Residence permit in Georgia for former citizens: how to get it

This type of residence permit is issued for a period of 6 years
November 1, 2023
Nikoloz Gogiashvili, lawyer at JUST Advisors.
The Law of Georgia "On the Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons" allows former citizens of the country to obtain a residence permit. An application for it is submitted through the Public service hall. If there are no grounds for refusal, within 10 to 30 days (depending on the fee) you will receive a residence permit for 6 years. Let’s take a closer look.
Citizens of 95 countries can  enter the territory of Georgia without a visa and stay in the country for a calendar year, all other foreigners need a visa. But for long-term residence, both the first and the second need a residence permit. Earlier we wrote that you can get it on several grounds:
  • 1
  • 2
    Through employment relations with a Georgian company, as well as by studying in an authorized institution
  • 3
    Through the purchase of real estate and investment in the Georgian economy
  • 4
    Through family reunification
In total, more than 24 thousand foreigners received a residence permit in 2022,  and the total number of refusals was only 16%. However, the highest probability of approval of a residence permit  – more than 90% –  is for former citizens of Georgia. This is a separate ground.

Legal basis for a residence permit

All options for residence permits are listed in Article 15 of the Law of Georgia on the Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons. Specifically, paragraph "d" of this article implies that former citizens of Georgia who have lost citizenship for one reason or another can apply for a residence permit separately from other groups of applicants.

Basically, the loss of citizenship occurs due to obtaining citizenship of another country without notifying Georgia and going through the procedure for retaining citizenship (we wrote about it in detail here). This residence permit can be obtained as soon as a presidential decree on the termination of citizenship is issued (for example, after an unsuccessful attempt to retain citizenship and the completion of the procedure for termination of citizenship).

A residence permit for former citizens of Georgia is issued for a period of up to 6 years (this is specified in paragraph "b" of Article 16 of the above-mentioned law). Subsequently, it can be extended.

Submission of documents for former citizens

To obtain this category of residence permit, you need to apply to the Public Service Development agency (via the Public Service Hall) in person or through a legal representative. In addition to the application, you need to provide:

  1. Photo 3×4.
  2. Passport.
  3. A document confirming the loss of Georgian citizenship (for example, a copy of the Presidential decree on the termination of citizenship, ID or something else).
The period for consideration of an application for a residence permit depends on the amount of the state fee:

  1. 30 days — 300 GEL.
  2. 20 days — 450 GEL.
  3. 10 days — 600 GEL.
During this period, the Agency checks whether there are any grounds for refusing to obtain a residence permit in relation to the applicant — they are provided in Article 18 of the mentioned law. If there are grounds (the person has provided forged or invalid documents), the Agency prepares a decision on the refusal to grant a residence permit. If there are no grounds for refusal and the applicant meets the requirements of the law, the Agency makes a decision on the issuance of a residence permit.

Procedure for appealing a refusal

In the event that the Agency refuses to grant a residence permit, the law provide for a period of one month to appeal the decision. But since the Agency does not have a higher authority, it can only be appealed in court. The state fee for consideration of a case in the court of first instance is 100 GEL.

A residence permit has many advantages. In addition to the obvious right to stay in Georgia for a long time without a visa, the permit allows you to apply for a Schengen visa at local consulates, and in the future apply for the right of permanent residence and even citizenship under the general procedure.
JUST Advisors will help you prepare a case for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence or citizenship of Georgia on the basis that is most beneficial for you. We will collect and fill out the necessary documents and accompany you at all stages: from submitting an application to the Public Service Hall to appealing the refusal.

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