TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is ending visa free rules for citizens of 24 countries from September 1. But people from 94 countries can still visit the country without a visa.
However, those who are allowed to stay in Georgia without a visa, may now only stay for 90 days, while before it was 360 days. Also, they must leave the country for at least 90 days when the term expires, before being allowed to reenter.
According to Giorgi Tabatadze, head of the Foreign Ministry’s consular department, the list of 94 countries encompassed by visa free rules has now been approved. The decision was based on a recent amendment to the law about the legal status of foreigners and people not having citizenship. Before the amendments, citizens of 118 countries were allowed visa free visits.
Among the 94 countries are NATO and EU member states, neighboring countries, which includes those from where most of the tourists originate.
For those who need a visa, an important change is that it will normally not be possible to acquire a visa at the border upon arrival – only in ‘exceptional cases’ determined by the government. Visas are issued only at Georgian embassies abroad. Before the amendments, it was possible to get a visa at the border, at Georgian embassies and at the Justice Ministry’s service agency.