90,000 Georgians Enjoy Visa-free Regime with EU in 6 Months

Since the activation of the visa-free regime with the European Union (EU) on March 28, in total around 90 thousand Georgian citizens have left the country for the EU.

The information was released by the Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Janos Herman, while summarizing the results of the 6-month visa free travel with the European Union.

Herman noted that the number of citizens who were refused to cross the Schengen zone is low.

"The EU is preparing a monitoring report, where the results of the visa regime will be more detailed. I hope that the current progress will continue," the ambassador said. 

Herman said that in the given period only 230 Georgians were refused to enter the Schengen zone.

“The number of Georgian citizens traveling to Schengen is increasing. This was our goal," he added.

The ambassador stated that it is very important for the EU to observe how many citizens remain in the Schengen area more than the time permitted or how many are sent back from the border, as well as the number of applications for asylum.

“Negative numbers are not growing and it is important for us. The number of asylum seekers is very important. This number has not increased, but it had been high enough before the visa liberalization,” he added.

Herman stated that the EU is satisfied with the results and joint work with Georgia, however, underlined that much more needs to be done in the future.

The Visa-Free regime with the EU took effect on March 28, meaning all Georgians holding biometric passports can enter the Schengen Area for 90 days within any 180-day period for vacation, business, or any other purpose except work.

Georgians are able to travel without visas to the following 22 EU member states: Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Greece, France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

Georgians can also travel without visas to four non-EU-member states (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) as well as four Schengen candidate countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia).  

Exceptions for visa-free travel include Ireland and the United Kingdom.

By Thea Morrison 

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27 October 2017 07:41