Saturday, November 17, 2007


Nov 16, 2007

The government approved Thursday (November 15) a new procedure for approval and registration of invitations extended by Armenian citizens to friends and relatives abroad for visiting Armenia.

The new procedure stems from a new Law on Foreigners approved by parliament last February.

Head of passports and visas department of the police, Ms. Alvina Zakarian, said after the government session that every Armenian citizen and foreigners with residence permit have the right to send invitations to any person to visit Armenia.

The application is to be submitted to the appropriate police station. Police in turn asks by electronic mail the National Security Service to approve or deny the application. Alvina Zakarian said only persons regarded non grata are banned from visiting the country.

Under the new procedure, the amount of state due paid for invitation's registration has been cut from 12,000 Drams to 5,000. The new procedure has prolonged also the term of staying in the country from previous 21 days to 120 days.

A foreigner must apply for prolongation of his or her visa two days prior to its expiration, otherwise they will face administrative penalties. They will have to pay 500 Drams for every extra day of staying in Armenia.

Alvina Zakarian said the changes were made to facilitate the arrival of foreigners in Armenia and help boost tourism.

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