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1. The legal status of foreigners in Armenia
In accordance with the law of the RA ‘ On Foreigners’, foreigners in the Republic of Armenia enjoy equal rights and liberties to RA citizens, unless prescribed otherwise by the Constitution and other laws of the RA and international treaties.
Foreigners, in accordance with legislation of the Republic of Armenia have rights for possessing property (with the exception of right of ownership of land), for engaging in labour activities, for entrepreneurial activities, as well as other rights.
Foreigners in the RA pay taxes, duties, other mandatory payments, in accordance with the order stipulated by the legislation of the RA.
Foreigners while protecting their rights are entitled to all the guarantees envisaged for protection of RA citizens rights, as well as enjoying the diplomatic protection of the state of his/her citizenship.
Foreigners in the Republic of Armenia are obliged to respect the Constitution of the RA, other laws and legal acts, national customs and traditions.
Foreigners bear responsibilities equal to those of RA citizens while in the territory of the RA, with the exception of cases prescribed by international treaties of the RA.
Foreigners preserve legal ties with the state of their citizenship and receive patronage and protection of the latter.
The foreigners do not exercise the following rights:
• entering the territory of Armenia without a visa;
• electing and being elected to bodies of the state governance and bodies of local self- government;
• voting in general referenda;
• entering public service;
• establishing and/or joining political parties;
• exercising the right of land ownership.
2. The legal status of foreigners of Armenian origin in Armenia
The legal status of foreigners of Armenian origin is different from the legal status of other foreigners in the following manner:
• Foreigners of Armenian origin can be given special temporary and permanent residence permits .
• Foreigners of Armenian origin can acquire Armenian citizenship through a simplified procedure :
An individual that has been given a special residence permit is given a special type of passport for a term of 10 years, which gives him/her the right:
• to travel to Armenia without entry visa;
• to exercise the right of ownership of land.
STAYING AND RESIDING IN THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA
The law of the RA ‘ On Foreigners’ defines three types of residence permits for foreigners staying in the territory of the RA:
The mentioned above status of residence are confirmed correspondingly by the following documents;
• a card for short-stay;
• a card for permanent residence;
• special passport.
1. The grounds for granting permits for short-stay and permanent residence
The permit for a short-stay is given with proof of one of the following reasons justifying staying in the territory of the RA for a period of one year and longer:
• marriage to a citizen of the RA or to a person who is a permanent legal resident of the RA;
• being close relative of a citizen of the RA or of a foreigner who is a permanent legal resident of the RA ( parent, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild);
• undertaking entrepreneurial activity in the RA;
• being of Armenian origin.
The permit for permanent residence is given in the following cases:
• the applicant proves that he/she has close relatives in the RA ( parent, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild); or
• he/she has an apartment (place of accommodation) in the RA and sufficient means for habitation, or
• he or she has, before applying for permanent residence, has resided in the RA for at least three (3) years in accordance with the order prescribed by the law, or
• is undertaking entrepreneurial activity in the RA;
• is of Armenian origin
2. The terms and conditions for acquiring the status of short-term and permanent residence
Short-term residence status is given for a period of up to 1 year, with the possibility of further extensions of 1 year each time.
The application for extending of the short-term permit must be submitted in at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of expiration of the previous residence permit. A foreigner that has acquired a short-term permit may, in cases of divorce or cancellation of his/her marriage to a citizen of the RA or to a foreigner with the status of permanent residence in the RA, can apply for the extension of his/her short-term residence status if he/she justifies that he/she has been married and has resided in the territory of the RA for at least one year.
The status of permanent residence is given for a period of five (5) years with a possibility of multipie extensions of the same time period.
The application for extending the permanent residence permit must be submitted in at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of expiration of the previous permanent residence permit.
3. Grounds for granting a special status of residence
A special status of ( permit for) residence is granted:
• to foreigners of Armenian origin;
• other foreigners that are performing economic or cultural activities in the RA.
4. The terms and order of granting a special status of ( permit for) residence
The special status of residence permit is given for a term of ten (10) years. It can be given more than once.
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