The messenger logo

Foreign Ministry Denies mass-detention of Georgians in Israel

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, June 14
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says no mass-detention of Georgians has taken place in Israel. However, the Ministry stated there are 24 Georgians in the Israeli Immigration Service.

“No mass detentions of Georgians have taken place in Israel. The Israeli Immigration Service constantly checks the citizens of foreign countries and deports them if it is proved that they are illegally staying in Israel,” the statement of the Georgian MFA reads.

The ministry says half of the 24 Georgians in the Immigration Service already have flights tickets, adding some others were deported as they did not have the right to stay in Israel legally.

“12 of the Georgians already have tickets and are informed of their deportation date. Tickets for the other twelve citizens will be gradually purchased this week. The citizens were detained in various cities of Israel, at different times. No massive detentions have taken place," Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained.

Before the MFA statement, some media outlets released information that a special operation was underway in Israel against Georgians who illegally work there.

The information reads that the special operation was conducted in meat processing facility and 30 Georgians were detained on the spot. All of them were in Israel illegally. The news also says Georgian citizens are being detained at work, in streets, at home in almost all cities.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry reports that it is necessary that a citizen, who intends to travel to the State of Israel, have a round trip ticket, and a valid passport which shall be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entering the country.

Besides, at the state border of the State of Israel travelers may be required to provide information on health insurance, hotel reservation and sufficient financial resources to stay on the territory of the State of Israel.

A visa-free regime provides a citizen of Georgia with an opportunity to carry out a visa-free short-term visit to Israel with the following purposes: tourist, business, short-term exchange study programs/training, training courses, participation in cultural or scientific events, medical treatment, etc. A short-time visit implies that a citizen of Georgia can stay on the territory of Israel between 1 and 90 days in any 6-month period. Accordingly, a citizen of Georgia has to leave the territory of Israel until the term of his/her legal stay has expired.

Also, any subsequent entry to the territory of Israel is possible when there have been more than 90 days since the last entry.

The ministry underlines that the visa-free travel to Israel does not guarantee the right to work or the rights of access to employment.

“If a citizen of Georgia exceeded the time of legal stay in Israel, the stay on the territory of Israel will be considered to be illegal, and a person will be subject to deportation (forcible return to Georgia). However, in such a case, any subsequent entry to Israel will be limited for a person described above,” the ministry stated.