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More than 8,000 Georgian Citizens Changed Surnames in 2017

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 22
The Ministry of Justice has reported that 8,339 Georgian citizens changed surnames in 2017.

The statistics come after the Georgian government had announced plans to make the changing of surnames more complicated to prevent the illegal flow of Georgian citizens to the European Union countries with the help of the EU-Georgia visa free deal.

The government of Georgia believes that certain part of Georgians change their surnames to re-enter EU states after deported or have committed a crime.

The Justice Ministry stated that a direct relative’s surname was taken by 1,977 males and 5,467 females in 2017. The same year, a spouse’s surname was taken by 418 males and 477 females.

In 2016, 7,175 people changed surnames in Georgia. A direct relative’s surname was taken by 1,678 males and 5,497 females. The same year spouse’s surname was taken by 398 males and 464 females.

The Justice Ministry reports that 58 individuals changed a name or a surname twice in 2016 and one individual had their name changed three times.

In 2017, 59 individuals changed their name or a surname twice and one individual four times.

According to the planned changes, which now must be approved by parliament, people will be able to change the surname only once when they are 18-year-old or older.

This may happen if fatherhood is ascertained and individual decides to take father’s surname.

Changing of surnames or merging of surnames is possible when people marry or divorce. However, such a procedure will be possible only in case of marriage or divorce.

Those Georgians who changed their surnames after the Georgia-EU visa waiver came into play on March 28, 2017, will not be able to do so again, except in case of marriage or divorce.