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Minister says asylum seekers can temporarily stay in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 17
Asylum seekers making towards Georgia will be granted special status through which they will be able to stay in the country for one year; when the term expires, their status will be re-evaluated.

Georgia’s Minister of Refugees, Sozar Subari, has stated that his Ministry was working on changes that would specify migration procedures to help with the recent problems of migrants who fled various war-torn regions of the world.

The Minister stressed that those who had to leave their homelands due to conflict will be granted status of ‘under temporal protection’ for one year.

If after a year the situation in his/her country has improved, the migrants will be obligated to go back.

Subari also stated that some people tried to seek asylum for own profit, without any threat of persecution, and lived at the expense of the country he/she was sheltered.

“We plan to introduce a change envisaging the fast-study of asylum seekers’ applications to timely reveal fake applicants and prevent them from living at our expense,” Subari said.

Official data from October 2015 showed 995 foreign citizens were seeking asylum in Georgia.

When presenting the report, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili stressed that last year, 1,192 refugees and people with special humanitarian status lived in Georgia under international protection.

The majority of these people were citizens of Iraq, Ukraine, Russia and Syria, and had mainly fled due to conflict in their home country.

Meanwhile, three days ago a new building for asylum seekers was opened in the Martkopi village, eastern Kvemo Kartli region, intended for 72 people.

The United States (US) State Department allocated $ 951,725 USD for the facility's construction, while the United Nations (UN) purchased furniture and technical equipment worth $62,000 USD.

It was the second building of its type, as a similar one with a 60 person capacity was opened in Martkopi in 2010.