How and Why to Obtain a Criminal Record Certificate in Georgia

Frequently required for employment abroad or applying for residency
Sofo Khizanishvili, Lead Manager of JUST Advisors
July 18, 2023
A criminal record certificate might be needed for employment abroad, obtaining citizenship, residency permits, and in several other instances. You can apply for it yourself or through a third party. We explain what documents are required and what else to pay attention to.
According to Georgian legislation, a criminal record certificate is a document issued by the Agency for Public Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. It contains information about administrative proceedings, convictions, and/or the search status of an individual. If there is information about an individual's convictions abroad in the agency's information-analytical department, it will be included as an appendix to the certificate. If the individual has no convictions and is not wanted (or if there is no information about this in the databases), the certificate will state that the person is "not convicted and not wanted."
It is worth noting that according to Article 79, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, "a convicted person is considered convicted from the day the guilty verdict enters into legal force until the conviction is extinguished or lifted."

Why a Criminal Record Certificate Might Be Needed

A criminal record certificate is primarily required by Georgian citizens and foreigners residing in the country when seeking employment abroad, acquiring dual citizenship, or obtaining residency permits. However, the necessity of providing this document is individual and depends on the specific employer or government agency. Sometimes, the requirement to provide the document is directly stipulated in regulatory acts. For instance, the certificate is mandatory for:
  • 1
    Undertaking internships or practice at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • 2
    Obtaining the status of a manager in insolvency cases.
  • 3
    Appointments as a director in a public school.
  • 4
    Obtaining positions in the diplomatic service, customs, and other government agencies.

Who Can Request and How to Obtain the Certificate

The list of individuals who can request the issuance of a certificate, as well as the necessary documents and situations when the certificate is not issued, are outlined in Articles 16 and 17 of the "Procedure for registering pledges, issuing a criminal record certificate, and a certificate on the legal status of a motor vehicle by the Agency for Public Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia" (the document was approved by Order No. 892 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia on June 25, 2007, the text of which can be found here).

Thus, a criminal record certificate is issued:
  • At the request of the data subject (the subject means any natural person whose data is processed).
  • At the request of a third party based on the written consent of the data subject (or a copy of this document), and upon demand of a third party to whom the subject has delegated representative powers.
  • Upon the requirement of another authorized person determined by law.
To obtain the certificate, it is necessary to provide:
  • A statement from the interested party specifying the identification data of the person for whom the certificate is requested (this data includes name, surname, address, ID number, date of birth).
  • An identity document of the interested party (if the interested party is a legal entity, documents verifying the representative powers and the identity of the legal entity's representative).
  • Written consent from the subject or a copy thereof (if a third party is requesting the service, a document confirming the delegation of representative authority by the subject is required).
  • A document confirming the payment of the service, except in cases where the person is exempt from it.
A criminal record certificate is not issued if:
  • It is requested by an unauthorized person;
  • The established fee for the service by the Georgian law is not paid;
  • The list of provided documents is incomplete or insufficient to identify the data subject/third party;
  • It is impossible to establish precise circumstances related to the conviction and/or search for a specific person;
  • The data subject is deceased;
  • Disclosure of the required information is restricted by legislation or there are other legal grounds for refusing to provide the service.
The cost of the certificate is regulated by the law "On the sizes and terms of provision of services by the legal entity of public law - the Agency for Public Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia." The fee for issuance within 3 working days is 20 lari, for 1 working day - 40 lari. The interested party can apply to the Agency through the House of Justice or its branch, as well as through the official website of the institution. The certificate is valid for 15 calendar days after its issuance/production.
Georgian citizens and stateless persons with a status in Georgia can obtain a criminal record certificate abroad through consular officers. The procedure for issuing in this case is determined by Government Resolution No. 404 of June 18, 2014, and the issuance period is extended to 5 working days (in some cases - up to 1 month).

Apostille and Legalization of the Document

In some cases, a criminal record certificate needs to be certified with an apostille, in others, it requires legalization, while in some cases, none of these are necessary. Let's consider these situations:

  • The document requires apostille if it is prepared for one of the countries that are parties to the "Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents." The convention has been ratified by more than 120 states.
  • Conversely, if the document is prepared for a country that has not acceded to the Hague Convention, it requires consular legalization.
  • No apostille or legalization is required if the document is submitted to one of the parties to the "Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family, and Criminal Matters of January 22, 1993." These countries include Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, as well as Turkmenistan, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Georgia.
In summary, to obtain a criminal record certificate in Georgia, you need to provide your identification and proof of payment to the Agency for Public Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. If a third party is obtaining the certificate on your behalf, your written consent to obtain the document or a power of attorney is additionally required.
Consider the validity period of the certificate — 15 calendar days. When preparing a document package for an employer or applying for citizenship and residency, it’s advisable to request it last to avoid its expiration. Also, consider the time and costs for delivery in advance (but it’s better to think about obtaining the certificate before leaving Georgia).
In general, a criminal record certificate may be required by almost anyone. If you want to obtain it or other official documents in the shortest possible time, seek legal assistance from JUST Advisors.

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