The main migration exchange takes place between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation. Approximately 93% of labour migrants are employed in the Russian Federation. Among the EU member-states, the main countries of destination are Spain, Germany and Belgium. While migration to the Russian Federation has a circular and seasonal component, the migration to the EU MS tends to be permanent. According to expert estimates, approximately 30% of the total Armenian population participated in external migration since 1988.
The current migration policy in the Republic of Armenia is based on the principles of control over entry, stay, residence, and exit of foreigners; emigration of nationals; labour migration, and asylum.
The State Migration Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia (SMS) is the central body responsible for the development and implementation of the state policy on migration, as well as coordination of activities of the governmental institutions in the area of policy development and drafting legal acts.
Issues pertaining to migration are also managed and overseen by a wide range of governmental agencies, namely Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Diaspora, National Security Service, Border Guard Troops under the National Security Service, two departments of the Police (Division on Combating Illegal Migration and International Collaboration, and Department of Passport and Visa issuance), National Statistical Service, Ministry of Labour and Social Issues, and its State Employment Service Agency.
The most recent key policy instrument regarding migration is the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Policy Concept for the State Regulation of Migration in the Republic of Armenia 2012-2016. The Policy Concept for the State Regulation of Migration in the Republic of Armenia (Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia N 51 issued on December 30, 2010) includes the following measures/priority areas: