POLITICS
Georgia marks the first anniversary of Visa-Liberalization with EU
28 March, 2018
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union. On 28 March Georgian Prime-Minister Giorgi Kvirkashvili joined the first passengers traveling visa-free to Schengen Area countries and flew from Tbilisi airport to Athens to celebrate the entry into force of visa liberalization. He went to Brussels on the same day to meet the president of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
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Georgia lighten up in EU colors celebrating
visa liberalization. 2017

"Georgia has done a great job and achieved much. Today is a historic day for all of us and especially for Georgian people who from now on will be able to travel freely into the Schengen area. It is an important step to build an even closer EU-Georgia relationship" stated President Tusk.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, 192,453 Georgian citizens have visited the Schengen Zone 258,663 times, while 1001 Georgians were refused to enter the EU territory.
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The buildings were decorated with the flags of EU and Georgia. 2017

Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze has released a statement regarding the anniversary of the launch of visa liberalization, which states that Georgia continues to fulfill its obligations and implements reforms.

"Today, on March 28, exactly one year has passed since the Georgian citizens were granted the right to travel visa-free to the EU countries/Schengen area.
We already have tangible and concrete results in different directions such as tourism development, deepening of new business relations, activation of students' exchange programs, partnerships between professionals. During this year, visa-free travel has been used more than 250,000 times by Georgian citizens, which once again demonstrates that Georgia successfully uses the visa-free regime.
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The Chancellery of the Government of Georgia lighten up in EU colors. 2017

Visa-free travel in the EU countries has a great political significance for us, as Georgia has moved closer to the European family, with the EU and its Member States recognizing Georgia as a reliable and worthy partner,"- reads the statement.

The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, also made a statement regarding the anniversary.
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Bridge of peace  in Old Tbilisi lighten up in EU colors. 2017

“I would like to once again congratulate everybody on the anniversary of the launch of visa free travel, which is a great privilege and at the same time, a great responsibility for us, - said Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia.

According to the Chairman of the Parliament, it is very important Georgia to act responsibly in the future.

The legislative and executive authorities of Georgia will work jointly with regard to the legislative amendments on the visa-free travel.
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Tbilisi international airport in 2017

"It is very important that we duly demonstrate ourselves to the European friends, which will be a guarantee that we get closer to Europe and the European Union. There are some challenges related to visa-free travel and we should take care of this. Certain measures should be taken in order to ensure that we act responsibly.

We should make legislative amendments or take other measures. Together with the executive government, we will start working on legislative amendments to increase our responsibility towards our European friends," said Irakli Kobakhidze.
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Georgians having biometric passports can enter the Schengen Area

The visa-free regime with the EU means that all Georgians having 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.
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Georgians celebrating the signing of the Association Agreement in 2014

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.

Related stories;

More than 250,000 Georgian citizens traveled to EU / Schengen Zone during past year

Visa-free travel to EU countries: Must-know tips for Georgian citizens

James Appathurai congratulates Georgia on signing visa-free-travel document

Georgia lights up in EU colors celebrating visa liberalization

EU Parliament backs Georgia’s visa liberalization
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