A wide variety of approximation algorithms for permanents of non-negative matrices has been proposed and analyzed before [5; 7; 9; 1]. Usually, these approximation algorithms have been presented for 0-1 matrices and it has been remarked that they extend to other matrices as long as all entries are non-negative. Here we present the first approximation algorithm for the permanent of an arbitrary complex matrix. We extend the notion of an (ε,δ)-approximation algorithm to accommodate for cancellations in additions. Our running time is Õ(3n/2 ε-2 log 1/δ) compared to Õ(2n/2 ε-2 log 1/δ) for non-negative matrices. (A faster algorithm is known for 0-1 matrices .).