The messenger logo

86,500 Georgians enjoyed visa-free travel with EU since liberalisation

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 21
Since the activation of the visa free regime with the European Union (EU), 86,500 Georgians have left Georgia for the Schengen area without visas.

In the period of March 28 to September 18, 226 Georgians were denied entry into the EU.

The Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration of Georgia, Tamar Khulordava, says that the people who were prevented from crossing the border either provided incomplete documentation or they had violated the border before.

“This is not a bad statistic, and it demonstrates that there are no artificial barriers to our citizens from the EU,” she said.

Khulordava added that it is not known yet exactly how many Georgians did not come back to Georgia and remained illegally in the EU.

The visa-free regime for Georgia was activated on March 28.

Georgians holding biometric passports are now able to enter the Schengen Area for 90 days within any 180-day period for vacations, business, or any other purpose except work.

Georgians can travel without visas to the following 22 EU member states: Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Greece, France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

The visa-free regime also applies to four non-EU-member states (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) as well as four Schengen candidate countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia).

Exceptions for visa-free travel include Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Georgians will lose the freedom to travel visa-free if they suddenly start making numerous asylum requests, stay in the Schengen Zone for more than 90 days at a time or cause an increase in risks and internal security.

If such problems emerge, the suspension of visa-free regime can be extended up to 18 months, followed by the intervention of the European Parliament.