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Georgia has same statistics of visa-free violations as others

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 8
“All countries with a visa-free regime with the European Union had the same statistics of violations,” the First Deputy State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Archil Karaulashvili, stated.

He said that the statistics of citizens who violated the visa free terms “are not pleasant, but not very alarming”.

"We, of course, are working to increase the awareness of our citizens by emphasizing the dangers that could result in violations of the general visa regime rules. It is necessary to explain to people that request for asylum, when many countries recognize Georgia as a safe state, is unreasonable. Virtually in 100% of cases, requests are made without any grounds or outcome, and it simply increases these unwanted statistics," Karalashvili said.

He said that crimes committed by the citizens of Georgia in the European Union present a problem, but the Georgian government is actively reacting to it.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs is actively cooperating with its colleagues in EU. Consequently, Georgia's visa-free regime is not threatened at present, but of course, it is unpleasant that our citizens commit crimes in another country," Archil Karaulashvili added.

Georgia’s Ministry for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration has claimed that between March 28 and October 20, a total of 161,885 Georgian citizens have traveled visa free to the EU’s Schengen Zone.

Apparently, 9,875 have violated the Georgia-EU visa deal and did not return after the end of 90 days visa free period.

However, the ministry has not confirmed information on how many people of the 9,875 stayed in the Schengen Zone and how many left for a third country in line with the regulations.

A total of 28,597 of the Georgian visitors were between 31-40 year-old, 61,747 were female and 53,587 male.

The Georgia-EU visa waiver came into play on March 28, 2017.

Georgian citizens holding biometric passports can travel to the Schengen Zone for a period of 90 days within any 180-day period for any purposes other than working.