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How to appeal a refusal to obtain a residence permit in Georgia

The appeal process begins with a detailed analysis of the reasons for the refusal. This allows determining whether it is worth correcting errors and reapplying or appealing the decision in court.
February 26, 2024
Nikoloz Gogiashvili, lawyer at JUST Advisors.
Georgia, a country at the crossroads of East and West, attracts many foreigners with its hospitality, mild climate, and liberal economic policies. However, like in any other country, the process of integration involves not only cultural adaptation but also interaction with local immigration legislation, particularly in obtaining residency permits (VNZ). Despite the relative simplicity and accessibility of Georgia’s migration policy, statistics show that a certain percentage of VNZ applications are rejected for various reasons. These refusals are often due to deficiencies in documentation or are based on more serious concerns related to national security.

The main reasons for refusals

Refusals to grant residence permits in Georgia can be conditionally divided into two categories: technical errors and refusals related to national security
  • 1
    Technical errors include incomplete or incorrectly formatted document packages, as well as administrative oversights. Often, such errors can be corrected by submitting additional applications with documentation amendments.
  • 2
    Refusals based on Article 18 of the Law "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" (hereinafter referred to as the Law), concerning national security, are significantly more serious. They indicate possible threats from the applicant, making the appeals process more complex and requiring thorough preparation and argumentation.

    Let's clarify immediately— we will never know the exact reasons for the refusal. The conclusion of the Georgian Security Service, which serves as the basis for refusal under Article 18 of the Law, is classified as "secret." The lawyer's status does not allow access to it in the case, and it is not evaluated in the court decision.

The path of appeal: from analyzing the refusal to judicial proceedings

The appeal process begins with a detailed analysis of the reasons for the refusal. This allows you to determine whether it’s worth correcting errors and reapplying or appealing the decision in court.

You have 1 month to decide on appealing.
The judicial appeal process involves several stages:
  • 1
    Filing the lawsuit and paying the fee. It is necessary to prepare the evidence base, draft and submit the statement of claim to the Tbilisi City Court, and pay the state fee.
  • 2
    First instance. The case is usually heard in one or two sessions, with the possibility of fully or partially satisfying the demands.
  • 3
    Appeal and cassation. In the event of an unfavorable decision, it can be appealed by one of the parties to higher instances, which requires additional time and financial costs.

The outcome of the appeal and what to do with it:

Practice shows that the outcome of the case consideration in the first instance or on appeal may result in one of the following judicial decisions:
1. To grant the application for recognition of the refusal to grant a residence permit in full and to oblige the Agency for Development of Public Services (hereinafter referred to as the Agency) to approve the application for granting a residence permit.
What's next?
  • 1
    Within 14 days from the moment of receiving the court decision in writing, the Agency may appeal such a decision. In this case, we continue to defend our position further.
  • 2
    If the decision is not appealed within 14 days, the court returns the case to the Agency. Within 30 days, the Agency reconsiders the residence permit application. No fee is required. The Agency may request additional documents (rarely). Following the review, the Agency is obliged to make a decision to approve the residence permit.
2. To partially grant the application for recognition of the refusal to grant a residence permit and to oblige the Agency for Development of Services to reconsider the application for granting a residence permit.
What's next?
  • 1
    Within 14 days from the moment of receiving the written court decision, the Agency may appeal such a decision in appellate court. In this case, we continue to defend our position further.
  • 2
    If the decision is not appealed within 14 days, the court returns the case to the Agency. Within 30 days, the Agency reconsiders the residence permit application. No fee is required. The Agency may request additional documents (rarely). Following the review, the Agency may make one of the following decisions:

    • Approve the residence permit.
    • Refuse the residence permit again.

    What's next?

    Within 1 month, we file a new lawsuit in court demanding that a decision be made instead of the Agency, as the Agency does not make a decision and issues a refusal on the same grounds that the court deemed unjustified.
3. To deny the application for recognition of the refusal to grant a residence permit.
What's next?
  • 1
    Within 14 days from the moment of receiving the written court decision, appeal it to the appellate court. The court fee is 150 lari, and the case review period is from 2 to 5 months. Engage in the fight - go all the way.

Key success factors

Success in appeal largely depends on the quality of preparation and argumentation. It's important to clearly demonstrate your connection with Georgia and the absence of a threat to national security. Additionally, collaborating with experienced attorneys specializing in immigration law significantly increases the chances of success.

The significance of appealing a refusal

  1. Appealing the refusal underscores your intention to stay and live in Georgia, your confidence that the grounds for refusal are unjustified, and your readiness to defend your rights and determination.
  2. The review of the complaint may serve as a basis for extending the period of your lawful stay in Georgia—the decision on this is made by the Agency based on the corresponding application.
  3. In case of receiving a positive decision in court, the Agency typically does not refuse to extend the residence permit.
The process of appealing a refusal to obtain a residence permit can be complex and lengthy, but with the right approach and professional support, it can be successfully overcome.
JUST Advisors takes pride in its extensive experience in immigration law and is ready to provide qualified assistance at all stages of the appeal process.
JUST Advisors is a leading legal firm specializing in immigration law in Georgia. Our team consists of experienced lawyers and consultants who possess deep knowledge and practical experience in the field of immigration legislation. We understand the complexities and nuances associated with the process of obtaining residency permits and strive to ensure our clients' maximum efficiency and smooth integration into Georgian society.

Why choose us:
  • Expertise: We have successfully handled hundreds of residency permit cases, including complex situations involving appeals against refusals.
  • Personalized approach: Each client is unique to us. We develop individual strategies, taking into account our clients' personal circumstances and goals.
  • Full range of services: From initial consultation to court representation, we provide comprehensive support at all stages of the process.
  • Transparency and openness: We value the trust of our clients and ensure full transparency in all stages of our work.
  • Payment based on results: We understand the value of time and results.

At JUST Advisors, we believe that everyone deserves the right to freedom of movement and the opportunity to choose a place to live and work. We take pride in being able to help our clients overcome legal barriers and discover new horizons in Georgia.

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