Methods of obtaining Georgian citizenship
Georgia is an attractive place to stay among citizens representing countries with advanced economies. And reasons for this are numerous: beautiful nature, a high level of ecology, affordable prices for food, services, and relaxation. Also, Georgian citizenship is alluring for foreigners who need a visa-free entry to the European Union. Let’s look at the rules that allow you to become the holder of a Georgian passport.
Ways to get Georgian citizenship
There are two options to become a citizen of this small, but very hospitable Caucasian country:
- by virtue of birth in Georgia;
- through the process of naturalization.
The first method provides citizenship to people who were born in the country or whose parent(s) is (are) Georgian(s). The second option is designed more specifically for foreigners. For the latter, local legislation provided for the following methods of obtaining Georgian citizenship:
Each of the above options is designed for a certain category of people, as it establishes specific requirements for the applicant.
Requirements and documents necessary for obtaining Georgian citizenship
|Type of procedure||Requirements||Documents|
|Ordinary||minimum term of residence in the country- 10 years;examination from Georgian language, history and habits;work or business activity or ownership of shares in a Georgian company.||Permanent or temporary residence permit, foreign passport with marks indicating crossing the border or another document confirming the actual residence in Georgia for 10 years;extract for ownership of real estate (contract of sale), or documents confirming the existence of employment (certificate from the employer or employment contract, extract from the National Register of legal entities and entrepreneurs) or confirming ownership of shares or securities in Georgian companies;photo 3×4;receipt on payment of state duty|
|Simplified||minimum term of residence in the country – 5 years;examination of Georgian language, history and habits;marriage with a Georgian citizen||marriage certificate/court decision or other document confirming the marriage to a Georgian citizen;foreign passport/other ID document confirming the nationality of the spouse;visas, permanent or temporary residence permit, foreign passport with border crossing marks or other document confirming the actual residence in Georgia for 5 years,documents confirming employment (employment contract, or a statement from workplace),documents confirming the ownership of real estate or other assets in the country or an extract about business activity; photo 3×4;Receipt on payment of state duty|
|Exceptional||special merits in sports, art, science or major investments in Georgia’s economy.||foreign passport/identity card; birth certificate;recommendations from at least two Georgian citizens or Georgian companies;photo 3×4;receipt on payment of state duty|
|Recovery||if the individual has been deprived of Georgian citizenship:• wrongfully;• by denouncing citizenship;• as a result of choosing a parent.||foreign passport;a certificate of birth; *a copy of a document that confirms that the person was previously a Georgian subject;one of the following documents: certificate confirming the fact of inappropriate deprivation of nationality/denouncing citizenship/ deprivation of citizenship by virtue of choosing parents;photo 3×4;receipt on payment of state duty|
Requirements and documents required for obtaining Georgian citizenship by minors
If minors apply for citizenship, the requirements and documents are slightly different:
|Type of procedure||Requirements||Documents|
|Ordinary||one of the parents has Georgian citizenships/ is adopted by citizens of Georgia or the minor is born/lives in Georgia more than 5 years and his/her parents -are persons without citizenship||passport or identity card; birth certificate;consent to a minor aged from 14 to 18, consent of both legal representatives of minorphoto 3×4;receipt on payment of state duties;additional document depending on the situation: consent of minor’s parents, statement confirming Georgian citizenship and adoption document/certificate on the status of refugee or person without citizenship and proof of residence in Georgia for more than 5 years|
|Simplified||only for persons aged 16 to 18 years who are married||· Passport or identification document,· birth certificate;· Marriage certificate;· photo 3×4;· receipt on payment of state duties;|
|Exceptional||special merits in sports, art, science or major investments in Georgia’s economy.||Passport or identification document,birth certificate;consent of a minor between the ages of 14 and 18;consent of the second lawful representative of the minor,photo 3×4;receipt for payment of state duties.|
|Recovery||if the Georgian citizenship was lost wrongfully or by the choice of parents||Passport or identification document, andbirth certificate;Copy of a document confirming the fact that the person concerned was considered a citizen of Georgia in accordance with the law;consent of a minor between the ages of 14 and 18;consent of the second legal representative of the minor;photo 3×4;receipt on payment of state duties;one of the documents: confirming fact of inexpedient deprivation of citizenship/ withdrawal from Georgian nationality/ confirming withdrawal from the nationality due to parental choice.|
Bodies accepting applications and documents for Georgian citizenship
Foreigners may apply with the application and documents for obtaining Georgian citizenship to one of the following departments:
- House of Justice – their offices are located in every large residential area;
- Branches of Public Service Development Agency;
- diplomatic missions and consulates in foreign states.
The decision to grant citizenship to a foreigner for special merits is entrusted to the President of the state. You can contact the President both in person and through consulates or the House of Justice.
The application for citizenship is considered by a special commission consisting of 6 people, of which: 2 are representatives of the State Services Agency, 2 are representatives of the Security Service, 2 are representatives of the Presidential Administration. The presence of 6 members allows for the possibility of splitting the votes in half. In this case, the final verdict is accepted by the Chairman of the Agency.
The term for consideration of an application for Georgian citizenship is limited to 3 months. If the decision is negative, then the applicant has the right to apply again, but will be entitled to do so no sooner than after one year.
The main grounds for refusal to grant citizenship
Georgian citizenship will not be granted to people:
- with adverse reputation;
- with a criminal record;
- who are on the international wanted list;
- which are associated with the security service, intelligence or military forces of other states;
- if their presence on the territory of Georgia harms the international image of the state and its state interests or public safety.
In other words, the Georgian side will refuse to grant citizenship if there is any negative information about the applicant.
The cost of obtaining Georgian citizenship
For consideration of documents on citizenship of Georgia, the applicant must pay a state duty of a size that directly depends on the registration procedure:
|Procedure||Term, number of days||Cost , GEL|
For the period from 2012 to 2017. Georgian citizenship was obtained by 32 017 persons, among which the majority of applications approved are attributable to citizens of Russia, Turkey and the USA. In general, the statistics are as follows:
Additionally, 18 people received Georgian citizenship by special permission, which was valid until December 31, 2018.
As can be seen from the table, most applications were approved on an exceptional basis. This procedure is of particular interest because the applicants can not only obtain a Georgian passport, but also retain their citizenship, equivalent to receiving dual citizenship.
A large number of applications by Azerbaijani citizens filed by a simplified procedure is explained by close ties between the two countries.
What are the benefits of having a Georgian citizenship?
Interest in the Georgian passport arises not only because of the visa-free entry to the EU countries it provides. As can be seen from the table, most citizens who received citizenship had no problems with entering European countries. In most cases, people that get citizenship are the ones who like the country, its nature, and there are many opportunities for doing business: ease of registering a company, tax-free zones, duty-free access to European countries, China, the CIS. All this attracts foreign investors who come here to start a business and also receive citizenship as a bonus.
Georgian citizenship offers good business prospects on an international scale. And in this country there is practically no corruption, and regulatory authorities do not favour “seagull” inspections. In general, the conditions for doing business here are much better than in neighboring countries, which, incidentally, is reflected by the Doing Business 2020 rating indicators , where the country has been in the TOP-10 for the second year in a row.If you are interested in obtaining citizenship and doing business in Georgia, contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org.
What method of obtaining Georgian citizenship is suitable for foreigners?
Most of all, foreigners apply for Georgian citizenship on the basis of “exceptional” method.
How long does it take to apply for Georgian citizenship?
Normally, the decision on granting Georgian citizenship is taken within a period of three months.
Which are the procedures that do not include exams?
Obtaining Georgian citizenship without examinations in law, history and language is possible only in exceptional cases, i.e. by virtue of significant investments in the country’s economy. Additionally this is possible also in cases of restoring citizenship.