Visas to Karabakh
Visitors require visas. Visas can be obtained from the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh permanent representation in Yerevan. Unfortunately this is in the inconvenient suburb of Arabkir to the north of the centre (17a Nairi Zarian St; 10 249705; [email protected]; © 09.00-13.00 & 14.00-17.00 Mon-Fri). It is advised that visa applications are made in the morning, especially if same-day visa service is requested. A photograph must accompany the application. A 21-day tourist visa costs AMD3,000 if collected the following day. Same-day service costs AMD6,000. There are also permanent representations in Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Sydney (Australia) and Washington DC but they cannot issue visas. If there is any possibility of travelling in future to Azerbaijan then it is essential to obtain the visa on a separate piece of paper. A Nagorno Karabagh visa entered in a passport means that entry to Azerbaijan will be refused. It is also possible to obtain visas from the Foreign Ministry after arrival in Stepanakert, provided visitors show the required identification documents at the border. Occasionally, however, travellers without visas have had trouble at the border and the Foreign Ministry staff advise that it is best to obtain visas before leaving Yerevan.
At present, after arrival in Stepanakert all passports must be taken to register with the consular department of the Foreign Ministry at 28 Azatamartikneri Street. It is necessary to state where you want to go and, provided the places are in safe areas, the names are written on a form which is handed to you and serves as a travel permit. Nobody, however, usually asks to see it. The staff speak only Armenian and Russian and, if you want to go somewhere off the beaten track, you will have to show them on the map where it is. This cumbersome procedure is in the process of being changed. In future the form which is currently issued in Stepanakert will be issued in Yerevan with the visa. Both visa and travel permit should be shown at the border checkpoint. There will then be no need to register in Stepanakert. If, for any reason, the form has not been obtained in Yerevan it will still be necessary to register in Stepanakert. Note that the travel permit must be presented to border officials on leaving Nagorno Karabagh. Visitors who have arrived in Stepanakert without accommodation booked, report that the staff in the Foreign Ministry were extremely helpful and found them somewhere to stay. Probably this is unique among the world's foreign ministries.