Armenia Lifts Visa Requirement for U.S. Citizens

The Armenian Embassy in Washington, DC.


YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Citizens of the United States will no longer need visas to visit Armenia starting next month, the Armenian government said on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian announced the lifting of visa requirements for them, effective from Jan. 1, during a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

Nalbandian said that the U.S. government will reciprocate by easing some of its own, much stricter visa procedures for Armenian nationals. In particular, “many categories” of Armenians will now be eligible for multiple-entry American visas valid for 10 years, he said.

Yerevan’s plans to unilaterally abolish the visa regime with the U.S. were first revealed by one of Nalbandian’s deputies, Sergey Manasarian, in May. “This shows that the level of our relations with the U.S. is really rising,” Manasarian told Armenian members of parliament.

Armenia’s visa procedures for much of the outside world have been quite simple since the late 1990s. U.S. citizens, many of them ethnic Armenians, have been able to easily get visas not only at Armenian consulates abroad but also the country’s border crossings and airports.

Citizens of European Union member states already can enter Armenia and stay there visa-free for up to 90 days. The Armenian government scrapped visas for them in 2012 shortly before signing a visa facilitation agreement with the EU. The agreement, which took effect in January 2014, eased the EU’s stringent requirements for some categories of Armenians travelling to Europe.

The authorities in Yerevan have maintained the visa-free arrangement for Europeans even after controversially deciding last year to seek membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Armenia is expected to complete its accession to the EEU by the end of January.

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9 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    If we’re smart we’ll play this game skillfully. It is obvious that the the West in general, and the US in particular, are now actively trying to woo Armenia away from Russian hegemony. This is the opportunity to play both sides by letting one out bid the other. But unfortunately, and as usual, our Russophile friends will probably blow this opportunity by blindly siding with Mother Russia again….i.e. Sarkissian openly congratulating Putin for the Crimean land grab…

    • George said:

      My friend did the Bolsheviks like kill your family members or something? Jesus Christ, every time I read an article on this website, it always somehow turns into a “Russia is the greatest evil in mankind” show.

  2. Armenian said:

    Good news.

    I’m in favor of any attempt at opening Armenia up to the rest of the world. I’m surprised it took this long given the high volume of US citizens who travel to Armenia.

  3. Gurgen said:

    First Armenia getting significant support from NATO member Poland and now this? What happened to our Russophobe’s fear that Armenia was losing its sovereignty by entering the EEU?

  4. Samuel Abajyan said:

    Why my Armenian nation always trying to please Americans or English or Europeans,Why? If they need your friendship or relationship, will find you and visit and pay for that. I do not want their visits that beautiful country and spoil it with their lifestyle. Americans or another nations are not security for us but Russians are!
    Tell me why British or Americans did not stop Turks for interventions of the Cyprus? I think better for us to love each other rebuild old relationship that we had USSR time, make stronger ties between our families and friends, support each other. look at the Jewish nation. They have got all the world in they pocket…My country Armenia is like a virgin girl and do not let anybody to touch with they dirty hands.

  5. GeorgeMardig said:

    Thew West will bring more harm than good to Armenia, Armenia is lucky that Russia’s interests coincides with those of Armenia

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