The Law of Georgia on the Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons enters into force on September 1ST 2014.
1. GEORGIAN VISA ISSUING AUTHORITIES
According to the new law Georgian visas will be mainly issued in diplomatic missions or consular offices of Georgia abroad and in exceptional cases it can be issued at the state border.
The visas are issued at the state border in international legal or humanitarian or Georgian national interests, where an alien fails to meet the requirements and conditions for obtaining visa, on crew members of the ships standing in Georgian harbours, for persons arriving in Georgia to provide humanitarian assistance during life-threatening situations and situations hazardous to health and transit visas for transiting the territory of Georgia (five days) in order to enter a third country.
2. DURATION OF STAY IN GEORGIA
For short-stay visits the period of stay will be 90 Days within any 180 Day period. This new rule will regulate duration of stay of the nationals who are required to obtain visa to enter Georgian territory, as well as duration of stay of the aliens who does not require visa to enter Georgian territory for short-stay visits.
The rule of stay for 90 Days within any 180 Day periods will affect as well those countries’ nationals with whom Georgia has a bilateral and multilateral agreements and the period of stay is not defined in the agreement (nationals of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Republic of Kirgizstan).
List of countries whose citizens may enter Georgia without a visa for a short-stay visit.
1. Commonwealth of Australia
2. Republic of Austria
3. Republic of Azerbaijan
4. Republic of Albania
5. United States of America
6. Principality of Andorra
7. Antigua and Barbuda
8. United Arab Emirates
9. Argentine Republic
10. New Zealand
12. Kingdom of Bahrain
13. Commonwealth of the Bahamas
14. Republic of Belarus
15. Kingdom of Belgium
17. Bosnia and Herzegovina
18. Republic of Botswana
19. Federative Republic of Brazil
20. Nation of Brunei
21. Republic of Bulgaria
22. Federal Republic of Germany
23. Kingdom of Denmark
24. Kingdom of Denmark territories – Faroe islands, Greenland;
25. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
26. British overseas territories – Bermuda, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar;
27. British dependant territories – Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man;
28. Commonwealth of Dominica
29. Republic of El Salvador
30. Republic of Ecuador
31. Kingdom of Spain
32. Republic of Estonia
33. Republic of Turkey
36. Irish Republic
38. State of Israel
39. Italian Republic
41. State of Qatar
42. Republic of Cyprus
43. Republic of Colombia
44. Republic of Korea
45. Republic of Costa Rica
46. Republic of Latvia
47. Republic of Lithuania
48. Lebanese Republic
49. Principality of Liechtenstein
50. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
51. Republic of Mauritius
53. Republic of Malta
54. United Mexican States
55. Principality of Monaco
56. Republic of Moldova
58. Kingdom of the Netherlands
59. Kingdom of Netherlands territories – Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles;
60. Kingdom of Norway
61. Sultanate of Oman
62. Republic of Panama
63. Republic of Poland
64. Portuguese Republic
65. Republic of Romania
66. Russian Federation
67. Hellenic Republic
68. Republic of South Africa
69. Republic of San Marino
70. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
71. French Republic
72. French Republic territories - French Polynesia, New Caledonia
73. Republic of Seychelles
74. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
75. Republic of Serbia
76. Republic of Singapore
77. Slovak Republic
78. Republic of Slovenia
79. Republic of Armenia
80. Kingdom of Thailand
81. Republic of Tajikistan
82. Republic of Uzbekistan
85. Republic of Finland
86. State of Kuwait
87. Kyrgyz Republic
88. Republic of Kazakhstan
89. Kingdom of Sweden
90. Swiss Confederation
91. Czech Republic
92. Holy See
93. Republic of Croatia
94. Republic of Honduras
The citizens of the member states of European Union can enter Georgia on the basis of the travel document as well as the Identity Card issued by the EU member states.
Foreign nationals who are holders of the UNO’s or its specialized agencies' travel documents (Laissez-Passer), can enter or stay on the territory of Georgia without visa up to 90 days in any 180-days period
3. SHORT-TERM AND LONG -TERM VISAS
Georgian visa may be short-term or long-term
A short-term single-entry visa may be issued for maximum 30 calendar days.
A short-term multiple-entry visa may be issued for maximum 5 years. Despite of the validity of the visa the overall duration of alien’s entry and stay in Georgia shall not exceed 90 calendar days in any 180-days period.
The long term visa is issued to those aliens who desire to stay on the territory of Georgia for more than 90 days for working/entrepreneurial activities, studying or family reunification purposes and meet the requirements/conditions for obtaining the long term visa.
The long-term visa is issued with the validity period of 90 calendar days and is a precondition to receive residence permit or diplomatic accreditation.
For long-term visits aliens are required to obtain a visa regardless the nationality.
4. VISA APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Visa Application is filled online by the applicant himself/herself or by the representative.
Printed and signed application must be submitted to the visa issuing authority by applicant or the representative. (In case of Diplomatic or Special Visas the documents can be submitted via post)
5. RIGHT TO APPLY FOR VISA TO DIPLOMATIC MISSION OR CONSULAR OFFICE
An alien, in whose country of citizenship Georgia has no diplomatic mission or consular office, shall apply for visa to a nearby Georgian diplomatic mission or consular office.
An alien, who is in a third state, may apply for visa to the Georgian diplomatic mission or consular office located in the country of residence, if he/she has a valid multiple-entry visa or a valid residence permit of the country of residence. If a Georgian visa is granted to an alien of such category, the validity of the abovementioned visa or residence permit of the country of residence must be 3 months longer than the validity of the requested Georgian visa.
A visa application may be submitted to a diplomatic mission or consular office maximum three months before the visa commencement.
6. INVITATION OF ALIEN IN GEORGIA
The invitation is a specially determined form of the letter, which must be presented to the visa issuing authority in a notarised form. An alien may be invited to Georgia by a legally capable citizen of Georgia of full age, a person holding a Georgian residence permit or a legal entity registered in Georgia. In the case of alien’s removal from the territory of Georgia all the costs of the removal execution are to be borne by the alien concerned, or by the inviting person.
7. CHANGING OF THE DURATION OF STAY ON THE TERRITORY OF GEORGIA
On the territory of Georgia the short-term visa cannot be changed on the long-term visa. As well as for the nationals of the countries which are exempt from visa requirements for the short-stay visit, it is not possible to obtain a long-term visa on the territory of Georgia, except from the cases indicated in paragraph 9.
8. CONSULAR FEE
Consular fee for examination of the short-term and long term visas by the Diplomatic missions and consular offices is 50 USD except when an alien is exempt from consular fees.
Cases when foreigners are exempted from payment of consular fee:
· In the cases provided in international treaties and agreements;
· Georgian citizens foreign national family members while applying for Georgian Visa;
· Foreigners while applying for Diplomatic or Special Category visas.
· Honorary Consuls and honorary citizens of Georgia while applying for Georgian Visa.
9. FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALIENS WHO ENTERED GEORGIAN TERITORY BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1st 2014
Aliens who entered territory of Georgia before the new law entered into force have the right to stay on the territory of Georgia on the basis of the old rule. However, if they leave the territory of Georgia within that period, then, at the time of the next entry the requirements of the new law shall be applied to them.
Those aliens who hold valid Georgian visa obtained before 1 September 2014 have the right to enter Georgian territory during the validity time of this visa.
For the transitional period those aliens who were not required visa for the entry and stay on the territory of Georgia or who crossed the border before September 1st 2014 with the valid visa can submit filled application for long- term visa and other required documents to the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Follow the link to see the new law on Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons
More detailed information regarding the visa procedures and requirements will be provided after 1st of September.