Getting Armenian visa
All visitors require visas except passport holders of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Tourist visas are easy to obtain and there are three ways of so doing. The easiest and now the most common way is on arrival in Armenia. At Zvartnots Airport, where most visitors arrive, it is straightforward and quick. Single-entry tourist visas are available for 21 or 120 days. It's easily done at the border and takes only 20 minutes to fill out the papers and get it. The visa fee must be paid in Armenian drams (AMD3.000//US$8/6 Euro for a 21-day visa, AMD15,000 for a 120-day visa). For multiple entry visa you'll have to pay 20.000 AMD (approx 55$ )whereas you can buy two single entry visas and pay for them 6000 AMD (approx 16$). It is easy to change money in the airport, but a considerable commission is charged, so only change the minimum required and get a better deal later at one of the many bureaux de change in the city centre. In Yerevan airport there is a currency exchange and ATM to your right when you step off the escalator before you go through customs. You have to fill out the Visa application form, then take your completed form and your money to the customs officials who will give you your visa.
If you are coming overland from Georgia there's a money changer guy just past the passport office at the Georgia-Armenia border crossing. If not, anyone around will exchange (although at a bad rate). If coming by marshrutka, it will wait for you after the border procedures.
Visas can also be obtained at the following border checkpoints: Ayrum railway station, Bavra, Bagratashen, Gogaven border with Georgia (but not at such minor borders as the crossing from Georgia near Khuchap Monastery on the road over the Wolf s Gates Pass) and at the Meghri land border with Iran. The procedure here may be slower, especially for those last off the bus. Border crossing points can only issue single-entry visas (3-day transit, 21-day or 120-day tourist visas).
The second method is to apply for a conventional visa through an Armenian embassy. The application form for a conventional visa can be downloaded from the Armenian Foreign Ministry website (www.armeniaforeignministry.com) and applications should be made to the appropriate embassy. Note that applications from residents of the US states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin should apply to the Consulate General in Los Angeles and not to the embassy in Washington DC and fees must be paid by certified cheque or money order. Cash, credit cards and personal cheques are not accepted. In the UK payment must be by cash or postal order. Visas are normally issued in two to three working days. Since 1 January 2010 the fees for a conventional visa are the same as for those obtained on arrival (see above). Visas for children under 18 are issued free of charge. Multiple-entry visas are only available through an embassy.
A third way of obtaining a tourist visa is to obtain an electronic visa over the internet. Simply go to the web page of the Armenia Foreign Ministry, complete the application page and pay the fee by credit card. The visa is normally issued within two working days and confirmation that it has been issued is sent electronically. It can then be collected on arrival. A valid e-visa allows entry through Zvartnots Airport and the same land border crossing points as above. The catch is, however, that it's more expensive than buying one at the border, and you don't get a nice sticker in your passport. However, it does save you from the hassle. The only reason to get visa in advance is if you stay more than 21 days in Armenia. E-visas are currently US$15 for a 21-day visa and US$60 for 120-days (so more expensive than obtaining either a visa on arrival or a conventional visa through an embassy). It has the advantage that no paper is inserted into one's passport, a consideration if you intend to visit Azerbaijan in the future. Without a credit card, this method isn't an option.
For any type of visa other than a tourist visa an invitation is required. In the case of business trips it must be certified by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or for private trips by the Passport and Visa Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Multiple-entry visitor visas are available and transit visas are required for stops in Armenia en route to other countries. (For full details see the website of the appropriate Armenian embassy).
Tourist visas can be extended at the Passport and Visa Department of Police of Republic of Armenia in Yerevan (13A Mashtots Av; +374 10530182) for AMD500 per extra day. Failure to extend on time now carries a fine of AMD50,000-100,000. Previously, due to the inconvenience of the several visits needed to extend a visa, the advice given was to pay, on departure, the US$3 (approx AMD1.000) per day fine for overstaying, now a much less financially attractive option.
If you plan to visit Nagorno-Karabah region single entry Armenian visa would be sufficient for you. NK is basically being treated in Armenia as a special province of Armenia, not an independent country/occupied territory. As such, the Armenian border control don't actually consider you left Armenia when you visit NK. You visa need a special permit (Nagorno-Karabakh visa) though, which can be done in Yerevan in advance or in Stepanakert when you arrive. The "border" consists of a stop sign and two guys in a wooden hut, and they're officials from Nagorno-Karabakh. There's no "Armenian" post at the border, and you don't get any entry or exit stamps.
NK entry visa should be arranged in NK representation in Yerevan. Price 3000 AMD (less than 6 euro). As soon as you arrived in Stepanakert head for the Ministry of foreign affairs. Its about a 10 min walk uphill from just outside the bus station. The whole process is simple and takes about 10-15 mins. The guy who does the visa speaks excellent English and is happy to talk about NK as its a sensitive area. You will have to tell him where you intend to travel to in NK and they will put that on a piece of paper which you may have to produce to an official if asked for it.
P.S. Bear in mind that officially NK is still part of Azerbaijan that considers it as 'occupied territories'. So if they find out that you have been in NK without permit from Azerbaijan side they would treat you as entering AZ territory illegally with all the consequences. All travels to NK from Armenian side withouth AZ permission are at your own risk. If you plan to visit AZ later on make sure you don't have any NK stamps in your passport, otherwise you risk being denied entry to Azerbaijan (most likely) or even put in prison.
21 days - 3,000 Dram (100% same day service)
Single entry 1 month - 24,000 dram
Multiple entry 1 month - 33,000
Single entry 2 months - 30,000
Multiple entry 2 months - 39,000
Single entry 3 months - 36,000
Multiple entry 3 months - 44,000
Asian nationals: Indian and Pakistani nationals (as well as many other Asian & African nationalt)require to have Invitation to travel to Armenia. There have to be sponsor company /tourist company or other business organization registered in Armenia/ which will approach the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia in Yerevan /tel +374-10-544041 ext. 235/. The company have to provide letter with your passport data, purpose of visit, photos, passport copies and the point of stamping visas /like Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Tehran or Delhi/ have to be mentioned. The Ministry will put the same data in it's visa system. After the approval in the System the relevant embassy will issue visas.
The recent notification (spring 2011) by the Armenian MFA allows Indian and Chinese nationals to apply for a tourist visa without a letter of invitation! They still need to get their visas from the local Armenian embassies. Check with the embassy beforehand.