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Georgia is a modern and fast growing country with rich history and traditions, beautiful nature, excellent cuisine, low taxes, low crime rate, and low cost of living. Georgia offers visas, residence permits and tax residency status to investors, property owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, workers and their family members, with a path to citizenship.
A knowledgeable local lawyer can help you navigate through the immigration process, avoid pitfalls and maximize your chances of success. Legal assistance can be very valuable in the process of purchasing properties, registering businesses, reviewing, certifying and translating documents, communicating with government agencies and tracking your case, obtaining residence cards, tax residence certificates, etc. Please contact us for a free evaluation of your case.
Visa-Free Travel. Nationals of almost 100 countries (listed below) can travel to Georgia visa-free. They are allowed to enter Georgia without a visa and stay in the country for one full year. As an exception, nationals of Iran are allowed to stay in the country for up to 45 days during one visit.
List of Countries the Citizens of Which Can Travel to Georgia Visa-Free
Asia & Africa
Americas & Pacific
Moreover, holders of visas or residence permits of around 50 countries (listed below) can also travel to Georgia visa-free. They are allowed to enter Georgia without a visa and stay in the country for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
List of Countries the Visas and Residence Permits of Which Allow Visa-Free Travel to Georgia
Americas & Pacific
In practice Georgian immigration authorities require visas to be multiple-entry sticker visas (single-entry visas and e-visas do not work) that are still valid and that were used at least once to enter the country which issued the visa.
E-Visa. For nationals of most countries it is not necessary to deal with embassies as ordinary visas can be obtained electronically (e-visa).
List of Countries the Citizens of Which Qualify for 90-Day (Multiple-Entry) E-Visa
List of Countries the Citizens of Which Qualify for 30-Day (Multiple-Entry) E-Visa
You may not be able to apply for a residence permit in Georgia if you visit the country on a 30-day visa because the requirement of having at least 40 days before the expiry of the lawful status will not be met.
Ordinary Visa (Category C). The nationals of countries that do not qualify for an e-visa must obtain a regular (sticker) visa from a Georgian embassy/consular office abroad. Single-entry visas allow visits to Georgia for a maximum of 30 calendar days. Multiple-entry visas allow visits to Georgia for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
List of Countries the Citizens of Which Must Obtain a Regular (Sticker) Visa at Embassy
Please note that it is not generally possible to get a Georgian visa on arrival (at the border). Visas are not subject to extension, unless there are exceptional circumstances. However, it may be possible to defer the obligation to leave Georgia if your visa is still valid for at least 7 days.
Immigration Visa (Category D). Immigration visas are issued to foreigners coming to Georgia for work and business (D1), freelancing (D2), family reunification (D4) as well as to owners of real estate worth $100,000 and higher (D5).
If you need an immigration visa you can apply for it at Georgian embassies abroad. It is also possible to obtain an immigration visa in Tbilisi, provided that the applicant has at least 45 days before his/her lawful status expires. You will have to submit documents showing 1) purpose of visit 2) sufficient financial means 3) proof of accommodation 4) travel and health insurance. Owners of real estate do not have to provide these documents. Instead, they must show a certificate of ownership of real estate.
An immigrant visa is normally issued within 30 days. Owners of real estate can get a D5 visas in 10 days. The government fees for obtaining an immigration visa are around $20.
Visa Overstay Penalties. If the overstay is less than 3 months the amount of the fine is GEL 180 (around $71). A longer overstay is punishable by a fine of GEL 360 (around $142).
Georgia offers visas, residence permits and tax residency status to investors, property owners, entrepreneurs, workers and their family members, with a path to citizenship.
Permanent (conditio-nal for 5 years)
One year, extendable
Six months and longer, extendable
Invest in economy or real estate (except agricultural land)
Invest in real estate (except agricultural land)
Work or run a business
Gov. Fees & Time
GEL 180 ($73)
GEL 210 ($85)
GEL 300 ($122)
GEL 330 ($134)
GEL 410 ($166)
After 10 years of residence
Effective from July 5, 2019, Georgia raised investment requirements for applicants for permanent and short-term residence permits. The text of the amendments is available here (in Georgian).
Georgia's police and security service conduct thorough background checks for each candidate. Accordingly, there may be no guarantees that your application will be approved. In practice, applicants from Western countries are treated more favorably. Applications filed by nationals of other countries (e.g. Middle Eastern countries) will be scrutinized more carefully.
To qualify for a work residence permit as a business owner (entrepreneur, freelancer, etc.) or an employee you will have to produce an employment agreement or a similar document certifying your employment. Please note that the applicant's monthly salary cannot be less than around $315 (five times monthly subsistence minimum for working age male). If this document does not show your monthly income it is recommended to produce a bank account statement from a local bank confirming a balance of around $3,780 (12 mo. x $315/mo.).
Moreover, the annual turnover of the employer shall not be less than GEL 50,000 (around US$15,800) per each foreign employee that applies for residency. A lower amount of GEL 35,000 (around US$11,100) per foreign employee applies to medical and educational institutions.
A work residence permit is issued for a term of up to one year (typically six months), and can be extended for another 5 years, after which it can be converted into a permanent residence permit, provided that the employment continues throughout this period.
To qualify for a short-term residence permit you will need to become an owner of real estate, such as an apartment, house, development land or any other residential or commercial property (but not agricultural land) worth $100,000 and more. The value of the investment has to be verified by an independent auditor. A short-term residence permit is valid for one year, and can be extended by one-year increments for another 5 years, after which it can be converted into a permanent residence permit, provided that the investment remains in place.
To qualify for a permanent (investor) residence permit you will need to invest at least $300,000 in the Georgian economy - real estate or business. The permit is initially issued for a period of 5 years, after which it becomes permanent, provided that you have maintained your investment throughout this period.
If you invest in a Georgian business it will also need to meet minimum annual turnover requirements ($50,000 to 120,000) to allow you to maintain your permit and remove the condition after 5 years. Annual reports will have to be filed showing that the minimum turnover requirements have been met.
If you invest in real estate your residence permit will be revoked if you sell or otherwise dispose of your property during the 5-year conditional period. However, you are allowed to sell the property and acquire another Georgian property of equivalent or greater value.
Minimum Annual Turnover
The value of the investment has to be verified by an independent auditor. Moreover, the application for a permanent residence permit has to be supported by three business managers who are Georgian citizens or by a member of the Georgian government. Although permanent residence permits are issued for an indefinite period of time the residence cards must be replaced every five years.
If you hold a Georgian residence permit your family members also can apply for "residence permits for family reunification." The following are considered family members:
A residence permit for family reunification is issued if documents are presented showing the kinship (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate) and availability of financial means (income or savings) to support the family members.
A residence permit for family reunification is normally issued for a term of up to one year, and can be extended for another 5 years (6 years in total), after which it can be converted into a permanent residence permit.
Please note that if you hold a property ownership (short-term) residence permit your family members qualify for the same type (i.e. short-term) residence status. If you hold an investor (permanent) residence permit only the following family members qualify for the same type (i.e. permanent) residence status: spouse, minor children (under 18), supported on disabled persons fully dependent on you or legally incapable persons fully dependent on you.
After your residence permit application is approved you will get a residence card within approximately 10 business days if you pay the regular fee of GEL 30 (US$12). It may be possible to speed up the process if you pay a fast-track service fee (in practice, this option is now always available):
Fifth Business Day
GEL 40 (US$16)
Third Business Day
GEL 50 (US$20)
Second Business Day
GEL 60 (US$24)
Same Business Day
GEL 65 (US$26)
Georgian passport ranks 53rd in the world (as of 2020) and allows visa-free travel to 116 countries and territories, including EU/Schengen countries, most of CIS countries, Iran and Turkey.
Citizenship by Exception. The President of Georgia may grant Georgian citizenship by way of exception to a foreigner who has made a contribution of exceptional merit to Georgia or based on state interests. Among other things, the following circumstances may be be considered in deciding on a citizenship petition:
Citizenship by Residence. You may apply for a Georgian passport after 10 years of residence in the country. The residence must be continuous, meaning that you cannot spend more than 90 days outside Georgia during a year (except when you leave Georgia for up to two years for education or treatment). In addition to the residency requirement, you will have to show basic knowledge of Georgian language, history and law, and that you have a job or own real estate or a business interest in Georgia.
If you are married to a Georgian citizen you may apply for Georgian citizenship after 5 years of continuous residence in the country. You still have to show basic knowledge of Georgian language, history and law. However, there are no requirements to have a job or own real property or business interests in Georgia.
Georgia restricts the possibility of dual citizenship. You may retain your current citizenship if you are granted Georgian citizenship by exception. However, if you are granted Georgian citizenship on the basis of residency you will have to renounce your current citizenship.
A foreigner may be granted tax residency status in Georgia if he qualifies as "high net worth individual":
In addition to the above requirements, the applicant must show that he:
The documents are filed with the Revenue Service, which makes a determination on the eligibility of the applicant. If the application is erroneous or incomplete the applicant will be given up to 30 days to fix the errors. Once the eligibility is confirmed the case is forwarded to the Ministry of Finance, which issues to the applicant a certificate of tax residency as well as a 9-digit tax identification number.
The application can be filed in person or through an authorized representative. The tax residency certificate is issued for one tax year. It contains information on the resident's address, tax ID, and a confirmation that he is a resident of Georgia for tax purposes.
Georgia is a modern and fast growing country with rich history and traditions, beautiful nature, excellent cuisine. It has a strategic location in the Caucasus region and is a primary spot for investors who want to access both the European and Asian markets. The country is a free and open democracy that boasts a uniquely liberal business and trade regimes, low taxes, developing infrastructure and a very low crime rate. Georgia's international rankings are available below.
A Georgian residence permit grants you the right to unrestricted stay in the country and the right to engage in any lawful activities, such as doing business, working, studying or simply retiring without work permits or additional documents. Georgian residents are not obliged to serve in the military.
The cost of living in Georgia is very low compared to other European countries. A list of indicative prices can be found here.
There are many ways to make smart business investments in Georgia, for example in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate or outsourcing. The government offers many incentives and grants, has lowered or made certain taxes non-existent, thus generously lowering the costs of doing business.
Becoming a resident of Georgia gives you and your family a path to citizenship. Georgian passport ranks 53rd in the world (as of 2020) and allows visa-free travel to 116 countries and territories, including EU (Schengen) countries, most of CIS countries, Iran and Turkey.
Having a residence permit gives you more freedom and options and can serve as a valuable "insurance policy." Georgia is generally considered an exceptionally safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. If the economic or political situation in your country gets worse you can use your residence permit to move to Georgia with your family. Having a residence permit can help you avoid problems resulting from your country’s foreign policy and domestic regulations (for example, difficulties with banking or increased tax burden).
Georgia grants "residence permits for family reunification" to the family members, including the spouse, sons and daughters, parents, minor, supported or incapable persons under guardianship (custody) of or fully dependent on the residence permit holder.
If you wish to travel to European or other countries, holding a residence permit may allow you to apply for a visa at an embassy in Georgia.
The process of obtaining a residence permit normally takes less than a month. Once your petition is approved you can get your Georgian residence permit in a matter of days. Only minimum documents are required. There is no need to provide police certificates, proof of address, tax returns etc. Government fees are very low even if you use optional fast-track services.
Georgia's taxation of individuals is based on territory and foreign-sourced income is not taxable in Georgia even if you become a tax resident of the country. Tax residence certificates may be available to those who spend in Georgia more than 183 days in a year or, in certain cases, to high net worth individuals.
Obtaining a Georgian residence permit and establishing stronger ties with Georgia can help you to qualify for a non-resident status in your country of origin or other countries and take advantage of the tax benefits available to non-residents.
Once you become a resident of Georgia you are allowed to file invitation letters for other foreigners to support their visa applications.
Georgian residents enjoy constitutional rights and freedoms, including rights to work, healthcare, social security, education, property and privacy rights, freedom of speech, conscience, religion and belief. Georgia has a number of social programs for its citizens, including government-financed education and medical treatment, welfare benefits for old, disabled and other classes of socially vulnerable people.
Owning property will qualify you for residence if the market value of the property, as assessed by a qualified appraiser, exceeds $100,000. The average prices in the capital Tbilisi are around US$900 per sq.m., with properties in the center closer to US$1,500. Prices are slightly lower in the second largest city, the seaside resort Batumi. Rental properties are generally more profitable in Tbilisi which hosts tourists all year round, whereas Batumi is popular in summer.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about residence programs and responses for two jurisdictions: Armenia and Georgia. Questions focus on applications that are based on business ownership and investment in real estate. There may be other ways to qualify for residency (work, studies, etc.)
Business Owners and Investors
Can I obtain a residence permit by setting up a new business or investing in an existing business?
Are there minimum investment requirements?
No, unless you apply for a permanent permit in which case the minimum investment is $300,000
Are there minimum income requirements?
Yes, around $315 per month per applicant
Are there minimum sales or turnover requirements?
Yes, around $15,000 annually per applicant
Do I need a work permit?
Are there restrictions on the type of business I can do?
Do I need to rent office premises or hire local staff?
Do I have to register a business and pay business taxes?
What is the validity of the residence permit?
Short-term (one year), long-term (five years) or special (ten years), all extendable
Up to five years, extendable for up to six years
Real Property Owners
Can I obtain a residence permit by purchasing real property?
Yes, provided that you use it as rental property and register a rental business
Are there minimum investment requirements?
$100,000, or if you apply for a permanent permit, $300,000
Can I apply for residency while I am on regular (tourist) visa?
Yes, unless visa is expiring in less than 40 days
After how many years I can be eligible for a permanent residence permit?
Armenia does not issue permanent residence permits
After six years (five years if you invest more than $300,000 and meet certain turnover requirements)
After how many years I can be eligible for a passport?
Is dual citizenship allowed?
How much are the government fees for obtaining a residence permit?
How long does it take to get a residence permit?
Do I have to provide any of the following?
- Police clearance certificate
- Medical check certificate
- Bank account statement
No, unless used to prove income
- Proof of address
- Proof of source of income
- Birth certificate
- Military records
Am I required to be physically present in the country to:
- file the application for residency?
Yes, unless applying for special residence permit
- obtain the residence permit?
Is there normally an interview with the immigration officer?
Can family members also qualify for a residence permit?
- Spouse, son or daughter, parent
- Brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild
Only for long-term and special residents
- Other dependents
Do I have to pay personal taxes to the country after becoming a resident?
Do I have to serve in the military after becoming a resident?
If my application for residence gets rejected can I reapply?
Yes, after one year
Can the rejection be appealed in court?
DRAM ($1 = 491 AMD)
LARI ($1 = 3.18 GEL)
GdP per capita:
Number of Countries
Copyright 2020 - Vardanyan & Partners LLC
We are a team of licensed lawyers based in Armenia and Georgia. Our primary commitment is to provide quality service to clients at a compelling value that helps manage risk, overcome regulatory issues and advance their personal and business goals.
LL.M. Georgetown University
New York Bar | Armenia Chamber of Advocates
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