By Matios Tcholakian
Get your Armenian citizenship within six month time and with limited expense.
Message to Armenians of Diaspora: Let us all apply for the Armenian citizenship before the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This is the strongest survival message that we can deliver.
1- Original Passport copy.
2- Birth Certificate
3- Baptism certificate (as a proof for Armenian origin).
Note: No need for police clearance certificate or medical documents.
Book your return ticket at very affordable rates: Flydubai Dubai-Yerevan rate is around AED 1.300
Apply for 21-day visa from the Armenian Consulate in Abu Dhabi for AED 30 only.
Book your hotel in Yerevan (or opt for holiday apartments for a cheaper rate).
Procedures once you are in Yerevan:
After your arrival go to the Administration Department for Passports and Visas (OVIR). See location map here. OVIR is on Mesrop Mashtots Avenue at a walking distance from the Republic Square.
On the ground floor you can finalize the translations required for the citizenship application as follows:
- Translation of the content of passport (AMD 5.000 / AED 50 AED).
- Translation of the birth certificate (AMD 5.000 / AED 50 AED).
Fill the application form and right down your biographical notes.
Prepare 6 passport-size photos (35 x 45 mm).
Pay AMD 1.000 (AED 10) to the official account No. 900005160529100 and get your receipt voucher.
Provide the above documentation to the OVIR officer and get your reference number. You will get your Armenian citizenship after six months.
For your kind information: Two well-known persons from the UAE Armenian community applied on 26th January 2011 and they got their Armenian citizenship end of August 2011, within six months.
My personal not-so pleasant experience:
I will explain why it is preferred to apply directly to OVIR in Yerevan instead of applying through the Consulate in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately the Consulate proved that it is not capable of providing professional services to the citizenship applicants.
I and my wife submitted our Armenian citizenship applications in the Armenian Consulate in Abu Dhabi on 11th May 2010.I paid for my six documents a stamping fees of 6 X AED 300 = AED 1.800 (US$ 495) and my wife paid stamping fees for five documents 5 X 300 = AED 1.500 (US$ 411). The total for both of us was AED 3.300 (US$ 906). There was also an additional small fee of AED 20 (US$ 5.5 each).
When we applied for the citizenship we were asked to provide police clearance certificates from the country of our residence (UAE). After six months we were asked to provide a police clearance certificate from our original countries. Within a month we submitted these new police clearance certificates.
After that I made a habit to follow up with the consulate on monthly basis (throughout February, March, April and May 2011) to see if everything was fine. I was always assuranced that they have forwarded our files to Yerevan. At the same time I tried to track the files in OVIR through my contacts in Yerevan, but was always surprised to know that OVIR has not yet received our files.
On 9th August 2011 I went to Armenia to follow up the case directly. I visited the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Armenia and the officials there informed me that they have received on 29th June 2011 six files from UAE (our files, 3 Iraqi Armenians and one Syrian Armenian file). Unfortunately there were some documents missing from my wife’s file. After discussions with MFA competent staff, they immediately contacted the Abu Dhabi Consulate and requested from the Consul to scan and forwarded the missing documents. Within short time they completed my file and forwarded it to OVIR.
It is completely surprising that after handing over all the required documents to the Consulate and after paying all the required fees, the Consulate is forwarding our files to MFA after 15 months and with missing documents.
Don't we have the right to ask: "What is really going on in the Consulate?". It is not only our files. The same applies to many other applicants.
According to the Armenian Constitution - Citizenship section, Chapter 6, Article 29 (see copy of the relevant pages on the right side), the official documents should be forwarded to the concerned departments in Yerevan within one month. During a maximum period of one year the applicant should be able to know if his/her application has been accepted or not, so that he/she will have the chance to apply again after the said period.
Although there are special instructions from the President of the Republic Mr. Serzh Sargsyan to all Armenian consulates world wide to be supportive in the citizenship issues, it is shame that the Armenian Consulate in Abu Dhabi held our documents for more than 15 months and documents of other applicants for more than 18 and 20 months without providing the applicants with any reference number or clear answer. According to our information there are around 40 applicants from UAE who keep on asking about their files without receiving any convincing answers.
I would like to ask why applicants from the Kuwaiti Armenian community are getting their Armenian citizenship within six months with the full professional support of the Armenian Consulate in Kuwait? Reference numbers, file numbers, registration numbers and other supporting guidelines are provided to the applicants.
I would like to thank MFA for welcoming, respecting and listening our problems and for taking immediate action. They asked the Consulate to send all the pending files and within 3 days the Abu Dhabi Consulate forwarded additional 8 files.
A total of 14 files have been transferred from 26th June to 23rd August 2011. What about the others?
If any applicant would like to track his file please contact Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the following number +374 10544 041 extension 218, and you will receive professional help, respectful attitude and clear explanation.
We are proud that we have Armenian Consulate in UAE. Our community has supported the Embassy from the first day of its establishment. We have big expectations and we feel disappointed. We feel negligence and lack of respect. We are not exaggerating our feelings. Everyone that has faced the above will have the same feelings.
Let us hope that everything returns into order in the Consulate and that all the applicants are served well. But do not forget that there is a viable and more attractive alternative: Enjoy Yerevan as a tourist and apply for your citizenship there.