Since 9th of June 2015, Georgia’s visa legislation has changed again, for the better this time. The old rule where some nationalities could stay 360 days visa-free has been re-instated, and 5 more days have been added to a full year visa-free.
Nationals of 94 countries have visa-free stay of 365 days (check the full 94-country list to see if you’re lucky). You must hold a passport valid for the intended duration of stay to be able to enter Georgia, not the standard 6 months. Extension is not possible for ordinary passport holders.
EU citizens do not need a passport to enter Georgia, their national ID is enough. We do recommend taking your passport if you have one, as some people have had trouble getting in because the border guards did not know the rule. You will also need a passport if you intend to travel onwards to Armenia. If travelling with only an ID Card, a printout of the official info in Georgian (at the bottom of the list) stating that EU ID Cards are accepted might come in handy.
If you are not on the list of countries with 90 days visa-free, this means you will have to get a visa. An e-visa is valid for 30 days in a 120-day period only for nations coloured yellow in the map above. For blue countries, it’s 90 days in a 180-day period. It is multiple entry. You can find your country in this list and check the requirements for a short-term visa.
You can apply for your visa online via Georgian E-visa portal.
Holders of visas or residence permits of EU/EFTA/GCC countries, territories of EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea or Israel do not require a visa for max 90 days in a 180-day period. The visa/residence permit must be valid on arrival to Georgia. However, there have been few cases where those holding valid residency of GCC countries have been denied access without assigning any reason.
Nationals of Nauru, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela are not eligible for an online visa, however if holding a visa or residence permit of certain countries (see above), they do not need a visa for a stay of max 90 days in a 180-day period, provided showing their visa/residence permit at the border.
If your country is listed grey in the map above, you still need to apply through an embassy. You will need the following:
- Passport: at least valid until 3 months after the end date of the Georgian visa. It should contain at least 2 empty pages and should be issued within last 10 years
- Signed visa application filled out electronically
- Receipt of payment of consular fee (read more about visa fees and payments – price is 50$)
- Colour photo (3×4) – in electronic form
- Travel insurance
- A document verifying you have enough money to cover your expenses
- A document showing your bond with your country of residence or intention to return: a plane ticket, proof of employment or study, proof of family bonds or a property deed.
- Possibly: a document stating your intentions in Georgia (eg. a written itinerary)
- Possibly: a letter of invitation.
It says on the Georgian MFA website you have to apply in your country of residence (or nearest embassy, if there is none in your country). We do not know if that rule is enforced everywhere, but it seems so, meaning applying on the road is not possible.
Letter of Invitation
You will need a letter of invitation if you are planning to visit Georgia for the following purposes (and are not part of the visa-free nations)
- to visit relatives and friends, for freelancers;
- to hold business meetings and negotiations;
- For participants of scientific workshops, conferences or other research, pedagogical, cultural or sports events;
- to engage in journalistic activity;
- to carry out charity activities;
- to visit graves of relatives and friends;
- for pilgrimage and establishing religious contacts;
- for scientific, sports, cultural or educational mission.
Officially, you don’t need a letter of invitation for tourism purposes, but at least in Pakistan, the embassy requires such a letter. We do not know where to get one, all info more than welcome on this subject.
Visa on arrival
Visa on arrival is not possible in Georgia.
Visa-free with a visa from an easy country
If you have a passport from a ‘difficult country’, but have a valid visa from one of the countries below, you can enter and stay for 3 months in a 6-month period without a Georgian visa.
All countries within the EEA, Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Israel, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos Isl., USA, United Arab Emirates or Virgin Islands (British).
Long-term visa / residence permit
Valid reasons for a stay of more than 3 months are:
- Entrepreneurial activity
- Family reunion
You cannot apply for a long-term visa inside Georgia. If you plan to stay for more than 3 months, you have to apply for a long-term visa in your country of residence (or nearest embassy). This visa is valid for 90 days. During this time you can get a temporary residence permit.
You can find your country in this list and check the requirements for a long-term visa.
To get a temporary residence permit you need to go to city hall. You can then start the application procedure. Temporary residence permits are given for a duration of 1 to 6 years.
***With the new legislation, it seems that, while Americans get 5 years by default, other nationalities get less, or nothing. Your chances tend to decrease as your skin tone diverges more from the Georgian pale-white. Armenians also find themselves not always accepted.***
A long-term visa is not required for visa-exempt nationals wishing to get a residence permit – they simply have to present, to the Public service Hall, their travel document and proof of having crossed the border legally
Embassy information and reports
If you have an embassy report, please share it with us at our visa forum. Thank you!