Armenia's economy has traditionally been based on heavy industry, with textile manufacturing and chemical processing as the primary industries. However, since gaining independence from the Soviet Union, Armenia has sought to diversify its economy and now the service accounts for almost 45% of its total GDP (PPP) of 19.649 billion AMD. The other major economic sectors are industry and agriculture, which account for 35% and 19% of GDP respectively.
Even though Armenia's economy experienced a period of instability after gaining independence, it has since seen steady growth every year since 1995, and is fast becoming an economic powerhouse in its region, and it now ranks 28th in the world in the Index of Economic Freedom, higher than Austria, France, Portugal, and Italy. Expatriates and foreigners working in Armenia tend to be employed in the service or industrial sectors, and there is an increasing call for English teachers.
Expatriates wanting to work in Armenia will need a work permit in order to do so. Armenia used to have no policies in place regarding the movement of persons and work permits, but has recently introduced laws that require foreigners to apply for residence and work permits before moving to the country.
In order to gain a permit to work in Armenia, you will need sponsorship from your prospective employer in the country, who will also need to satisfy a set of criteria, including that no Armenian citizen could fill the role. As a result, you will need to have secured work in Armenia before making your application, as without the support of your employer the application is likely to be refused. You must apply for your permit before moving to Armenia through your local embassy or consulate, who you can also contact for more details regarding the application process.
Expatriates and foreigners working in Armenia will be required by law to pay income tax on their earnings. Although Armenia was once known for its complicated taxation system, the revised tax laws implemented in 2001 are now very simple, and make working in Armenia easy for expatriates.
Like many other countries around the world, the income on which you will be required to pay income tax at Armenian rates depends on your residency status in the country. If you are a resident for tax purposes, by which it means that you live and work in Armenia for more than 183 days in a year, you will pay income tax at Armenian rates on your worldwide income. If you live and work in Armenia for less than 183 days in a year, you pay income tax at Armenian rates on your Armenian income only.
Armenia has a two tiered income taxation system, whereby the amount of income tax you will pay depends on which tax band you fall into for that year. The income taxation rates for expatriates living in Armenia in 2015 are as follows:
Expatriates will also be required to pay social security contributions in addition to income tax.