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Justice Ministry starts informing citizens about visa-free travel with EU

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, March 30
The Ministry of Justice of Georgia has started providing Georgian citizens with necessary information regarding visa-free travel with European Union (EU) countries.

When receiving a foreign passport at the Public Service Hall, Georgian citizens will get a special brochure, wherein visa-free travel rules and regulations are explained in detail.

According to the brochure, Georgian citizens with biometric passports will be able to travel visa-free in 22 EU member countries. These are Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Greece, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, Czech Republic and Sweden.

Georgians will also be able to travel visa-free in 4 non-EU countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as in 4 Schengen candidate countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia).

The visa-free regime does not apply to Great Britain and Ireland.

Additionally, visa-free travel to the EU is allowed only for short visits - for 3 months during a 6 month period. The purpose of travel can be tourism, visiting family members, relatives or friends, a business meeting or negotiations, medical treatment or surgery, participation in exchange trainings or internship programs, etc.

Studying for higher education or working in EU/Schengen countries is forbidden.

The Ministry warns that while crossing the state border of a Schengen country, Georgian citizens might be asked by a border officer about the purpose of their visit. The traveler might also be asked to present relevant documents, including a return ticket to Georgia, hotel reservation, travel insurance and financial documents.

In case of staying in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, Georgian citizen will be deported and banned from entering the Schengen zone for five years. The alternative way is paying a 3000 fine.

Georgian citizens may receive more detailed information at the Public Service Houses, whose employees have undergone special training and can provide any information regarding visa-free travel in the Schengen area.