Identity Reform: Parliament starts discussions on introducing ePassport in Armenia

Identity Reform: Parliament starts discussions on introducing ePassport in Armenia


The National Assembly today was set to start first-reading discussions of eight legislative drafts necessary for the introduction of IDs and biometric passports. Changes and additions will be introduced in certain existing laws and new laws will be adopted.

To meet the requirement of the European Union Armenia must introduce a new system of passports with biometric data. The passports will be used for going out of Armenia and returning as well as within Armenia itself.

Deputy Chief of Police Artur Osikyan, who presented the bills in Parliament on Wednesday, noted that passports containing biometric data will require citizens’ photographs, signatures and the prints of the right and left hands’ forefingers.

“Passports of citizens aged below 16 years will be provided for a period of three years, to those aged 16 for five years. The new types of passports will be issued to citizens on a voluntary basis and the service will be paid – an equivalent of about 60 euros (more than AMD 30,000),” said Osikyan.

At present, Armenians get exit visas in their passport to go abroad, which costs 1,000 drams (about 1.9 euros) per year.

Armenian citizens still could use their current passports within the country and when traveling abroad.

At the same time, the ID will be considered as the main document verifying the identity and citizenship of a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and will be used in the territory of the country. It will be issued by police to persons attaining the age of 16 for a fee that is yet to be determined.