Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel.
Armenians are hospitable. Foreigners should be aware that large meals and lengthy toasts might accompany many of their business and social contacts. It is also common to give gifts and take visitors to historical sites. Armenians might view refusals of traditional Armenian hospitality such as lengthy meals or all-day outings as disrespectful.
Due to differences in interpretation and understanding of some business terminology, some of which is very new for Armenia, U.S. business representatives are strongly encouraged to make sure that the content of their communications, negotiations, and agreements with Armenian partners is thoroughly understood.
Corruption has been a legacy problem in many state organizations in Armenia, including enforcement bodies such as the police, tax, and customs authorities. Though foreigners are sometimes exempt from petty corruption, there may be cases where officials will delay a process, hinting that a good “tip” or hiring a certain company to assist may fix problems. When this happens, U.S. business representatives are encouraged to consult with the U.S. Embassy. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.
Please review the Consular Information Sheet available on the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website for the latest travel advisories.
U.S. citizens living or traveling in Armenia are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and to obtain updated information on security within Armenia. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency.
U.S. citizens are allowed visa-free entry to Armenia for up to 180 days per year. For visits longer than 180 days, you must apply for a residency permit through the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Armenian law requires that Armenian citizens, including dual nationals, enter and depart Armenia on Armenian passports. Even if you are naturalized in the United States, the Armenian government may still consider you an Armenian citizen.
For additional information about Armenian visas and related policies, please contact the Armenian embassy or consulate nearest you.
Embassy of Armenia in Washington, D.C.
Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles
U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should visit the State Department’s Visa Website.
The currency of Armenia is the dram (AMD). It is used for all official transactions in Armenia. Cash can be exchanged at banks and change bureaus.
ATMs are commonplace in Yerevan and generally available throughout the rest of the country. Cardholders can increasingly utilize ATMs to withdraw cash and make payments for a variety of services, including public utilities. Armenian banks commonly serve Visa and Mastercard cards, and to a lesser extent Diners Club and American Express. Armenia has a national payment system, Armenian Card (ArCa). Armenian commercial banks issue ArCa cards as well as international cards such as Visa and MasterCard.
Travelers are advised to exercise caution in utilizing cards to make payments, as credit card fraud and card skimming does occur in Armenia.
Traveler’s checks are not accepted in retail outlets and service centers as a means of payment. Some banks accept traveler’s checks and provide cash in either dram or foreign currency. Some banks in Armenia may accept checks drawn on foreign banks, though payment may be delayed until the requested funds are received from the foreign bank.
Broadband, cellular, and fixed-line telephone coverage in Armenia is available nationwide. Team Telecom and Ucom offer landline and mobile services. VivaCell-MTS is an additional provider of mobile services. Network speeds are up to 4G+. Armenia’s mobile providers maintain networks of brick-and-mortar stores throughout the country. A passport is required to purchase a SIM card.
WiFi access is prevalent throughout Armenia and is available in many hotels, restaurants, cafes, and businesses, often free of charge.
The standard voltage in Armenia is 220V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. Outlets are European style, which means travelers from the United States will need a plug adapter.
Air travel occurs primarily through Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan. A substantial portion of regularly scheduled passenger service occurs between Yerevan and points in Russia. Direct passenger service is available to and from major destinations in Europe and the Middle East, but these flights frequently involve late-night or very early-morning arrivals and departures. Seasonal routes become available during the summer to serve holiday destinations.
Rail transportation is limited. An international service connecting Yerevan to Tbilisi in Georgia operates at least once every other day in each direction throughout the year, with some additional service during peak periods. Domestic routes are scarce and of limited utility to business travelers.
Road quality varies throughout Armenia and some sections of highway, including those that serve as international corridors or connect significant population centers, may be in poor condition. Roads may not always be well lit, especially outside of Yerevan.
Armenia’s public transportation system includes a system of crowded minibuses and a modest one-line subway in Yerevan. Taxis are widely available through numerous mobile hailing apps, taxi agencies, and on the streets. Not all taxis are expressly marked as such. Taxis with regular white license plates are owned by individual drivers and most likely will not be metered. Foreigners should expect to pay between 1,200 and 2,000 Armenian dram for a taxi fare within Yerevan, and between 3,000 and 3,500 Armenian dram between the airport and downtown. Aerotaxi is the official taxi of the airport, but drivers frequently leave the meter off and passengers have to negotiate the price, which is usually around 6,000 Armenian dram. Hiring a car and driver generally costs about $100 per day, including the price of gasoline.
Armenian is the official language and is used for all official documents. Much of the population speaks Russian as well. English is a mandatory third language in many schools, and local universities produce an increasing number of English language specialists. Many hospitality establishments in Yerevan catering to tourists and business travelers will have English speakers on staff. English is less widely spoken outside of Yerevan. Finding an interpreter or translator is not difficult.
Medical facilities in Armenia are limited outside of Yerevan. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk from inadequate medical facilities. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctors.
Most prescription medications are available, but the quality may vary. Customs officials have sometimes confiscated medication from travelers upon arrival in Armenia.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of recommended vaccinations for travelers to Armenia.
Local time, business hours, and holidays:
Armenia is in a single time zone (GMT+4) and does not observe daylight savings.
The standard work week is 40 hours, Monday through Friday. Normal business hours are generally between 9AM and 6PM.
A list of national public holidays is available via the U.S. Embassy in Armenia website.
Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings:
Duty-free limits for the import of articles into Armenia for personal use depend on the means of arrival and the value and weight of the imported articles. Special provisions apply for those who are repatriating to or taking up permanent residence in Armenia. There is no limit on hard currency imports to Armenia, though a declaration.