Get Adobe Flash player

This page requires Flash Player version 8.0.24 or higher.

F. Migration policies and programmes and their effectiveness in managing the migration and development challenges

F1. Overview of the national institutional and policy framework governing migration

F1.1 An overview of recent migration policy developments and analysis of policy coherence issues

A State Commission on Migration Issues was established on 13th of October, 2010 upon the decision of the Georgian government. The Commission unites the following participants:

  • Ministry of Justice of Georgia – chair of the commission
  • Ministry  of the Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia
  • Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration(eu-nato)
  • Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Georgia
  • Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia
  • Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
  • Ministry  of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
  • Ministry  of Education and Science of Georgia
  • Ministry  of Finances of Georgia
  • Office of the State Minister of Georgia for  Diaspora Issues
  • LEPL – National Statistics Office of Georgia

The State Commission on Migration Issues was established with the purpose to support the implementation of state policy in the field of (eu-nato) migration and improve the migration (eu-nato) management system in Georgia.

The main objectives of the Commission are increasing level of coordination between the authorities, preparing recommendations on migration issue, supporting of reintegration process for returnees, cooperation on effective implementation of international agreements, exchanging information between various institutions etc. (cra)

At this stage, advancement and monitoring of effective implementation of Readmission and Visa Facilitation Agreements are on the top of the State Commission’s agenda. (cra)

The Commission convenes upon the necessity by the commission’s chairman or 1/3 of member’s initiative. CRA provides all administrative, technical and organizational support to the commission.  (cra)

The Commission creates subject-based working groups, which are comprised by representatives of respective line ministries and various experts. As of today, two working groups have been created: first on the issues of facilitating reintegration and consolidation, and another one on the issues of non-citizens. The latter has already prepared a set of recommendations with regard to improving Georgia’s law regulating citizenship rights. The Commission has discussed recommendations and determined further steps in order to present them to the Government of Georgia. (cra)

On  may 19, 2011 during the Commission meeting it was agreed to develop migration strategy. For this purpose the Commission launched cooperation with the EU funded project „Support Reintegration of Georgian Returning Migrants and the Implementation of EU-Georgia Readmission Agreement“. In this regard a working group is already created, which after appropriate trainings, will elaborate a draft migration strategy. (cra)

The European Union and its Member States launched an initiative titled, “Mobility Partnership” in June, 2009. This initiative aims to support the management of legal migration, including circular and temporary migration. Additionally, the Agreement aims at supporting cooperation in the field of migration and economic development, encouraging readmission and turn process, ensuring human rights protection, and prevention of illegal migration, trafficking and smuggling. (eu-nato).

To meet the responsibilities undertaken within the membership of the Council of Europe, the Georgian Parliament adopted a law on “Repatriation of Persons Forcibly Displaced by the Former USSR in the 40s of the 20th Century” that envisions the principles of historical justice, voluntary and dignified return.

F1.2 An overview of key domestic legislation

Constitution of GeorgiaMigration policies[1]

The Georgian Constitution was adopted on August 24, 1995. Article 22 of the Constitution provides that “everyone legally within the territory of Georgia shall, within throughout the territory of the country, have the right to freedom of movement and freedom to choose his/her residence” and “shall be free to leave Georgia. A citizen of Georgia may freely enter Georgia”. The Article provides as well that these rights may be restricted “only in accordance with law, in the interests of securing national security or public safety, protection of health, prevention of crime or administration of justice that is necessary for maintaining a democratic society”.

Article 47 of the Constitution provides the grounds of legal status of foreigners and stateless persons in Georgia. According to this Article, “foreign citizens and stateless persons residing in Georgia shall have the rights and obligations equal to the rights and obligations of citizens of Georgia with exceptions envisaged by the Constitution and law”. Paragraph 2 and 3 of article 47 introduce the right on asylum as well principle of non-refoulment. The article establishes that the asylum procedure is implemented in Georgia in accordance with universally recognized rules of international law and the procedure established by law”. 

Article 30 of the Constitution was amended on December 27, 2005, providing that “On the basis of international agreements governing labor relations, the state shall protect the labor rights of the citizens of Georgia abroad”. This amendment was aimed at strengthening the prevention human trafficking, slavery and exploitation. 

Law on citizenship of Georgia[2]

The Law defining the citizenship of Georgia was adopted on March 25, 1993, last amended on January 30, 2006. The Law prohibited dual citizenship, except for cases established in the Constitution (foreigners who have special merits before Georgia or granting citizenship is in interests of the state).

The Georgian citizenship may be acquired by birth or naturalization. A child is citizen of Georgia, if:

-          Both his/her parents are citizens of Georgia at the moment of the birth regardless of the place of birth;

-          One parent is citizen of Georgia and

§  a child was born on the territory of Georgia;

§  a child was born outside the borders of Georgia but either of his parents has a permanent place of residence on the territory of Georgia;

§  either of his parents is a citizen of Georgia at the moment of his birth, regardless of the place of birth, and the other parent is a stateless person or is unknown.

-          He/she is a child of stateless persons permanently residing on the territory, if he or she was born on the territory of Georgia;

-          He/she was found on the territory of Georgia and both of parents are unknown, until the contrary is proved.

A person may be granted citizenship by naturalization if:

-       he/she has been permanently residing within the territory of Georgia during the last ten years;

-       he/she speaks the state language at the established minimum;

-       he/she is familiar with the history and legislation of Georgia at the established minimum;

-       he/she has a job or any real estate on the territory of Georgia.

Law on the Legal status of Aliens[3]

The law on the Legal status of Aliens was adopted on December 27, 2005, and came into force on July 1, 2006. The Law “regulates legal grounds and mechanisms for aliens’ entry, stay, transit and leave Georgia and defines the rights and responsibilities of aliens, legal grounds for deportation of aliens residing in Georgia, the forms and procedure of deportation, as well as the field of competence and responsibilities of the state institutions participating in the process of deportation for the implementation of legal standards provided for in this Law” (Article 1, paragraph 2).

The Law establishes the list of countries, citizens of which are not required to have a visa for entering and staying in Georgia up to 360 days (Article 4 paragraph 5). These countries are:

-       Member states of the European Union;

-       United States of America;

-       Canada;

-       Japan;

-       Switzerland;

-       Lichtenstein;

-       Norway;

-       Israel ;

-       the Holy See;

-       Principality of Andorra;

-       San-Marino;

-       Republic of Iceland;

-       United Arab Emirates;

-       State of Kuwait;

-       South Korea;

-       State of Qatar;

-       Kingdom of Bahrain;

-       Oman;

-       Brunei;

-       Singapore;

-       Australia;

-       Monaco;

-       Albania

-       Serbia

-       Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

-       New Zealand;

-       The Bahamas;

-       Barbados;

-       Antigua and Barbuda;

-       Trinidad and Tobago;

-       Seychelles;

-       Botswana;

-       Croatia;

-       Chile;

-       Saint Kitts and Nevis;

-       Argentina;

-       Malaysia;

-       Mexico;

-       Uruguay;

-       Mauritius;

-       Panama;

-       Costa Rica;

-       South Africa;

-       Brazil;

-       Thailand;

-       Belize;

-       Saudi Arabia

-       Montenegro

-       Iraq

 

Additionally, the Law provides that an international agreement of Georgia with another state may provide a visa-free or simplified visa regime. (eu-nato)

Visa of Georgia may be issued at the diplomatic representations of Georgia abroad and at the border crossing points by the Patrol (mia) Police of Georgia. The Law establishes four types of visas:

-          Diplomatic;

-          Service;

-          Ordinary;

-          Study visa

Residence permits in Georgia are issued by the Civil Registry Agency(cra) of Ministry of Justice. According to the Law a foreigner may be granted a temporary residence permit (longer that 90 days and for no more than period of 6 years) and permanent residence permit.

Temporary residence permit may be issued on the grounds of work activities, medical treatment, study, invitation of a relevant governmental agency as a highly skilled expert or a cultural worker, guardianship or custody of a Georgian citizen, being under guardianship or custody of a Georgian citizens, relationship with a foreigner residing in Georgia.

Permanent residence permit may be issued to an alien legally residing in Georgia for 6 years (except residence permit for medical treatment and work within the diplomatic and equivalent representation), relative of a Georgian citizen (spouse, parent, child, adoptive parent or child, sister, brother or grandparents), highly qualified specialist, sportsman or artist whose arrival is in interests of Georgia.

Section III of the Law established the procedure of deportation of aliens from the territory of Georgia. The alien may be deported from the state in cases where:

-          “S/he has illegally entered to Georgia;

-          There are no longer legal grounds to justify his/her further stay in Georgia;

-          Her/his residence in Georgia contradicts the interests of national security and public order;

-          Her/his deportation is necessary for the protection of public health, rights and legitimate interests those of Georgian nationals and other persons legally staying in Georgia;

-          S/he regularly violates Georgian laws;

-          S/he obtained legal grounds for entry and staying in Georgia through providing forged or invalid documents;

-          S/he has committed one or several malicious crimes, after expiration of the term, for which s/he was sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment[4].”

Depending on the deportation grounds, the decision on deportation may be taken by the Ministry of Justice or by court. Article 58 of the Law establishes the principle of non-refoulement as well as other humanitarian circumstances (such as long-term residence in Georgia, social and economic links, etc.) which should be taken into consideration while making a deportation decision. 

Article 62 of the Law provides that the aliens may be detained due to administrative procedures in accordance with the Aliens Law. Such alien shall be presented to the court within 48 hours after the detention. If the court does not take a decision on detention within the next 24 hours, the alien shall immediately set free.

Law on Internally displaced persons

The Law was adopted in 1996. According to the Article 1 of the Law,” IDP is a citizen of Georgia or stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residence and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to the threat to his life, health and freedom or life, health and freedom of his family members, as a result of aggression of a foreign state, internal conflict of mass violation of human rights”. The child whose both parents are IDPs may be granted IDP status based on consent of the parents.

The IDP status may be granted by the decision of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia. IDPs have a right to

-       reside at a temporary place of residence;

-       enjoy free utilities at place of compact settlement;

-       receive other types of assistance.

At the place of temporary residence IDP receives a monthly allowance, special social and other assistance (assist in temporary employment, solving their social and living problems, etc.) according to the rules established by the legislation of Georgia.

Law of Georgia on Refugees[5]

The Law was adopted on February 18, 1998, amended on April 27, 2005. The Law provides the refugee status in Georgia may be granted to a person who is falling under the refugee definition provided in the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 New York Protocol. Decision- making power on granting refugee status belongs to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia. The procedure of refugee status determination is established by the Provision on the Procedures for Granting Refugee Status approved by the Decree of the Ministry in 2003. This document establishes procedures on submission of applications for refugee status, interview, examination of documents, decision-making, etc.

During the individual examination of the case, upon the registration of the asylum application, a foreigner is recognized as an asylum seeker.  The Department of Migration, Repatriation and Refugee Issues within the Ministry is responsible for examination of the case. The examination procedure involves an interview and completion of a questionnaire. The procedure could last up to four month. During this period, the Ministry in cooperation with the international organizations, namely, with the UNHCR provides applicants with the accommodation at the temporary settlement centre.

The President of Georgia makes the decision about granting political asylum. In such a cases, the Administration of the President forwards application to the Department of Migration, Repatriation and Refugee Issues for examination. The department proceeds with the individual method and submits the conclusion to the Administration of the President; based on the conclusion, the President of Georgia makes the final decision.

Law on Repatriation of Persons forcefully sent into exile from the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia by the former USSR in the 40’s of the 20th Century

The Law was adopted on July 11, 2007 (entered into force on January 1, 2008), following the obligations assumed by Georgia in 1999, on its entry to the Council of Europe. The Law offers a formal ground for the return of so-called forced migrants deported from Georgia in 1944 and their descendants.

The repatriation system established by 2007 law of Georgia, is based on the principles of historical justice and on worthy and voluntary return principles, it also envisions systematic repatriation.

According to the procedure established by the Law, a person seeking the status of a repatriate, should fill out an application and submit all the necessary documents to the Department of Migration, Repatriation and Refugee Issues of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia. The applications review process started on 1 January 2010, which is the closing date for submitting application forms[6].

Criminal Code of Georgia

In 2003 specific amendments to the Criminal Code of Georgia were made in order to criminalize Trafficking in Persons. Article 1431 prohibits trafficking in person, while article 1432 refers to the trafficking in minors. Additionally, use of service of trafficking victims was outlawed by article 1433 in 2007.

The amendments of 2006 to the Criminal Code of Georgia have increased the sanctions and introduced criminal responsibility of legal entities for human traffickers. Article 1431, 1432 and 1433 prescribe different sanctions: statutory minimum sentence of article 1431 is imprisonment from seven years, whereas the article 1432 sets as a minimum sanction - imprisonment for eight years.  Statutory maximum of the above-mentioned offences differ as well.  The Article 1431 provides imprisonment up to 20 years, while article 1432 prescribes punishment by life imprisonment. As for the use of service of trafficking victim, it is punishable by imprisonment from 3 to 15 years term.

Criminal Code of Georgia does not differentiate between human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation, sexual exploitation, etc. The scope of application of these articles covers internal (within territory of Georgia) as well as external forms of trafficking (trans-border). It is noteworthy, that trafficking committed by taking a victim abroad is regarded as one of the most aggravating circumstances according to the criminal legislation of Georgia.

The results of the amendments to the criminal legislation, the definition of human trafficking has been brought in full compliance with the definition given in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. These conventions were ratified by Parliament of Georgia in 2006[7].

Law of Georgia on Combating Trafficking in Persons

Together with the adoption of the strict sanctions in the Criminal Legislation for trafficking and elaboration of the specific mechanism for the protection of victims, on April 28, 2006 Parliament of Georgia adopted Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons. This Law underlines legal and organizational grounds for prevention and suppression of trafficking in persons, provides competencies and responsibilities of respective State agencies, officials and legal entities, as well as rules of coordination of their activities. The law also determines the legal status of victims of trafficking and ensures legal and social guarantees of their protection.

Together with the adoption of the specific Law against Trafficking in Persons number of amendments were made to other laws, such as Code of Administrative offences, Law on Legal status of Foreigners, Law on Social Assistance, Law on Border Police and others. Based on the Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons, new normative acts were introduced , which provide specific regulations for the implementation of the State policy within the process of combating trafficking.[8]

F1.3 A brief description of key institutional actors involved in migration management and diaspora

President of Georgia

In accordance with the Constitution of the state and other legal acts, President of Georgia takes following decisions in the migration-related matters:

-          Granting, reinstatement, denunciation and loss of Georgian citizenship;

-          Granting asylum in accordance with the Constitution;

-          Declaration of foreigners as Persona Non-grata.

Beside, the President has an exclusive power in defining procedures on issuance, extension and suspension of Georgian visas, and on issuing residence permits to foreigners.

Ministry of justice / civil register agency(cra)

Civil registry agency of the Ministry of Justice is responsible for:

  • Issuing of temporary and permanent resident permits
  • Registering of foreigners according to the temporary address, and issuing of resident certificate 
  • Issuing of travel document for stateless persons and refugees residing in Georgia.

·         Discussing the citizenship cases and issuing of appropriate conclusion

·         Issuing of emigration permit

·         Providing registration of birth, marriage and death

·         Discussing the issue of deportation of foreigners from the territory of Georgia

·         Issuing visas for Georgian citizens residing legally on the territory of Georgia

·         Conducting unified register of  Georgian citizens and  foreigners, residing in Georgia

·         Postponing  departure from  Georgia by foreigner

Since the reform of the Civil Registry Agency a number of innovative systems were established and effectively used for migration management. For example, since 2008 the Face Recognition System (FRS) has been introduced and successfully used for providing one more corner stone on perfecting the CRA databases. The FRS is effectively applied also throughout implementation of the Readmission Agreement for establishing person’s identity. Moreover, the FRS is used for data enrollment process, which increases personal identification capacity and enables data duplication. Database contains photo materials issued since 1993 and amounts to 9 million photos.

The CRA has taken significant steps towards improving document security. The CRA launched issuing biometric passports since April 15, 2010. Number of passports issued, including 2011, is over 200 000. The Agency has three biometric passport printing centers, considering country`s territorial division: one in the capital, one in the Eastern and another one in the Western part of Georgia.

Georgia has introduced a second generation Biometric Passport, which is equipped with an electronic data storage device, containing four finger prints, face image and photo. This information is read from the passport using a contactless reader. By combining visual and electronic security features bio-passes ensure high identification standards.

One of recent and the most important developments for the CRA is Issuance of electronic ID cards. New multifunctional ID cards are planned to be available for the citizens of Georgia starting from summer, 2011.

All relevant authorities, who are responsible for migration management in Georgia, have established access to the CRA data bases. The level of accessibility depends on functions of the respective institution. 

Basic functions of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons From the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia are:

  • Providing state policies regarding the issues of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, returned persons, repatriation, disaster victims, resettlement, etc
  • Regulation of migration flows of IDP-s, refugees, asylum seekers and repatriates, while taking into account political, economic and demographic condition of the country. Additionally organizing their temporary or permanent resettlement, social protection and creation of adaptation-integration conditions is under the ministry’s mandate as well.  (3.07.2010 N 177)
  • Establishment of migration processes management system in Georgia and mutual cooperation with executive authorities in this field; (13.10.2010 N 318).
  • Determination of migrants’ categories;
  • Organizing and supporting the return of refugees and Georgian citizens, who remain in foreign countries, to permanent living places, and creating appropriate socio-economic conditions; (3.07.2010 N 177)
  • Accounting, managing and controlling of migration flow;
  • Preparation of legal base with legal and executive authority, appropriate to central organs, in purpose of migrants’ social and legal right protection. 
  • Participation in development of humanitarian aid international programs, and its execution control in frameworks of their competence.
  • Organizing the registration of refugees; accounting foreigners, who are seeking asylum in Georgia; determination of their legal conditions and decision-making about appropriate status.
  • Discussion of issue of refugee status to the asylum seeker, decision-making and preparation of conclusion about seeker’s status granting or its refusal.
  • Organizing resettlement of refugees; monitoring and managing of the resettlement process.
  • Supporting the rehabilitation and adaptation of refugees.
  • Developing a system of effective management of emigration processes, which are caused by natural disasters and supporting its implementation; monitoring of migration processes on the territory of Georgia in framework of relevant institutions.
  • Definition of internal and external migration politics and preparing of proposals and normative acts about its implementation in frameworks of competence; (13.10.2010 N 318)
  • Development of proposals for creation of appropriate socio-economic conditions for Georgian citizens, who returned from emigration; (13.10.2010 N 318);
  • Monitoring of processes connected to labor migration;
  • Inspection of migration in frameworks of competence ;
  • Effective prevention of illegal migration in frameworks of competence;

Ministry of Internal Affairs / patrol police (mia)

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is involved in migration management as an agency, which according to Georgian legislation is responsible for management of border migration and border protection of the country.

Within the Ministry the most recent reform in border management was carried out in 2009. As a result of the amendments to the relevant legislation, MoIA Patrol Police Department (PPD) assumed the responsibility over the border check points – replacing the MoIA Border Police. This substantially improved coordination of all relevant units involved in border management and as a result, more efficient detection, eradication and prevention of the criminal activities as well as administrative offences at the border is ensured.

According to the above-mentioned changes tasks of the Patrol Police Department at the border check points are as follows:

  • Border-migration control at the border crossing points;
  • To inspect the citizens of Georgia and foreigners on the state border check points;
  • To observe and control the legal regime of the Georgian state border;
  • To Prevent, reveal and eliminate trans-border organized crime and irregular migration, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of drugs, weapons, explosive devices and the movement of means of nuclear materials and other activities as defined by the legislation;
  • PPD is authorized to issue the National Visa on the state border;

In accordance President’s Decree of April 26, 2011, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was assigned  as a competent authority for implementation of the (Readmission??) Agreement. Within the Ministry the PPD (acronym needs definition!!) acts as a competent authority on implementation of the Readmission Agreement and is in charge of procedural and organizational issues. 

Thus, the Border Police of Ministry of Internal Affairs remains responsible for control of border regime and security on the “green” border and the maritime space of Georgia.

It should be mentioned that the most important structural reform was a merger of the Border Police Coast Guard with the Navy Armed Forces. Strategic decision of merging AF Navy with the MoIA Coast Guard was taken soon after the Russian-Georgian War following the consultations between the MOD (acronym) Joint Staff and the MoIA as well as foreign recommendations, which advocated creation of single maritime force. Tasks of the BP Coast Guard remain unchanged and so its primary role as law-enforcement agency on the sea i.e. it is responsible for control of the maritime space and territorial waters as well as exclusive economic zone of Georgia. It enforces the border regime, conducts search and rescue operations on the sea and acts as maritime support of the Armed Forces in case of war.   

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and its representatives abroad, play important role in obtaining/using migration data.

Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts are responsible for the following issues:

  • Issuing visas abroad;
  • Issuing necessary documents for returning to Georgia;
  • Consular registration for Georgian citizens abroad;
  • Cooperate with Organizations, which provide projects for voluntary returnees;
  • Helping Georgian citizens, who are  victims of trafficking;
  • Issuing Passports;
  • Registration of Civil acts;
  • Registration of Georgian Citizens abroad;
  • Submission of Application on Citizenship issues;
  • Submission of Application on  temporary and permanent resident permits
  • Take part in the Readmission Process in their field of competence;

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is observing the migration flows of Georgian citizens abroad, for the further analyze and evaluation.

Almost all consular posts are using the electronic data bases of Georgian state agencies. Among them data bases of Civil Registry Agency, which are used while serving Georgian citizens.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia provides Georgian citizens with the information on legal migration issues.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has ongoing project with IOM (International Organization on Migration) – “Support for the Authorities of Georgia to Implement the Readmission Agreement with the EU”.  Software is being developed within the project. It will contribute exchange of data between MFA, CRA and MIA. With this software the migration flows will be controlled more effectively and it will provide consular posts and MFA with necessary information for further analyses.

The project also includes providing Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts with hardware to facilitate processing of biometric data, which will enhance issuing biometric passports by Georgian Diplomatic missions abroad

The Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration

The Office of the State Minister is coordinating implementation of the ENP Action Plan, including issues related to Freedom, Security and Justice (JLS).

It is a main body in cooperation with the EU in the framework of the Mobility Partnership and coordination of related programs and projects.

Also, the Office is coordinating implementation of the “Eastern Partnership”, including migration related issues. (eu-nato)

The Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora issues

  • Working over deepening relations with compatriots, residing abroad;
  • In permanent connection with Georgian communities not to lose an intensive contact with the homeland even in case of a constant settlement in foreign countries;
  • Creating informational analytic contact databank of compatriots, their organizations, individuals and organizations interested with Georgia;
  • Supporting compatriots, residing abroad and corresponding organizations acting abroad in introduction and study of the history, culture of Georgian people and contemporary state building affairs of Georgia;
  • Working to develop a social network “iamgeorgian.com” in order to improve relations between Georgians living abroad and to carry out various cultural- educational programs.

F2. Regional and International Cooperation

  • Main international agreements of Georgia related to migration issues[9]:

Name of the treaty

Date of entering into force for Georgia

International Covenant On Social And Political Rights

3 August 1994

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of discrimination Against Women

25 November 1994

Convention on the Rights of the Child

2 July 1994

International Covenant On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights

3 August 1994

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

25 November 1994

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination  1966

2 July 1999

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees signed in Geneva 28 July, 1951

7 November 1999

Protocol relating to the Status of Refugee of 1967

9 August 1999

Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

28 July 2005

Convention On The Recognition Of Studies, Diplomas And Degrees Concerning Higher Education In The States Belonging To The Europe Region 21 December 1979

4 December 1992

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children

5 October 2006

Constitution of the International Organization for Migration

7 June, 2001

Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950

20 May 1999

European Convention For The Prevention Of Torture And Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment

10 October 2000

European Agreement Relating To Persons Participating In Proceedings Of The European Court Of Human Rights

1 July 2001

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities 

1 April 2006

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region 1997

1 December 1999

Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons

1 February 1998

European Convention on Information on Foreign Law 

19 June 1999

European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959

11 January 2000

European Convention on Extradition and its Protocols

13 September 2001

Statute of the Council of Europe  5 May 1949

27 April 1999

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

14 March 2007

The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Apostille Convention)

14 May 2007

  • Georgia – EU relations[10]
  • The basis and a legal foundation for EU-Georgia relations is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which was concluded in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.  The PCA established EU-Georgia partnership institutions: Cooperation Council, Cooperation Committee and Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. The PCA regulates cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economic, legislative and cultural cooperation.
  • The increased interest of the European Union towards the Caucasus region has manifested itself in the appointment of the EU Special Representative for South Caucasus in 2003. The mandate of the EUSR includes assisting the Council in developing a comprehensive policy towards the South Caucasus, contributing to conflict prevention and assisting the conflict settlement in the region. The mandate has been strengthened in 2006 to include contribution to conflict resolution.
  • On Commission's recommendation, the Council in 2004 invited Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia to participate in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The Joint Statement on the agreed text of the ENP Action Plan within the European Neighborhood Policy was signed between the Troika and Georgia.  The ENP offers Georgia to engage in unprecedented close political, economic and cultural relations with the EU, to enhance cross-border cooperation and share responsibility for conflict prevention and resolution[11].
  • The European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan for Georgia has a strong focus on Justice, Liberty and Security (JLS) sector, which includes also border management, trans-border cooperation between Georgia, the European Union Member States and neighboring countries, migration management (readmission, visas and asylum), fight against organized crime, trafficking in human beings, etc. In November 2007, a JLS Sub Committee on Georgia-EU cooperation was established.
  • The European Union concluded a Mobility Partnership with Georgia in November 2009. More precisely, it is not an international treaty, but a “soft law” Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission, some of Member States and Georgia. This Mobility Partnership is a flexible, legally non-binding framework for enhanced dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Georgia, involving the coordinated and consistent implementation of practical initiatives in the field of migration, proposed by the Commission, the interested Member States and Georgia, according to their own competences. The goal of the Mobility Partnership, is to ensure the responsible joint management of migratory flows in the interests of the Union, its partners and the migrants. The Mobility Partnership with Georgia facilitates the migration of Georgian nationals to interested EU Member States; it covers different forms of legal migration, such as migration for studies or other forms of training. Mechanisms to facilitate economic migration are based on the labor needs of interested Member States, as assessed by them, while fully respecting the principle of Community preference for EU citizens.

An EU-Georgia Agreement on Facilitation of visa regime was signed on June 17, 2010[12], as a result of successful cooperation between EU and Georgia via Mobility Partnership and Eastern Partnership Agreements.

  • EU – Georgia Agreements on Visa facilitation and Readmission of Persons Residing without Authorization (mia)

On June 17, 2010, the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Georgia was signed. The visa facilitation agreement aims at making it easier for Georgian citizens, in particular those who travel most, to acquire short term visas for the EU. It provides a reduced visa fee of 35 Euro instead of 60 Euro for all Georgian citizens and a total exemption from the visa fee for certain categories of applicants (e.g. children below the age of 12, pensioners, disabled persons, students, close relatives and representatives of civil society organisations). Furthermore for certain persons (e.g. businesspeople, students and journalists) the necessary documents requested for supporting a visa application are simplified. Bona fide frequent travellers will be issued multi-entry visas with long periods of validity. Finally, the holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from the visa obligation. The agreement also obliges the Consulates to take a decision within 10 days on whether or not to issue a visa.

The Visa Facilitation Agreement goes hand-in-hand with the Readmission Agreement. The Readmission Agreement sets out clear obligations and procedures for authorities of the EU Member States and third countries concerned, as to when and how return people who are residing there illegally. They cover not only illegally staying nationals of both parties but also third country nationals and stateless persons being in an irregular situation, provided that they have a clear link with the requested party (e.g. visa or resident permit). The EU-Georgia Readmission Agreement entered into force from 1st of March, 2011. In this regard, Georgia has already taken several significant steps. With the aim of proper implementation of the Readmission Agreement, a work is being continued on draft provisions of implementing protocols to the Agreement received from the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, Czech Republic  and Republic of Austria. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia was named as a competent authority for implementation of the Agreement.

Full respect of Human Rights as provided by the European Convention of Human Rights will also be guaranteed during the application of the Readmission Agreement. (cra)

Beside the EU, Georgia also has bilateral Readmission Agreements with Swiss confederation and Ukraine.

Georgia is negotiating possibility of conclusion of readmission agreement with Norway, Iceland and the Kingdom of Denmark . 

EU citizens are already exempt from the visa obligation by Georgia[13].(cra)

  • Visa regime of Georgia

According to the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs[14], citizens of following states do not need to obtain Georgian visa when entering Georgia:

-       Member states of the European Union;

-       United States of America;

-       Canada;

-       Japan;

-       Switzerland;

-       Lichtenstein;

-       Norway;

-       Israel ;

-       the Holy See;

-       Principality of Andorra;

-       San-Marino;

-       Republic of Iceland;

-       United Arab Emirates;

-       State of Kuwait;

-       South Korea;

-       State of Qatar;

-       Kingdom of Bahrain;

-       Oman;

-       Brunei;

-       Singapore;

-       Australia;

-       Monaco;

-       Albania

-       Serbia

-       Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

-       New Zealand;

-       The Bahamas;

-       Barbados;

-       Antigua and Barbuda;

-       Trinidad and Tobago;

-       Seychelles;

-       Botswana;

-       Croatia;

-       Chile;

-       Saint Kitts and Nevis;

-       Argentina;

-       Malaysia;

-       Mexico;

-       Uruguay;

-       Mauritius;

-       Panama;

-       Costa Rica;

-       South Africa;

-       Brazil;

-       Thailand;

-       Belize;

-       Saudi Arabia

-       Montenegro

-       Iraq

 

             Georgia also has  International  Agreements on visa free travel with: (mfa)

-       Azerbaijan                   Armenia                  Kyrgyzstan

-       Belarus                        Ukraine                   Uzbekistan

-       Iran                             Kazakhstan            Tajikistan

-       Moldova                      Turkey