Better Visa System for More Visitors
30 May, 2013
Better Visa System for More Visitors
Exclusive Interview with Federica Favi, Ambassador of Italy to Georgia

Last week, the Ambassador of Italy to Georgia, H.E. Mrs. Federica Favi held a press conference regarding Embassy’s new visa issuing service. Ambassador Favi spoke to journalists from the offices of Visa Management Service. Due to the deadline, we could not publish it immediately. However, Georgian Journal decided to visit the embassy to conduct a face-to-face interview with Federica Favi, recipient of the prize in the nomination of “the best
respondent” at Georgian Journal’s Diplomat Party a month ago at Tbilisi Marriott.
Q: What changes have you introduced in visa system that made you call it ‘a new visa issuing service’?
A: Between 2006 and 2013, the Embassy of Italy faced a huge increase in the number of visa applications. For example, in 2006 we issued 3500 visas. Later they increased to 4900 and in 2011, they became 5400. Last year, they were about 8000, and the latest figures show that in the first five months of 2013, visa requests from Georgian citizens increased by 106,7%. And this constant increase has been dealt with without any corresponding adjustment in Embassy personnel. Therefore, we arrived at the point where the two employees who received people were simply not enough. This was the reason why the application process was very long. This is not good with respect to Georgian people but also with respect to the visa facilitation agreement that Schengen countries signed with Georgia in March 2011. We want to comply with the rules and to have a shorter waiting list for appointments. So we asked a private company to help us. We made an official tender and in the end only one company remained as a possible candidate to deal with this extremely important task. Visa Management Service (VMS), located on Rustaveli 27, is a renowned Italian company, legally registered in Georgia. It works also in Russia and Ukraine for all the Italian Consulates. They manage a huge amount of Italian visas. They take care of all the procedures, but the decision to issue the visa remains a prerogative of the Italian Embassy. They have a lot of personnel so they can fix appointments in very short time (currently, it takes only one day). Then, within a maximum of ten days the applicant can obtain a visa. The call centre is free and anyone who wishes to go to Italy as a tourist, on a business trip or to study is eligible to call at the following number: (+995 32) 2-43-00-59; applicants can also obtain appointments online by visiting the website: www.italy-vms.ge In this way, we can issue many more visas than before. Of course, VMS charges a fee for its services (i.e. information, appointments, collecting documentation, to give passports back, etc..), but it is not a large one – just 63 GEL – very affordable for travellers . The price of a short term visa does not change: it is always 77 GEL.
Q: You mentioned at the press conference on May 22, that it was necessary to acquaint Georgians with the fact that the new company is the only authorized operator in Georgia for processing Italian visa applications, since there could be crooks fraudulently advertising fake and illegal services for obtaining visas in exchange for thousands of Euros. Were there many such cases?
A: I have to say clearly that the price is as I mentioned – GEL 77 to the Embassy for the visa itself; GEL 63 - to VMS for their services ; that is the only price Georgians have to pay to obtain a visa. If somebody asks for a higher amount of money, it is illegal and dangerous. Nobody has to pay extra fees. In this case, I advise to go to the police. We are not informed about registered cases of such fraud , but it is always better to be over-careful.
Q: How will these changes boost the links between the two countries?
A: The main idea of this system, by means of which we are issuing more visas, is that it should help business as well as tourists. This will be of mutual benefit for our two countries; it also facilitates activities in other areas: cultural exchanges, for example, since a lot of artists, musicians and theatre people apply for visa. We are happy, when foreigners arrive in our country. Number of visas is increasing and it is good. However, it is also important to keep migration within the bounds of the law; otherwise it may create problems for both sides. Georgia is engaged in fighting illegal migration, and it is endeavoring to reach a visa liberalization agreement with the EU.
Q: What do you expect, when Georgia can get visa liberalization?
A: I don’t take part in the negotiations but I am informed by the EU and also by the Georgian authorities that the negotiations are going very smoothly. I expect Georgia will get visa liberalization as soon as possible.
Q: Are there any changes in in the sphere of direct flights?
A: As I’ve said, the exchange is growing and to prove this, it is also enough to mention that ALITALIA came to Georgia to have direct flights and since July of 2012, it performs flights on the Rome-Tbilisi route. They started last year with two flights per week. Now, as of April of 2013, they perform three flights. From the second half of this May, they will have four flights per week until October. The season now is profitable. Not only Georgians go to Italy but many Italians are arriving in Georgia as tourists or for business trips. This will develop further our bilateral relations. In addition, Georgian Embassy in Rome contributes to it by its work though Italians don’t need visas for Georgia.

Print
Other Stories
Adam Kinzinger: I Strongly Support Georgia's Immediate NATO Membership
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Chairman of the Georgian Caucus of Congress, is one of the main authors of critical letters received by the Georgian government in recent months.
Matthew Bryza: "I think it’s a shame if Georgia doesn’t participate in this digital hub project"
Matthew Bryza worries new telecommunications law targets Caucasus Online and will block major investments that could make Georgia the strategic center of a “digital silk road”
Czech Ambassador: “Georgia among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating Covid 19”
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
05.08.2020
06.08.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0729
3.0739
EUR
1
EUR
3.6190
3.6398
GBP
1
GBP
4.0086
4.0336
RUB
100
RUB
4.1656
4.2064
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.0739
EUR
1
EUR
3.6398
GBP
1
GBP
4.0336
RUB
100
RUB
4.2064
August 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31