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Parliamentary Committee approves tightened procedures for residence permits in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 8
The Legal Affairs Committee in the Georgian parliament approved changes in the law on Legal Status of the Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons with its second reading on Tuesday and sent the bill to the plenary session for discussions.

The amendments are targeted to change the basis for the issue of the investment, short-term residence permit and D5 visas and regulating investment residence, short-term residence and permanent residence issue aspects.

The bill reads:

The foreign citizen, to obtain the one-year residence permit, needs to acquire the real estate with the market value exceeding 100 000 USD in the equivalent in GEL instead of 35 000 USD;

Foreign citizens may obtain the labor residence permit if they are employed in the company with at least 50 000 GEL turnover per employer foreign citizen. The Bill also defines the minimum salary per employee and obliges the company without delay notify the Ministry of Justice about the termination of the labor agreement to annul the labor residence permit;

The investment residence permit shall be issued to the foreign citizen if he/she has invested at least 300 000 USD in Georgia instead of 300 000 GEL;

The foreign citizen seeking for the permanent residence permit shall initially obtain the 5-year permit if he/she on annual-basis submits the certificate of 120 000 USD turnover;

The foreign citizen holding the investment residence permit confirming at least 120 000 USD turnover for 5 years and maintaining the investment of 300 000 USD, is entitled to obtain the permanent residence permit.

The government of Georgia says that the changes are necessary to regulate the field and to meet the interests of both foreigners and the Georgian citizens.

The opposition says that the changes may hinder the inflow of foreign investments in Georgia.