Traveling to Georgia
For foreigners intending to visit Georgia, the necessity of a Georgian visa will depend on the factors listed below. After reading this article, we intend to clear you from any doubts or reasons to worry while visiting our wonderful country. Georgia Welcomes its dear guests and is trying to make the process as non-complicated as possible. to read about the current travel restrictions due to the pandemic, please read this article
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter Georgia generally must first obtain a Georgian visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport (a visa blank) or is issued electronically (electronic visa). Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to Georgia without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The visa policy of Georgia became comparatively liberal, allowing citizens of 98 countries to enter, reside, work and study in Georgia without the necessity to obtain either a visa or residence permit. In addition, the Georgian Government approved the list of 50 countries whose visa and/or residence permit holders may enter Georgia without a visa for an appropriate period and under appropriate conditions.
Table 1: List of Countries whose Citizens may Enter Georgia without Visa for One Full Year (Unless Otherwise Noted)
- EU States
- Holy See
- British Dependent Territories
- South Africa
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Overseas Territories
- Iran (45 days)
- Netherlands Territories
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- Chile (90/180 days)
- Costa Rica
- Denmark Territories
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Vincent and Grenadines
- United Arab Emirates
- San Marino
- United States of America
- El Salvador
- Saudi Arabia
- Uruguay (90days)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- French Republic Territories
Other Conditions for exemption from Georgian Visa:
- International travelers who are holders of valid visas or/and residence permits determined by the Ordinance № 256 of the Government of Georgia, may enter and stay in Georgia for 90 days in any 180 day period.
- 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 a visa for a full 1 year.
- Holders of diplomatic or official/service passports of *China, *Egypt, *Guyana, India, *Shri Lanka, *Nepal, *Indonesia, and *Peru may enter and stay in Georgia without a visa.
- Compatriots residing abroad, who are citizens of the country whose citizens need a visa for entering Georgia, are authorized to cross the state border of Georgia without a visa and stay in Georgia for no more than 30 days;
- Aliens holding a Georgian residence permit or a temporary residence permit of a refugee or a person with humanitarian status for the entire period of the validity of the above-mentioned document.
- Members of a crew of an international airline, railway, or marine transport and passengers that need an interim change of carrier or means of transport and have a document evidencing the right to enter their country of destination do not require a visa for transit movement in Georgia. The period of stay in Georgia should not exceed 10 (ten) days. Passengers are not allowed to leave an area signed specifically for transit at an airport, a railway station, or a seaport.
Before applying, visa applicants must first decide which kind of visa (and status of residence) to apply for according to the purpose of their visit to Georgia. The category of visa you must obtain is defined by Georgian immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. A Georgian visa shall be divided into the following categories:
- Diplomatic (A)
- Special (B)
- Ordinary / Short term (C)
- Immigration (D)
- Transit (T)
There are short-term and long-term visas with the right of a single entry or multiple entries. A short-term visa can be issued with the right of a single entry or multiple entries into Georgia, and a long-term visa can only be issued with the right of multiple entries. A short-term single-entry visa can be issued according to the number of days indicated by an alien in a visa application but for not more than 30 calendar days. A short-term multiple-entry visa can be issued for a maximum of five years. Besides, the total period of an alien’s entry and stay in Georgia in any 180-day period shall not exceed 90 calendar days.
A short-term multiple-entry visa can be issued to aliens, who, under the procedures established by the legislation of Georgia, have visited Georgia at least once during the previous year, and there are grounds for requesting a short-term multiple-entry visa. The condition to visit Georgia during the previous year is not required for the issuance of diplomatic and special visas, and of a short-term multiple-entry electronic visa on the basis of a visa application submitted through the e-VISA PORTAL.
PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A GEORGIAN VISA
An alien who is not exempted from a Georgian visa and seeks to enter Georgia must first obtain an appropriate category visa. To obtain a Georgian visa an alien may submit the documentation through E-Application System as via e-Visa Portal depending on the purpose of the travel. The documentation required for application differs depending on which category of visa (and status of residence) the applicant wishes.
E-VISA PORTAL – The easiest way to obtain a short-term C category Georgian visa electronically without visiting Georgian Embassy or Consular Office.
The easiest way to get a permit of entry into and travel within the territory of Georgia for the purpose of a short stay. Prospective travelers have the possibility to obtain a short-term visa without visiting Georgian Embassy or Consular Office. A visa application shall be submitted through the e-VISA PORTAL only by an alien staying abroad if the issuance of a C category short-term electronic visa by the Ministry is required. In the course of filling in a visa application through the e-VISA PORTAL, a message will be sent to the e-mail address indicated in the visa application to subsequently confirm the e-mail address and to ensure payment of the state duty. The e-mail address shall be confirmed within 1 (one) hour after it is sent, otherwise, the visa application will be canceled. The state duty shall be paid within 5 (five) hours after the message received on the e-mail address is confirmed.
E-APPLICATION SYSTEM – Obtain a Georgian visa of any type through the Georgian Embassy or Consular Office.
Through this system, aliens are eligible to apply for any category of visa. The system allows submitting e-application for booking time for submission of visa application at the appropriate consular office. Unlike the e-VISA PORTAL, after the visa application is submitted through E-Application System, hard copies of the signed visa application and all other documents necessary to issue a visa shall be submitted to the visa issuing authority by submitting them directly to the visa issuing authority or another body authorized to accept documents; and in the case of diplomatic and special visas – by directly submitting them to the visa issuing authority, or by post. To find information about Georgian Diplomatic missions and Consular offices click here.
TIME NEEDED FOR THE DECISION
The decision to issue or refuse a visa is made within the following time limits after a visa application is submitted:
- Short-term visa – 10 calendar days
- Short-term visa (if the visa application is submitted through the e-VISA PORTAL) – 5 working days
- Long-term visa – 30 calendar days
- D5 immigration visa – 10 calendar days
ENTERING GEORGIA WITH GEORGIAN VISA
Georgian visa allows you to travel to country through border checkpoint (a highway or section of a road, part of railway station, port, harbour, airport (airfield) reserved for cross-border movement, where border and other types of control under the legislation of Georgia in terms of border crossing is carried out) and request permission of the Border Police of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) to enter to country. While having a visa does not guarantee entry to Georgia, it does indicate a consular officer at Georgian Embassy or Consulate abroad has determined you are eligible to seek entry for that specific purpose. Border Police inspectors are responsible for admission of travelers to Georgia, for a specified status and period of time. Border Police of MIA also has responsibility for immigration matters while you are present in Georgia.
GEORGIAN VISA EXTENSION
An alien staying in Georgia is entitled to request an extension of short-term Georgian diplomatic and special visas, D3 and D5 immigration visas if he/she meets conditions for respective visa issuance. When extending a D5 immigration visa, an alien shall be exempt from the obligation to submit a reassessment of the market value of the real property. Individuals arriving in Georgia to conduct research at an authorized educational institution in Georgia, and individuals arriving in Georgia to study within international programs shall be entitled to an extension of a D3 immigration visa if the grounds for the visa extension do not allow for the possibility that these individuals stay in Georgia for more than 3 months. The reception of the documentation necessary to extend Georgian diplomatic and special visas shall be ensured by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The reception of the documentation necessary to extend D3 and D5 immigration visas shall be ensured by the Public Service Hall and the Agency or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
The decision of a visa issuing authority on refusing to issue/extend a visa, and on terminating a visa shall be appealed within 10 business days from the date a person having the right to file an appeal becomes aware of the appropriate decision. An appeal and the documents attached to it shall be submitted in the Georgian language. An appeal drawn up in a foreign language and the documents attached to it shall be submitted along with the duly certified Georgian translation. The following persons may file an appeal
- a visa applicant who is of full legal age and capacity;
- one of the parents or another legal representative of a minor or of a person under guardianship or custody;
- a representative of a visa applicant – a person holding a duly certified power of attorney.
The decision of the Ministry/Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia on refusing to allow the appeal may be appealed to the common courts of Georgia within one month after becoming aware of the decision.