YEREVAN — The Armenian police have drafted a bill that would allow foreigners investing at least $150,000 in Armenia to become its citizens.
Under an existing Armenian law, citizenship can be granted only to ethnic Armenian foreign nationals and other foreigners who have lived in the country for at least three years or have provided “exceptional service” to it.
The police bill sets a wide range of criteria for that service. They include the purchase by a single individual of real estate, government bonds and business assets worth at least $150,000, the opening of an information technology company, benevolence, and significant contributions to Armenian culture, science or medicine.
The bill needs to be discussed and approved by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s government because it can be sent to the National Assembly. Government officials have not yet commented on it in public.
Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) would continue to scrutinize all citizenship applications.
The number of citizenship applications has surged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to police data, 9,917 foreigners applied for Armenian citizenship in the first half of this year, up from 3,448 such requests received in the year-earlier period.
The bulk of the applicants are ethnic Armenian citizens of Russia. They are now seeking Armenian passports because of Western travel restrictions and other sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Armenian law makes these and other Diaspora Armenians eligible for fast-truck dual citizenship and sets no residency requirements for them.