- How long can one stay in Georgia without a Georgian residence permit?
- What are the advantages available to Georgian residence permit holders?
- What are the ways to obtain a Georgian residence permit?
- How long are the Georgian residence permits valid?
- How can family members of the Georgian residence permit holders obtain their residency?
- How much are Georgian residence permits?
- When were the current stipulations on Georgian residence permits (updates) adopted?
- What are the current rules for the Georgian Work residence permits (updates)?
Georgia attracts foreigners not only as a country where one can easily and quickly register a company and get entitled to tax allowances in the Free Industrial Zones or the Virtual Zone. Many non-residents see Georgia as a country where it’s easy to get a residence permit. This opportunity is especially popular with expats from many parts of the world who look for a more business-friendly environment, incentives for export operations, a healthy climate, beautiful nature, and friendliness.
How long can one stay in Georgia without a Georgian residence permit?
Citizens of nearly 100 countries can stay in Georgia for 365 days without a residence permit and even without visas. For example, to travel to Georgia, many nationals of the EU states need only a travel document and an ID.
In principle, the answer to how long you can stay in Georgia without a residence permit is quite straightforward. You can stay here until you decide you’ve got enough of the great local wines, delicious national dishes, and the traditional hospitality. Frankly speaking, one can hardly have a surfeit of Georgia, if anything. But to get the visa-free 365-day period renewed, you just need to leave and return across the border.
In this case, you may wonder why foreigners need a Georgian residence permit at all? Because a resident’s status in this country makes life much easier and more enjoyable.
What are the advantages available to Georgian residence permit holders?
If you intend to stay in Georgia for a long time, you should obtain a residence permit, which entitles you to many advantages. Here are some examples:
- holders of Georgian residence permits do not have to cross the border to renew the visa-free period of stay in the country (365 days) (this benefit was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, when many foreigners could not cross the border at all); please note that you can extend the residence permit without the need to leave Georgia;
- a temporary residence permit valid for 10 years leads to a permanent residence permit;
- one can have access to the online portal of public services and can perform some notarial events on Skype
- a residence permit is an additional tool to claim one’s tax residency
- to obtain a visa to the Schengen countries and the UK it is not necessary to return to your country of citizenship, you can apply from Georgia
- residence permit holders can invite relatives to visit them and arrange residence permits for them
- legal residents have the right to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (even though the Government of Georgia vaccinates only residents and diplomats, and the issue of vaccination of foreigners is under consideration).
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What are the ways to obtain a Georgian residence permit?
You can apply for a Georgian residence permit at the House of Justice. This procedure is not complicated and depends on the type of your residence permit. There are 10 types of residence permits in Georgia:
- Work residence permits – issued to foreign employees, freelancers, or businessmen, who came to the country for work or on business for a long period
- Study residence permits – available to full-time international students of Georgian universities and HE institutes
- Residence permits issued to former nationals of Georgia who have previously renounced Georgian citizenship in favor of some other country’s citizenship
- Family Reunification residence permits for family members of foreign nationals who have already obtained Georgian residence permits
- Residence permit of a stateless person – issued to someone whose status as a stateless person has been confirmed
- Special residence permit – issued in very special cases, i.e. to victims of human trafficking not subject to expulsion, if there is a written endorsement from some member(s) of the government of Georgia
- Permanent residence permit – available only to foreign citizens and his/her spouse, parent, and children after 10 years of stay in Georgia
- Investment residence permit – issued to foreign investors wishing to invest their private assets in the economy of Georgia (certain minimum thresholds apply)
- Temporary residence permit – issued to foreigners who have been recognized by the Georgian law as a victim of domestic violence
- Short-term residence permit – issued to anyone (and his/her family members) who, according to the rule established by Georgian legislation, has bought real estate in Georgia (a specified minimum threshold applies)
- Indefinite Leave (ILR-Type Residence permit) – available to foreigners and family members who have invested over $300,000 into Georgia’s economy and met certain requirements regarding the annual business turnover.
If you are interested in investment residence permits, you are welcome to book a free consultation with our expert and learn about the real estate market in Tbilisi (the capital of Georgia), the specifics of real estate Purchase and Sale agreements, and RBI/CBI opportunities.
How long are the Georgian residence permits valid?
The average term of validity of most Georgian residence permits is from 6 months to 1 year. But, if the foreign holders of residence permits meet all the national law requirements and the criteria stipulated for a specific type of residence permit, they can extend its validity for a similar period. The main thing is to apply for its extension no later than 40 working days before the expiration of the current period.
Validity terms of different types of Georgian residence permits:
|Types of Georgian residence permits||1st validity period|
|Work||for the duration of the Work contract – up to 6 years, but usually from 6 to 12 months;|
for self-employed – up to 1 year
|Study||from 6 to 12 months, to be extended annually; the total period is the duration of the study program|
|For former citizens of Georgia||6 years|
|Family reunification||from 6 to 12 months, depending on the validity period of the principal holder’s permit|
|For stateless persons||3 years|
|Special RP for victims of human trafficking||from 6 to 12 months up to 5 years (if there is a written endorsement from some member(s) of the government of Georgia)|
|Investment residence permit||up to 5 years (i.e., for the 5-year holding period); after year 5 the permanent/ILR residence permit can be issued|
|Temporary (for victims of domestic violence)||from 6 to 12 months|
|ILR||For an indefinite period|
Please note: The maximum extension of the validity period of Georgian residence permits is for 12 years, the extension is on the same terms as the ones on which the residence permit has been initially issued.
How can family members of the Georgian residence permit holders obtain their residency?
The next of kin of Georgian residence permit holders can also obtain Georgian residency.
However, there are different requirements for different Georgian residence permit types:
|Types of Georgian residence permits||Eligible immediate family members|
|Family reunification||spouse, minor children, minor dependents, parents of minors|
|Permanent||spouse, minor children, parents of minors who are Georgian citizens|
|Investment||spouse, minor children, incapacitated or wholly dependent disabled persons|
|ILR||spouse, minor children, incapacitated or wholly dependent disabled persons|
If an alien holds a residence permit, his family members can obtain Georgian residence permits on the basis of their family reunification right. This rule refers to Work or Study residence permit holders. For example, if a child studies at a Georgian university, his parents can also receive a residence permit.
How much are Georgian residence permits?
Along with the documents confirming the resident status in Georgia, aliens should submit a receipt for the state duty paid. Its amount depends on the period of validity of the residence permit and its urgency.
You can get a Temporary Georgian residence permit within the following periods:
- 10 working days – GEL 410
- 20 working days – GEL 330
- 30 working days – GEL 210.
Permanent residence permit:
- 20 working days – GEL 300
- 30 business days – GEL 180.
The Work, Study, Family Reunification-related residence permits:
- 10 working days – GEL 600
- 20 working days – GEL 450
- 30 working days – GEL 300.
When were the current stipulations on Georgian residence permits (updates) adopted?
On July 5, 2019, new rules for the following 3 types of residence permits have become effective in Georgia: Work, Investment, Short-Term residence permits. Besides the 10 types of residence permits, 1 new type has been added – the ILR-type residence permit which is issued for an indefinite term. The changes have significantly tightened the conditions for obtaining a Georgian residence permit. However, as far as we have observed, this is not an issue for HNWIs.
What are the current rules for the Georgian Work residence permits (updates)?
Only applicants that meet the following requirements can qualify for this type of residence permits:
- availability of a document that confirms employment or entrepreneurial activity (employment contract, extract from the register of entrepreneurs and non-for-profit legal entities);
- an average monthly income in the amount of 5-times the subsistence minimum (confirmed by a certificate of income or a tax declaration). FYI: as of March 2022, the subsistence minimum in Georgia per person is GEL238.2;
- the annual income of the company, for which the non-resident works or in which he/she is a founder, must exceed GEL50,000 per every person wishing to receive a residence permit in Georgia. That is, if the enterprise employs 3 residence permit applicants, its annual revenue must exceed GEL150,000. There are some allowances for non-residents who work or set up healthcare or educational organizations. In this case, the annual revenue per each such person must be not less than GEL35,000.
The Work residence permit is issued for 6 years.
The Work-related type of the Georgian residence permit (updates)
It is possible to obtain a Work residence permit in Georgia online. To do so, you need to submit an online application on the website of the Agency for Development of State Services. The following documents need to be attached to it:
- a copy of the travel document (e.g. air ticket)
- a copy of the document confirming the legal stay in Georgia (copy of the page of the passport with the border crossing stamp)
- an employment contract or other documents confirming employment
- a bank statement showing that the monthly income exceeds 5 times the subsistence minimum (as of March 2022 – GEL1,191)
- a Certificate from the Revenue Service, confirming that the annual turnover of the employer exceeds GEL50,000 per employed foreigner (for educational and medical institutions – GEL35,000)
- a digital 3×4 photo.
The Investment-related type of the Georgian residence permit (updates)
The Georgian government has stepped up the minimum investment amount required to increase the inflow of capital into the country. Now, to qualify for a residence permit, one must meet one of the following conditions:
- invest at least $300,000 in the economy of Georgia and submit an independent auditor’s confirmation
- hold a real estate worth at least $300,000 and submit the independent Valuation Report on each property.
The validity period of each Investment residence permit is up to 5 years (corresponding to the standard property holding period).
Business investors, who have invested their capital in the Georgian economy, can obtain an indefinite leave (ILR-type residence permit) if they meet the following requirements:
- the annual business revenue in year 1 was not less than $50,000
- the annual revenue in year 2 was not less than $100,000
- from year 3 to year 5, the annual revenue was at least $120,000.
The short–term type of the Georgian residence permit (updates)
Short-term residence permits were very popular in the past, because they were available after the purchase of some property worth at least $35,000. In July 2019, the government stepped up the minimum threshold to $100,000.
The proof of the investor’s eligibility for a short-term residence permit is a report from an independent certified expert.
The validity term of this type of residence permit is 1 year. It can be renewed annually if the alien remains the owner of the acquired real estate or some other property worth at least $100,000.
The list of documents to be filed:
- a copy of the travel document (e.g. air ticket)
- a copy of the document confirming the legal stay in Georgia (copy of the page of the passport with the border crossing mark)
- a copy of the title deed
- a valuation report on the property issued by an independent certified agency
- a digital 3×4 photo.
The Study-related type of the Georgian residence permit (updates)
This is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to get a Georgian residence permit. It can be obtained online through an agent. The list of documents to be submitted is as follows:
- a copy of the travel document (e.g. air ticket)
- a copy of the document confirming the legal stay in Georgia
- a certificate issued by an authorized educational organization stating the applicant’s enrollment and the duration of the full-time study program
- confirmation (certificate of income, bank account statement) of the legal income received in Georgia by the alien and (or) citizen of Georgia or his/her relative holding the residence right in Georgia, and the document confirming the kinship with this person
- a digital 3×4 photo.
Please note: the Study residence permit is available if the monthly income of the student is at least double the subsistence minimum (as of March 2022, this was not less than GEL477).
The Family Reunification type of the Georgian residence permit (updates)
To apply for this type of residence permit on the website, you need to provide the following papers:
- the proof of your legal stay in Georgia,
- a digital 3×4 photo,
- a travel document
- a certificate of kinship
- a document confirming a monthly income of a relative who is a legal resident in Georgia (a financial statement issued by a bank can be submitted instead of this certificate); the confirmed income needs to be at least double the subsistence minimum.
Residence permits for family members of the principal holder of a residence permit
Family members of legal residents can also obtain Georgian residence permits. The standard procedure is to apply for a Family Reunification residence permit(s). The following next of kin can qualify as eligible family members: the spouse, parents, children, as well as the disabled and incapacitated persons who are under the care of or wholly dependent on the principal holder of a Georgian residence permit.
Here are some details of the family members’ eligibility for residence permits:
|Types of Georgian residence permits||Spouse, children|
|Short-term residence permit in case of the purchase of real estate worth more than $100,000||the spouse, children, parents of aliens, and minors, supported persons, or disabled persons who are under the care of, in trusteeship of, and/or wholly dependent on aliens|
|Investment residence permits, provided that the investment made in the economy of Georgia is worth at least $300,000, or the property bought in Georgia is worth $300,000 or more||spouse, minor children, disabled persons who are wholly dependent or recognized as incapacitated|
|The ILR-type residence permit in case of the investment worth at least $300,000, if the legal annual business revenues are at least $50,000 in year 1, $100,000 in year 2, and $120,000 in years 3, 4, 5.|
|The ILR-type residence permit after the 5-year holding period for property worth over $300,000 (i.e., after the Investment residence permit requirements have been met).|
FYI: Since April 15, 2022, when applying for a residence permit, foreigners are required to submit a digital 3х4 color photo instead of the printed photo.
If you are interested in the Georgian residence permits (updates), please contact us at the email address email@example.com or in the messengers given at the top of this page. We will be glad to help you obtain residence permits meeting the new national rules.
What has changed in the rules on Short-term Georgian residence permits for investors in real estate?
According to stipulations of July 05, 2019, the Short-term Georgian residence permits are issued after the applicant’s purchase of real estate worth at least $100,000. Its minimum validity term is 1 year, with the right to extend it annually.
How quickly can I get a Georgia residence permit if I buy real estate?
It takes from 10 to 30 calendar days to obtain a short-term residence permit in Georgia. The fees depend on the urgency: GEL 210 – for 30 calendar days, GEL330 – for 20 calendar days, GEL410 – for 10 calendar days.
What are the benefits of Georgian residence permits?
the border at any time, regardless of the circumstances; is perceived more favorably by bankers when the resident applies for mortgages or business loans; is a key to many public services.
How long can I stay in Georgia without a residence permit?
Nationals of nearly 100 jurisdictions can stay in Georgia for 365 days without a residence permit. Please note that one must leave the country before this deadline. When crossing the border on their return, they get a new stamp in the passport, i.e. renew the ‘grace’ period. That is why many aliens who need to stay longer in Georgia but do not have the resident status have to occasionally go abroad and come back. Such nuisance has been especially disadvantageous during the months of COVID-19 pandemic-driven travel restrictions and lockdown. Therein, the Georgian residence permit can be a great cost-cutting tool and a time-saver. By and large, it is obviously a rewarding investment.