Visa rules might change, says Economy Minister

Giorgi Kvirikashvili considers amending the new law on legal status of foreign citizens., 06 Oct 2014 - 21:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

The country's new visa regulations might be changed, says Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

"It is possible that the law on legal status of foreign citizens be amended," Kvirkashvili told journalists while commenting on the topic today.

"The decision on visas was largely induced by the visa liberalisation issue with the European Union. For almost a year and a half we have had an action plan in this direction.”

"Some changes might be introduced so that we keep an appropriate balance between the EU requirements and the liberal requirements which we need for the development of tourism. So, first of all, we will try to launch electronic visa applications that do not require foreigners to arrive at our embassies and consulates." Kvirikashvili said.

He also noted that all new legislation and regulations were accompanied with certain difficulties.

"This is a normal process and the Government is actively working to correct the deficiencies,” he added.

The new law on "Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" came into effect on September 1, 2014. Visa free travel with Georgia was revoked for 24 countries however citizens from 94 countries were eligible to enter Georgia without a visa for a 90 day period.

Under the old rules, citizens from 118 countries were able to enter Georgia without a visa and stay for a maximum of 360 days. But from September, citizens from 94 countries were now able to enter Georgia without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period.