largest categories of Russian companies that had to relocate after the start of the war is the technology sector industry.

Corporate Taxes in Armenia

Companies were relocating entirely because there was a special tax regime that allowed IT companies to pay 0% corporate income tax. However, at the end of 2023, the legislation changed drastically, and now those companies must pay 18% corporate income tax. In addition to that, dividends distributed are subject to an additional tax rate of 5%.

So far, Armenia remains attractive from a tax perspective. It offers an option for companies whose revenues are below 115 million drams (approximately 35,000 euros) to pay only 5% corporate income tax on turnover. However, starting from October 2024, this could be canceled, and all companies would be required to pay 18% in taxes.

How to Acquire Armenian Citizenship?

To acquire Armenian citizenship, there are several routes including descent, marriage, residency, and specific exceptions, each with its unique criteria:

  • By Descent: Individuals with Armenian ancestry can apply for citizenship without language or residency requirements, by presenting evidence such as baptism or birth certificates, which must be properly apostilled and translated into Armenian.

  • By Marriage: This option requires the applicant to have been married to an Armenian citizen for at least two years and to have lived in Armenia for at least 365 days or have a child with their Armenian spouse. Although fluency in Armenian is not required, basic knowledge of the Armenian constitution is necessary.
  • By Exception: Citizenship can also be granted to those who have provided exceptional services to Armenia or have made significant contributions in areas such as economy, science, education, culture, health, and sports, without residency, language, or constitutional knowledge requirements. Contributions may include donations to foundations, investments in IT companies or real estate, among others.

Citizenship by Residency in Armenia

Individuals over 18 years old are eligible to apply for Armenian citizenship. Relevant legislation, including the Law on “Citizenship of the Republic of Armenia” and government decree number 1390-N dated November 23, 2007, dictate the bases for obtaining or renouncing Armenian citizenship.

Basic criteria include having legally resided in Armenia for at least the last three years, possessing an adequate level of proficiency in the Armenian language, and having knowledge of the Armenian Constitution.

Facilitated processes exist for acquiring citizenship for those of Armenian descent, spouses of Armenian citizens, and descendants of former Armenian citizens, who must submit their application within three years after reaching the age of majority, i.e., from 18 years old.

Conclusion on Residency and Citizenship in Armenia

So, although Armenia offers the option of low taxation, its jurisdiction is very unpredictable in the long run, so we do not recommend opening a business here solely for the purpose of paying low taxes unless you intend to do business with Russia.

It will also be less attractive to many next year. Armenia attracted people not only because of low taxation but also because it is not part of the CRS system. So there was and still is no automatic exchange of information between Armenia and other countries when, for example, opening a bank account here.

So in 2024, it still doesn’t automatically exchange information with other countries. However, Armenia has committed to joining the CRS system by 2025. So, whoever was planning to open a bank account there because the country is not in CRS, should think twice.

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