Sanctions for Georgian Abuses of Asylum Seeking in EU

Since March 2017, Georgians can travel in EU without VISA. However, it seems that people used this opportunity to try to illegally settle themselves in Europe or take advantage of the asylum seeking possibility for financial reasons. The Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee approved criminal sanctions for people in this situation.

Tamar Khulordava, Chairperson of the Committee on European Integration Parliament of Georgia, stated that “in 2018, the number of asylum-seekers increased with 72%.” Georgia has to take measures if they want to preserve this VISA advantage. Khulordava explained: “Our European partners are not oriented to terminate the free travel regime and create problems to Georgian citizens. They are committed to facilitate just asking from us making effective steps, including changes to the law making them state that Georgia assumed full responsibility to respond to this problem”.

The Article 344² of the Georgian Criminal Code already punishes people for “organization of illegal stay of Georgian citizens in foreign country for personal financial benefits and facilitation to Georgian citizen in groundless asylum-seeking for financial interests” ( with a detention from two to four years. However, there is no special mention of the EU nor of Georgia’s full responsibility on the subject.

Rati Ionatamishvili, Deputy Chair of the Human Rights Committee, stated: “Visa liberalization and visa free travel are our greatest achievement and responsibility of us all and if this responsibility shall be transformed into the obligation to be reflected in the law, we are ready to approve it”.


By Gabrielle Colchen

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15 March 2019 15:22