TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia establishes a new system based on ethnicity, which gives people of Georgian origin the right to visa free travel, education grants and to represent their mother country at sports events.

The Law on Diaspora Organizations and Compatriots Living Abroad was approved by parliament Thursday. It establishes a new status for citizens of other countries who can show that they were either born in Georgia or can trace their roots here.

After filling in the required application, and upon approval, a special document will allow visa free entry, if a visa would otherwise have been required, for up to 30 days.

In addition, the law foresees state education grants and state Master’s degree grant for people having the new status.

Pending approval from the international sports federation within the relevant sports discipline, compatriots with the new status will also have the right to represent Georgia in international tournaments.