Elinar Vardanyan, a member of the Alternative Projects group and a representative in the Armenian Parliament, has penned an article published by the Hraparak newspaper, addressing the concerning trend of mass emigration from Armenia.

“In 2023, 36,512 citizens left Armenia with Armenian passports and did not return. This is not just a figure, but an indicator that we are leaving our country. Over the past 10 years, the number of citizens who left Armenia with Armenian passports and did not return was 291,327,” said the MP, according to Caliber.az. 

“During this period, in 2020 alone, arrivals to Armenia exceeded departures by 42,786 people due to global restrictions due to the COVID epidemic. It is noteworthy that out of 291,327 people, 138,024 left Armenia and did not return in the last three years: 73,521 citizens in 2021, 27,941 citizens in 2022 and 36,512 citizens in 2023.

In the last three years alone, 138,024 Armenian citizens have not returned to Armenia. Hundreds of thousands of our citizens dream of a green card. The statistics of green card applicants for 2019-2021 are summarised in the officially published US statistics. 602,359 applications for permanent residence in the United States were submitted to the embassy. In 2021, 160,965 people applied for US residency. In such an atmosphere, one can only speculate what the number of applicants for the last two years will be.

The percentage of applicants for a green card from Armenia is several times higher than the number of applicants from Georgia and Azerbaijan. This is not even emigration, it is a citizen’s decision to abandon the state, which is massive.

People leave because they have no confidence in our state and their future. A person cannot plan his or her next week, month, let alone a year. There is uncertainty about the future in everyone’s home. They live in conditions of incessant war. The authorities assure that they are going for peace, but under the guise of pleading for peace lies the chaotic state of endless war. They are dissatisfied with social injustice. A teacher’s salary, even with voluntary certification, cannot be lower than the basic salary of a patrolman. The basic salary of a soldier serving on the border cannot be incomparably lower than the basic salary of police officers. There cannot be a difference of several times between the salaries of high-ranking officials and civil servants doing a huge job at the lower levels of the state. People are desperate and deceived.

The widespread desire of the younger generation to leave is frightening. I am not blaming or justifying anyone. I have no right to do so. I am simply stating the danger. Leaving your children in Armenia is an extremely difficult decision in the context of the risky and unpromising policy of today’s government,” the MP writes.