Applying for asylum

Right to seek asylum in Armenia

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” (Article 14 (1))

Constitution of the Republic of Armenia: “Everyone subjected to political persecution shall have the right to seek political asylum in the Republic of Armenia.” (Article 54)
“No one may be deported or extradited to a foreign state, if there is a real danger that such person may be subjected to the death penalty, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in that country.” (Article 55(1)
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Persons applying for asylum in Armenia are subject to Armenian national laws and asylum procedures that are in place.

Asylum is legal protection given to foreign citizens and stateless people with rights and freedoms coming from it. Asylum is given by recognizing a foreigner as a refugee. Everyone has the right to seek asylum in a foreign country.  

For more information please visit the official website of the Migration Service.

You can apply for asylum in writing, orally, in sign language, or any other means of communication at the border crossing points, Police stations, the Migration Service, or penitentiary institutions. You have a right to apply for asylum even if you have entered Armenia illegally. You can also contact the Migration Service, UNHCR, and the Office of the Human Rights Defender, if you are in need of counselling regarding the asylum application (visit Partners and contact information page for contact details).

ATTENTION!!!

Please also be informed that during the state of emergency declared as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, the Migration Service of Armenia will not accept hard copy applications. Instead, you can send your electronic applications, complaints and suggestions to the following official e-mail address: [email protected] or to the electronic inquiries platform at https://e-request.am/hy/.

You can call us on the following telephone numbers:
✅ Ban on entry to the Russian Federation: +374 60 275 007
✅ Return and reintegration issues: +374 60 275 009
✅ Issues relating to refugees: +374 60 275 008
✅ Asylum related issues: +374 60 275 010
✅ General issues: +374 60 275 036
✅ Issues relating to forced return from Germany: +374 95 877 017, +374 95 998 980, +374 41 232 030.

Who is an asylum-seeker?

A foreigner who is outside of his/her country of nationality or permanent residence applying for asylum in the Republic of Armenia (RA) is an asylum-seeker until a final decision is made on asylum application.

You can submit an asylum application to the Migration Service, if:

  • You have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or
  • Owing to your life, safety, or freedom being threatened by generalised violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights, or other circumstances, which have seriously disturbed public order.

You, as an asylum-seeker

  • Shall not be subjected to criminal or administrative liability for illegal entry or illegal stay in Armenia.
  • Shall not be expelled or extradited to a foreign state, if there is a real danger that you may be subjected to death penalty, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in that country.
  • Have the right to stay in the Temporary Accommodation Centre for asylum-seekers, if there are available rooms.
  • Have the right to interpretation and translation free of charge.
  • Have the right to free legal aid for which you need to contact the Office of Public Defender.
  • Have the right to apply to the Human Rights Defender, if you believe that your rights have been violated by the state, local self-governing bodies or officials, as well as organizations operating in the field of public service.
  • Have the right to contact the UNHCR Representation in Armenia and the International Organization for Migration.

Applying for asylum at the Republic of Armenia border crossing points

You can apply for refugee status and asylum at the following border crossing points and airports in Armenia:

  • Bavra (Armenia-Georgia land border crossing point)
  • Bagratashen (Armenia-Georgia land border crossing point)
  • Meghri (Armenia-Iran land border crossing point)
  • Ayrum (Armenia-Georgia railway border crossing point)
  • Gogavan (Armenia-Georgia land border crossing point)
  • Zvartnots airport
  • Shirak airport

If you have entered Armenia legally and are at any Armenian land or air border crossing point, you may inform border guards about your intention of submitting asylum application in Armenia. After registering your asylum request you will be explained how to get to the Migration Service office and submit asylum application.
Border Guards will explain you the procedure of seeking asylum in Armenia, and rights and obligations of asylum-seekers. You will have the right to ask for a lawyer and request contact with UNHCR.
If you are attempting to enter Armenia without a valid travel document or a valid entry permit and wish to seek asylum, the border guards may decide to keep you for up to 72 hours in the reception facility designed for foreign citizens at border crossing point making relevant clarifications as prescribed by the law. After registering your asylum application, you will be visited by the Migration Service staff. The officials of the Border Guards and the Migration Service will draw up an act based on which you will be entitled to enter the Republic of Armenia territory.

In case of necessity, you and your family members will be transported from the border crossing point to the Migration Service office or the Reception Center.
In case of any questions, you may contact the staff of the Migration Service, UNHCR, the Armenian Red Cross Society, as well as the offices of the Human Rights Defender and the Public Defender for counselling.

Applying for asylum during the state of emergency

The Human Rights Defender of Armenia has informed that a foreigner or a stateless person can apply for asylum in Armenia during the state of emergency. However, while entering the country you may undergo certain medical examinations and/or be put in quarantine for 14 days.

Applying for asylum in detention

You also have the right to apply for asylum in detention facility (prison), if there is a threat to your life and freedom in your country and you are in need of international protection.
You need to submit your application for asylum to the administration of detention facility (prison). Your application will be transferred to the Migration Service for processing.
You can also contact the Migration Service, UNHCR, and the offices of the Human Rights Defender and the Public Defender from the penitentiary institution, if you are in need of counselling regarding the asylum application.

Applying for asylum in the territory of Armenia

If you have entered the territory of Armenia, then you should visit the Migration Service (MS) of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure for submitting your asylum request. You must submit an asylum application form to the MS. In case of need, the staff member will assist you in filling the application. The application can be filled in Armenian, your mother language or any language of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish).
If you seek asylum together with your family members, you can submit a unitary application filled by an adult member of your family. However, each family member can file an individual asylum application as well (separate from the unitary application).
The following documents should be provided along with the asylum application:

  • A copy of your passport, copies of other identification documents, if available;
  • A copy of birth certificate (in case of minors), if available;
  • Documents in your possession, which in your opinion, can justify your claim;
  • 2 color photos (35x45mm).