Dateline: Yerevan, Armenia
One of the things that I discover most rewarding about my job is helping individuals get a second passport.
As I’ve mentioned time and time again, getting a second citizenship is among the most necessary elements of turning into a worldwide citizen and dealing toward a Nomad Capitalist way of life.
Constructing a passport portfolio can benefit you in all the things from tax planning to visa-free journey, so it’s typically a worthwhile pursuit – especially for those who’re a US citizen who’s wanting to surrender.
One of the fascinating ways to go about doing this is via citizenship by descent. As an alternative of creating a serious funding to get financial citizenship or dwelling in the nation to grow to be naturalized, you will need to merely prove that your mother and father, grandparents, or even great-grandparents have been born in a specific country to acquire citizenship by descent.
So, when my fiancee talked about that she had Armenian ancestry, I used to be all too excited to assist get her Armenian citizenship by descent.
Each of her mother and father have each Russian and Armenian ancestry, but she was born and raised in Russia. So, she didn’t essentially understand that as a result of she has so much Armenian ancestry, she would find a way to get hold of an Armenian passport by proving her ethnicity.
Armenia is somewhere that you simply won’t have considered when it comes to a second passport, however getting an Armenian passport can truly be fairly useful in various methods. As an Armenian, you’ll have direct access to a few of the greatest offshore banks on the planet, and you’ll also have a number of fascinating visa-free travel options.
The process of getting Armenian citizenship by descent can also be relatively simple, and when you’ve got the best documents to prove your Armenian ancestry, then you possibly can have your Armenian passport in as little as four months.
Nevertheless, while the method for getting Armenian citizenship by descent seems pretty simple, you’ll want to know its ins and outs to avoid hiccups alongside the best way.
So, the aim of this article is to offer you an concept of why you may want Armenian citizenship by descent and the process that you simply’ll want to undergo to get it.
- 1 Why Armenia?
- 2 How to Get Armenian Citizenship by Descent
- 3 I Have Armenian Ancestry – Should I Get Armenian Citizenship by Descent?
At this point, you may be questioning, “why would I want Armenian citizenship?”
Lots of people have a tendency to consider former Soviet nations like Armenia as these darkish, dismal locations which might be far behind the remainder of Europe when it comes to improvement.
Nevertheless, after spending loads of time in Yerevan, I can definitely inform you that isn’t the case right here. Yerevan is a bustling and developed city with plenty of pockets of wealth, and it’s a terrific place to go for those who’re on the lookout for a high lifestyle at a low value.
But even should you don’t essentially plan on dwelling in Armenia for any part of the yr, there are still a variety of sensible benefits to getting Armenian citizenship by descent. In truth, Armenia is apparently one of many few nations that may permit you to turn into president with a second passport.
First, being an Armenian citizen may help you more easily reap the benefits of banking and funding opportunities in the country. Banks in Armenia supply wonderful interest rates on term deposits, and Armenia also has plenty of nice real property investment alternatives. You will get a city middle house in Yerevan for about $50,000, and together with your Armenian citizenship, you’ll have the ability to buy undeveloped land – a privilege that sometimes isn’t obtainable to foreigners.
Second, this up-and-coming nation additionally provides steadily enhancing visa-free access that may virtually definitely improve your current passport portfolio.
An Armenian passport presents visa-free journey to numerous nations that aren’t notably pleasant toward the West. Russia and Iran are two of those nations, and at present, Armenia and China are negotiating a visa-free journey settlement for his or her residents. So, whereas an Armenian passport still isn’t notably robust, it will probably prevent the difficulty of getting visas to extra closed-off nations like Russia and China.
An Armenian passport additionally provides visa-free entry to a handful of Central and South American nations, and Armenia is predicted to have a visa-free journey agreement with the EU inside the subsequent few years.
Moreover, in contrast to many European citizenships, Armenian citizenship is relatively straightforward to move onto your partner and your youngsters. Once you obtain your Armenian passport, your youngsters will routinely be entitled to Armenian citizenship by descent, and in case you and your partner reside in Armenia for a yr, then they will even be entitled to Armenian citizenship in case you have been married for more than two years.
Finally, if in case you have Armenian ancestry, then getting Armenian citizenship by descent simply gained’t value you much in effort and time.
Getting citizenship by descent is among the simpler ways to get a second passport – notably if you have already got proof of ancestry by means of your mother and father or grandparents. In contrast to citizenship by investment, it’s not going to value you upwards of $100,000 to get a passport, and also you gained’t need to expend the effort and time to turn out to be naturalized.
To get Armenian citizenship by descent, you gained’t need to find out how to converse Armenian; you gained’t want to move a check on the Armenian constitution; and also you don’t even essentially want to reside there to be eligible.
And given all the advantages of a second passport, why wouldn’t you need to benefit from this citizenship by descent program when the opportunity value is so low?
How to Get Armenian Citizenship by Descent
When you have Armenian ancestry (and may prove it), then getting Armenian citizenship by descent could be worthwhile.
The process of getting Armenian citizenship by descent might be fairly simple, and for my fiancee, it took all of about 5 months.
Getting Armenian citizenship by descent can also be pretty cheap. The appliance and passport fees are about $2 each, which signifies that you’ll spend lower than $5 getting your Armenian citizenship. Whereas travel, a lawyer, and other prices can add up, you possibly can definitely undergo all the process for nicely underneath $5,000 – flights included.
Generally, getting citizenship by descent anyplace isn’t too troublesome. Probably the most involved part of the method is gathering the right paperwork that you simply’ll want to provide to prove your ancestry, and the way long that takes will rely upon how a lot research you’ve finished and your ties to your Armenian roots.
Nevertheless, proving your Armenian ancestry isn’t so simple as having an Armenian last identify and even speaking fluent Armenian. You’ll need to have real, strong proof of your Armenian ancestry to be eligible to apply.
After you have that proof, the method from there’s fairly simple. You’ll need to visit Yerevan twice, have a number of meetings, and fill out some paperwork, but you gained’t need to leap by means of an infinite collection of hoops as you’d for those who have been making an attempt to get, say, US citizenship.
In this part, we’ll take a better take a look at the method for getting Armenian citizenship by descent, the sorts of paperwork that you simply’ll need to present, and what to anticipate if you visit Yerevan to get your Armenian passport.
Step 1: Collect your Paperwork
The toughest and most involved a part of getting Armenian citizenship by descent is gathering the documents that you simply’ll want to prove your Armenian ancestry.
As I mentioned earlier, proving your Armenian ethnicity isn’t as simple as having an Armenian last identify or understanding how to converse a little bit of Armenian. You’ll want to have extra official proof of ancestry to be eligible to get an Armenian passport.
My fiancee, as an example, had a baptismal certificate from the Armenian church, and alongside together with her start certificate, she was in a position to use this as adequate proof of her Armenian ancestry.
Most people will use these two paperwork – a baptismal certificates and a delivery certificate – to show their Armenian origins. Nevertheless, in the event you don’t have a baptismal certificates readily available, you’re not totally out of luck.
You see, the Armenian government doesn’t have an official listing of tangible paperwork that can be utilized to show your Armenian ancestry. Which means quite a lot of totally different paperwork, reminiscent of a letter from the Armenian affiliation in your metropolis, can be utilized to prove your Armenian ethnicity.
Different paperwork that you simply may use are a dad or mum’s baptismal certificate, family data that denote your Armenian ancestry, or a delivery certificate that mentions your ethnicity.
Then, when you’ve gathered the paperwork that you simply want, you want to take them to the Armenian embassy or consulate in your home country to have these paperwork licensed, and you might also need to have your start certificate translated into Armenian on your software.
No matter which paperwork you determine to use, having them stamped, sealed, and authorized by your native Armenian embassy is a important a part of the process. With out these certifications, you will be unable to submit your documents to the Armenian authorities to apply for citizenship.
Step 2: Journey to Yerevan and Apply for Citizenship
When you’ve gathered your documents and have had them licensed by your native embassy, you will need to then journey to Armenia to apply for citizenship.
Whereas it is technically attainable to apply for Armenian citizenship by descent at an embassy or consulate, I usually don’t advocate doing that. It’s simply much easier and quicker to make a journey to Yerevan and apply there.
So, you’ll want to start by planning your journey.
A standard false impression that I’ve heard about Armenia is that it’s this far-flung place that’s expensive and troublesome to get to. Nevertheless, that’s definitely not been the case once I’ve traveled there.
You gained’t have the opportunity to find a direct flight from the US, however Armenia is well-connected to many European airports and is served by major airways like Emirates and Air France. You may need a stopover in Paris or Dubai, however traveling to Yerevan is not any harder than getting to a metropolis like Bangkok or Panama Metropolis.
You also needs to examine to see when you’ll want a visa to enter Armenia. Residents of most Western nations – including the US, Australia, and the UK – can enter the country and not using a visa, and people who wouldn’t have visa-free entry to Armenia – specifically Canadians – can sometimes get hold of a visa on arrival. Residents from only a small handful of nations will need to apply for a proper Armenian visa, however should you want to achieve this, then you will want to get an invitation letter from the Armenian government.
After you have your flight and visa secured, finding a lodge and getting round is comparatively simple – and cheap, too. International lodge chains like Hyatt have properties within the city, and you may e-book a four-star lodge in the metropolis middle for around $100 per night time. There’s also a lot to see and do in the metropolis, and between taxis and public transit, you’ll have the ability to get round quite efficiently.
General, for my part, Yerevan can be a excellent spot to come and spend some time.
After you’ve arrived within the metropolis, you’ll then want to file your software in individual at the Armenian Passport Workplace.
To do that, you’ll first want to make an appointment on the Passport Workplace. At that appointment, you’ll deliver your paperwork and fill out an software, and chances are you’ll want to reply a couple of questions to confirm some info.
All in all, the appointment should take you not than an hour.
That will help you via this course of, it’s your decision to think about hiring a lawyer. Whereas this isn’t absolutely essential, an Armenian lawyer will give you inside information of the appliance course of, they usually will help hold things shifting and reply any questions that you’ve.
When my fiancee applied for her Armenian citizenship, we decided to use an area lawyer, and our lawyer helped us with every little thing from making an appointment at the Passport Office to monitoring the status of her software.
Nevertheless, regardless of whether you select to hire a lawyer, this a part of the method isn’t terribly troublesome or complicated.
Step 3: Wait on your Software to be Processed
Once you submit your software, you then want to wait 4-6 months for the Passport Workplace to course of and approve it.
For probably the most part, this step is just a waiting recreation. My fiancee’s software, for example, was pretty commonplace, so she merely had to wait 4 months for it to be processed.
Nevertheless, in the event you’re not using a baptismal certificate or produce other particular circumstances, then Armenian officials might reach out to you to answer any questions that come up through the process, and in some instances, you might want to provide them with further proof of ancestry or other paperwork.
That is the place hiring an Armenian lawyer can come in useful. Should any problems come up, they’ll have the opportunity to aid you resolve them shortly and effectively.
Step Four: Finalize your Armenian Citizenship by Descent and Acquire your Passport
After your software is processed and accepted, you will then want to travel to Armenia again to finalize your citizenship and gather your passport – even for those who filed your initial software at an embassy overseas.
This step is probably the most simple part of the method, however you’ll want to plan on spending roughly every week in Armenia to obtain your passport.
If you arrive in Armenia, your first order of business can be to apply on your Armenian passport. Regular processing time on your passport can take up to three weeks, but for a mere $10, you possibly can expedite that time to simply 5 enterprise days. You also have the choice of shortening that point to three days for simply $21, or if you’d like your passport the subsequent day, you possibly can pay $42.
Though expedited processing is extremely low cost right here, I might advocate taking your time and spending every week exploring the country. In any case, it’s your new country of citizenship.
Once you’ve utilized in your passport, additionally, you will want to register with the Armenian Army Workplace in case you’re a person beneath the age of 50.
Armenia is one in every of a handful of nations that still require obligatory army service from its residents, which is why all men underneath 50 should register with the Armenian army. Virtually, nevertheless, solely males of their late teens and early to mid-twenties will truly be conscripted, so in case you’re in your thirties or forties, then you definitely doubtless gained’t want to do much beyond merely register.
Lastly, when your passport software is authorised, you’ll be given a date and time to come to the Passport Workplace to acquire your Armenian Passport.
At the Passport Workplace, you’ll have your citizenship ceremony and sign an oath of allegiance, and you will officially receive your Armenian passport.
I Have Armenian Ancestry – Should I Get Armenian Citizenship by Descent?
When you’ve got Armenian roots, then you definitely could be questioning whether or not it’s worthwhile for you to pursue Armenian citizenship by descent.
Personally, I might say yes.
I’m all the time an advocate for getting a second passport, and if the choice is on the market to you, getting Armenian citizenship by descent is among the easier ways to go about it.
The process is comparatively easy when you have the proper documents, and you gained’t need to cope with residency requirements or citizenship exams while making use of on your Armenian passport. It’s also comparatively inexpensive, and also you’ll have the opportunity to get your passport in less than a yr.
Armenian citizenship also has plenty of benefits in and of itself. You’ll give you the chance to more easily reap the benefits of wonderful funding opportunities in the country, and you’ll get visa-free travel to many places that aren’t as pleasant to residents of Western nations.
The one reservation that I might have about getting Armenian citizenship by descent is the nation’s obligatory army service requirement. Should you’re a man in your twenties, then it’s your decision to maintain off on getting your Armenian passport till you’re a bit older, and when you have sons, then they could want to do the same as properly.
Despite this disadvantage, nevertheless, getting Armenian citizenship by descent may be a superb choice if in case you have Armenian ancestry. Compared to different second passport choices, the chance value is incredibly low when it comes to time, cash, and energy.
When you’re critically contemplating getting Armenian citizenship by descent or have had a unique expertise with this course of, then be happy to reach out.
Andrew Henderson is the world’s most sought-after marketing consultant on legal offshore tax reduction, funding immigration, and international citizenship. He works solely with six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs and buyers who need to “go where they’re treated best”. He has been researching and truly doing these things personally since 2007.