Road Conditions and Safety: The information below is provided for general reference only. Road conditions in Armenia differ significantly from those in the United States. Exercise caution when driving in Armenia. Reckless driving is common. Drivers frequently ignore traffic laws.
- Avoid traveling at night due to poor road conditions and limited emergency response resources. Pedestrians often cross dark streets away from designated pedestrian crossings while wearing dark clothing. U.S. Embassy employees are prohibited from driving at night outside the city limits of Yerevan.
- Yield to aggressive drivers to reduce your risk of being a victim of aggression. Though crime along roadways is rare, police are known to seek bribes during traffic stops and harass drivers using U.S. or international driver?s licenses.
- Winter travel can also be hazardous, especially in mountainous areas.
- Avoid roads near the Line of Contact with Azerbaijan.
- Practice defensive driving and watch out for drunk drivers, especially on the weekends. Be extra careful on the main highway from Yerevan to the resort areas of Tsaghkadzor and Sevan.
- Primary roads are frequently in poor condition with stretches of missing pavement and large potholes. Some roads shown as primary roads on maps are unpaved and can narrow to one lane. Maps may be inaccurate.
- Secondary roads are normally in poor condition and are often unpaved. Roads may not have signs. Police and emergency medical services may take a long time to reach remote regions.
- Gasoline quality ranges from good at reliable stations in cities to very poor. Do not buy gasoline and other fuels sold out of jars, barrels, and trucks by roadside merchants.
Public Transportation: Public transportation, while inexpensive, may be unreliable and uncomfortable. Sexual assaults have often been reported on public transportation. Minibuses are dangerous, overcrowded, poorly maintained, lack seatbelts, and are frequently involved in accidents. Traveling by local unregistered taxis without meters can also prove difficult if a price is not negotiated ahead of time.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Armenia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Armenia?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Outside major cities, medical facilities in Armenia are limited. Medical emergency services at Armenian airports are not on par with U.S. airports. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk from inadequate medical facilities.
We have received reports of cases of brucellosis from unpasteurized dairy products.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Most prescription medications are available, but quality varies. Armenian customs officials have sometimes confiscated medication from travelers upon arrival.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our website) to cover medical evacuation.
- If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Armenia to ensure the medication is legal in Armenia. Always, carry your prescription medication in its original packaging with your doctor?s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate them, even unknowingly, you may be arrested or imprisoned.
Please review the State Department?s page on Arrests or Detention of U.S Citizens Abroad. In addition, many people accused of crimes are held in local prisons in pretrial detention for between two and twelve months without the possibility of posting bail while waiting for a court hearing.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our website for further Information. Possession, trafficking, or the uses of drugs, including marijuana, are illegal. A prescription for medical marijuana will not protect you from prosecution. If you are arrested for a drug offense, you could face detention during the investigation and a prison sentence after conviction. There have been recent cases where electronic cigarettes and related paraphernalia have been perceived as drug related. In these cases, arrestees often have been held without bail until forensic tests clear them.
Customs and Exports:
- Some local officials seek bribes to perform basic duties.
- Customs authorities may enforce regulations concerning the import/export of items like firearms, pornography, and communications equipment. Please refer to the Armenian Customs Service website for further information.
- The export of items of historical value, such as paintings, carpets, and old books, requires advanced authorization from the Armenian Ministry of Culture. Contact the Embassy of Armenia for further information.
- Armenian legislation permits Armenian citizens to hold dual citizenship. Even if you naturalized in the United States, the Government of Armenia may still consider you an Armenian citizen. Children born in the United States to two Armenian citizens may also be considered Armenian citizens. Please read the Armenian Law on Citizenship.
- Armenian law requires that Armenian citizens enter and depart Armenia on Armenian passports. Individuals who are dual citizens, or could be, should consult with the Armenian Embassy in Washington prior to traveling.
- Armenian males over the age of 18 are subject to mandatory military service. Penalties for evading military service include jail time and a substantial fine. Young dual-citizen U.S.-Armenian men are advised to consult with the Armenian embassy prior to traveling. There have been instances where dual nationals have been detained at the airport upon arrival until they can resolve their military service issues.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no antidiscrimination laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in Armenia. There are no hate crime laws or other criminal judicial mechanisms to aid in the prosecution of crimes against members of the LGBTI community. Because of commonly held negative stereotypes, LGBTI individuals face the potential of discrimination and harassment by state and private actors. The Department of State?s 2017 Human Rights Report documents that both politicians and the media engaged in ?hate speech? toward members of the LGBTI community in Armenia, and that members of the LGBTI community experienced physical violence, threats of violence, blackmail, and harassment. Police were unresponsive to reports of abuses against the LGBTI community and at times, themselves mistreated LGBTI persons.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Although Armenia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, Armenian authorities have yet to enforce it. Facilities with accommodations for individuals with disabilities are rare and, in rural areas, usually nonexistent.
Women Travelers: Informal taxis or mini-buses pose particular threats to people unfamiliar with local conditions, especially to women traveling alone. There have been occasional reports of taxi drivers sexually harassing single, female travelers. See our travel tips for women travelers.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Avoid Demonstrations. While most rallies and demonstrations are peaceful, on occasion large political gatherings can become violent.
Natural Disasters: Armenia is prone to earthquakes and landslides.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Area and Conflict:
- The U.S. Government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Casualties continue to occur in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Avoid travel near the line of contact between the conflicting parties. Despite the declaration of a cessation in hostilities, intermittent gunfire, and use of heavy weaponry including land mines continues. Land mines seriously injure several people each year near the conflict zones.
- Engaging in commercial activities inside Nagorno-Karabakh can make it difficult to conduct business inside Azerbaijan or with the Government of Azerbaijan. For more information on commercial activities in Nagorno-Karabakh, please visit the Country Commercial Guide.
Crime: Crime is relatively low, and violent crime is sporadic. When police are called they routinely show up; however, they generally do not speak English. Vehicle break-ins and theft are the most common crimes. Police indicate that there is a criminal group in Yerevan that targets foreigners and burglarizes rented apartments when the victims are away.
- Matters involving commercial and investment disputes can take months or years to resolve as they work their way through the civil courts. The U.S.-Armenia Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) provides that in the event of a dispute between an American investor and the Republic of Armenia, the investor may take the case to international arbitration.
- Credit card fraud and ATM card skimming occurs. See the Department of State and FBI webpages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy at (+374) 10-464-700
Report crimes and requests for emergency services to local authorities by dialing 911. English speaking operators are available. Also contact the U.S. Embassy to report your situation.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. Local resources for victims of domestic violence include shelters, medical assistance, and legal aid. Victims of domestic violence may contact the Women?s Rights Center at + (374) 10-542-828 or (0800) 80-850, 24 hours a day. Other resources include the Women?s Support Center at + (374) 099-887-808, and the Light House shelter at + (374) 93-327-834; + (374) 43-500-503 or ?20-80?, preferably during business hours because of lack of fluent English speakers after hours. In case of sexual violence, victims may contact the Women?s Resource Center at + (374) 077-991-280 and (0800) 01-280, from 9:00 AM to midnight.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
You need a valid passport to enter Armenia. U.S. citizens are allowed visa-free entry to Armenia for up to 180 days per year. For visits of longer than 180 days, you must apply for a residency permit through the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Visit the website of the Embassy of Armenia for the most current visa information.
- Armenian law requires that Armenian citizens, including dual nationals, enter and depart Armenia on Armenian passports. Even if you naturalized in the United States, the Government of Armenia may still consider you an Armenian citizen. Children born in the United States to two Armenian citizens may also be considered Armenian citizens. Please read the information about Armenian citizenship at the website of the Embassy of Armenia and also review the Dual Nationality information in the ?Local Laws and Special Circumstances? section below.
- If you possess an Armenian ?special passport? (a residency permit), you still need a valid U.S. passport to enter Armenia. Border guards have refused to admit U.S. citizens carrying ?special passports.? Please visit the Embassy of Armenia website for further details.
- Traveling to the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future.
Borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan: Land borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan remain closed and are patrolled by armed troops.
Border with Iran: See the Iran travel advisory. The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Iran due to arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. The Department of State maintains its ?Do Not Travel? advisory, noting the ?very high risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in Iran, particularly U.S.-Iranian dual nationals.?
HIV/AIDS Entry Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Armenia.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Armenia for more information on U.S.-Armenia relations.