Armenia

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Monday, 23 June 2014.   This advice contains new information under Entry and exit (e-visas). We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Armenia overall.

Armenia overall

Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia-Azerbaijan border areas

Summary

  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Armenia.
  • Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
  • You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
  • We strongly advise you not to travel in the area of the closed Armenia-Azerbaijan border and ceasefire line because of sporadic clashes.
  • We strongly advise you not to travel to the Armenian-occupied enclave of Azerbaijan known as Nagorno-Karabakh and the military occupied area surrounding it because of the risk of armed conflict along the border and ceasefire line with Azerbaijan.
  • Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Armenia. The Australian Embassy in Russia provides consular assistance to Australians in Armenia.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Australian citizens require a visa to enter Armenia. Tourists entering Armenia by the following border crossing checkpoints are eligible to apply for an e-visa: Zvartnots International Airport, Gyumri Airport, Ayrum railway station, Bagratashen, Bavra, Gogavan and Megri land borders. Alternatively, you can apply for a conventional visa through the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Armenia. All visas should be applied for well in advance of any travel.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Armenia or the Armenia Foreign Ministry or email: evisa@mfa.am well in advance of travel for the most up-to-date information.

If travelling to Armenia by train from Tbilisi, Georgia, you must have a valid visa before boarding the train.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers.

There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.

Civil unrest/political tension

You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. Political events and significant anniversaries may prompt demonstrations.

Armenia-Azerbaijan border areas: We strongly advise you not to travel in the area of the closed Armenia-Azerbaijan border and ceasefire line because of sporadic clashes. Although a 1994 ceasefire still holds, the Armenia-Azerbaijan border is closed and occasional clashes continue along it and the ceasefire line in the Tavush and Gegharkunic regions in Armenia. Vehicles travelling along the road from Kayan or Ijevan to Noyemberyan are particularly vulnerable. In April and June 2012, there were reports of clashes along the border which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries. The conflict zone also contains landmines.

Nagorno-Karabakh: We strongly advise you not to travel to the Armenian-occupied enclave of Azerbaijan known as Nagorno-Karabakh and the military occupied area surrounding it because of the unstable security situation. Possession of the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is disputed by Armenia. Anti-personnel landmines are located in areas near the front lines.

The Australian Government is extremely limited in its capacity to provide consular assistance in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas and in the Armenia-Azerbaijan border areas.

Crime

We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Armenia.

Pickpocketing, petty crime and theft from vehicles are common. Robberies have been reported on train services from Armenia to Georgia.

There have been reports of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by police or other local officials.

Money and valuables

Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas. Armenia is predominantly a cash economy and travellers' cheques are rarely accepted.

Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.

As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering and theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.

Local travel

Armenia's land borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed. There are direct flights operating between Yerevan and Istanbul. Travel in the South Caucasus can be difficult and requires careful planning.

Driving in Armenia may be dangerous due to local driving practices, poorly maintained roads and vehicles, and inadequate road signs. For further advice, see our road travel page.

Public transport is overcrowded and poorly maintained. Minibuses are particularly dangerous and are frequently involved in accidents. Train services are unreliable.

Armenian emergency, police and medical services may take some time to reach remote regions.

Airline safety

Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.

Laws

When you are in Armenia, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

You should carry a photocopy of your passport as identification at all times. The police have the right to stop you to check your documents.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include lengthy imprisonment in local jails.

It is prohibited to photograph military installations, government buildings, monuments and uniformed officials. Local authorities may apply other restrictions or fees to photography in public places.

Homosexuality is not illegal, but is not widely accepted in Armenian society. See our LGBTI travellers page.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Information for dual nationals

In 2005 Armenian law on citizenship was amended to permit dual nationality. Armenian authorities require Armenian citizens to enter and exit using their Armenian passports. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Armenian dual nationals. Male Australian/Armenian dual nationals are required to complete national service obligations if they visit Armenia. Armenian citizenship laws may apply to a child born to parents who hold Armenian citizenship at the time of birth, regardless of the place of birth. If in doubt, check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Armenia well in advance of travel.

Our Dual nationals page provides further information for dual nationals.

Health

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

The standard of medical facilities and care is generally limited, especially outside of the capital Yerevan. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (at considerable cost) to a destination with the appropriate medical facilities would be necessary.

Malaria is a risk in the western border areas of Armenia. Other insect-borne diseases are also a risk to travellers. We encourage you to take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, typhoid, hepatitis, and tuberculosis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Where to get help

Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Armenia. You can obtain consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Russia:

Australian Embassy
Podkolokolny Pereulok 10a/2,
Moscow, RUSSIA
Telephone: +7 (495) 956-6070
Facsimile: +7 (495) 956-6170
Website: www.russia.embassy.gov.au

If you are travelling to Armenia, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the above Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Armenia is in an active earthquake zone. Landslides may occur.

Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

For Parents

For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with children page.



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.