PM: New visa law drawbacks will soon be eradicated

Georgia’s new visa regulations came into force on September 1., 08 Oct 2014 - 17:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister has apologized to the foreign citizens who faced problems related to the country’s implementation of its new visa policy.

Irakli Garibashvili said all drawbacks that had accrued during the work process would be timely eradicated.

"I want to explain that everything we do is aimed at better protecting our citizens and efficiently managing the migration process in Georgia,” the PM said.

"The Border Police force works very efficiently [….]. Many efficient projects were carried out. All this will create a very good picture that will increase trust towards our country, will increase security and all of our citizens will be better protected.”

Georgia’s new visa regulations came into force on September 1. Despite this, officials said the new rules could soon be revised.

"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,” Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on Monday.

"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."

Under the new law on "Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" visa free travel with Georgia was revoked for 24 countries and citizens from 94 countries were now eligible to enter Georgia without a visa for a short stay.

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 allowed to enter Georgia without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period.