The Armenian government has recently made a decision to suspend the law obliging foreigners within the nation to make applications for a work permit. Such a license has previously been compulsory for all foreigner to work legally in Armenia. The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Armenia, Artem Asatryan stated: "The provision in question will be ineffective until January 1, 2018."
[caption id="attachment_2650" align="alignleft" width="572"] Armenian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Artem Asatryan[/caption]
He said that presently over five thousand foreign citizens are working in Armenia, many of whom have Armenian roots. These individuals are employed in various sectors including technology and communications, processing industry, trade, healthcare, science, and education.
Asatryan also mentioned that the Armenian law which regulates such an issue is "relatively friendly" although it does pose a few setbacks for employers who have foreign nationals on their staff. Such difficulties include a loss of time as well as additional expenses. It takes fifteen days for the formalization of employees' documents and each work permit costs twenty-five thousand Drams.
Asatryan said that it has not been easy to regulate this sector without the setting of specific quotas. It is, however, not an urgent matter, as there are not that many foreign employees working in Armenia. Hence, after considering the issue, the government proposed to place a temporary suspension on the provision of this law.
Some felt that this was a good decision, which would encourage more Armenians from abroad as well as foreign investors to take an interest in Armenia. Others were not too impressed with the idea of having to compete with Iranians and Russians for employment and also considered it a threat to national security.
We can only hope that the temporary suspension will have more positive effects for many within the Armenian work sectors.