Foreign Minister explains what EU visa waiver means for Georgia

An internally displaced boy in Tserovani IDP settlement draws a EU flag on a school blackboard. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 27 Mar 2017 - 11:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

The regulation allowing for visa-free travel for Georgian citizens to the Schengen Zone comes into effect tomorrow on March 28.

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze says that, first of all, the European Union (EU) visa waiver is a recognition of the efficacy of Georgia’s recent reforms and institutions. 

Janelidze also said the visa waiver will bring concrete results for citizens too.

He believes this is an opportunity:

  • for Georgian entrepreneurs to establish more business contacts in Europe;
  • for Georgian small and medium-size entrepreneurs to participate in exhibitions in Europe;
  • for Georgian artists to perform their work at European exhibitions;
  • for Georgian students to participate in short-term exchange programs or internships.

Janelidze also explained what a Georgian citizen may expect while being interviewed by a customs officer before entering an EU country.

"It is necessary for the trip purpose to be defined and the citizen to explain to the officer what he or she is traveling to the EU for. The purpose could be a short educational program, medical or scientific reasons or business. What matters is that there must be a purpose and a traveler must provide information regarding where they are going to stay and for how long”, Janelidze said.

"A citizen must be able to prove all of these if such questions are asked”, he added.