Medium Priority

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.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2019 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact