The messenger logo

Visa liberalisation is coming

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 24
Georgia’s Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Viktor Dolidze, says Georgians will supposedly be able to travel visa free in the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone by the end of March or beginning of April this year.

In response to a question when the visa free travel is expected to be launched, the minister responded ‘very soon’.

“It will take effect very soon. I do not expect any surprises. Visa-free travel will supposedly begin by the end of March or the beginning of April,” Dolidze said.

Dolidze has recently returned from Brussels, the home of the EU headquarters, saying “everything is going according to plan”.

The EU-Georgia visa liberalisation dialogue started in 2012 and is expected to go into effect by the end of April 2017, after which all Georgian citizens holding biometric passports will be able to enter the EU's Schengen Zone without a visa for 90 days in any 180 day period.

Earlier this month, 42 votes in favour with two against and one abstention in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) approved amendments to the text of Georgia’s visa liberalisation agreement previously adopted by the European Parliament (EP), the European Council, the European Commission and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) of the Governments of Member States.

The LIBE approval will be followed by a vote at the European Parliament’s plenary session in February. After the amended regulations are formally approved by the Council of Ministers, the text will be signed and published in the Official Journal of the EU.