Work permit regulation reinstated
27 Feb 19
What is the immigration news? The government has reinstated a decree that requires foreign nationals on local payroll to obtain a work permit.
What does the news mean? Foreign nationals working, and on local payroll, in Armenia must obtain a work permit unless they are otherwise exempted. Foreign nationals who already hold temporary residence cards will not be required to obtain a work permit until their current employment agreement expires. As of Jan. 1, the temporary residence card is only being issued to workers with a valid work permit.
- Effective date: Jan. 1, 2019.
- Visas/permits impacted: Work permits.
- Who is impacted: Employers and foreign nationals on local payrolls.
- Business impact: Employers will need to obtain a work permit for foreign nationals at the start of their employment or when the current employment agreement expires. Employers employing foreign nationals without a valid work authorization will be fined up to 150,000 Armenian dram (about US$307). Additionally, if an employer violates work permit regulations, future work permit applications for foreigners may be denied.
Additional information: In 2016, the Armenian government suspended regulations, established under government decree N493-N, that required foreign nationals to obtain work authorization in Armenia.
Under these changes, nationals were not required to obtain a work permit and, instead, were able to conduct work activities under a document granting lawful residence in Armenia—i.e., a visa or residence permit. The government’s reinstatement of the decree requires employees on local payroll to apply for a work permit prior to applying for their temporary residence card, unless otherwise exempted.
Residence Card Renewals: Foreigners who have an employment contract lawfully signed before Jan 1 may renew their residence permit until the expiration of their existing employment contract. After the expiration of the employment contract, however, they will be required to obtain a work permit and apply for a residence permit based on that document.
BAL Analysis: While Armenian law dictates that foreign nationals working in Armenia must obtain a work permit, many exemptions exist in practice; therefore, foreign nationals conducting work activities should work closely with their immigration advisor to determine the appropriate form of work authorization.
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