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GEORGIA – European Parliament Approves Schengen Visa Waiver for Georgian Nationals (UPDATED)

, 29/03/2017

[UPDATE] The visa-free regime for Georgian nationals entered into force on 28 March 2017.

On 2 February 2017, the European Parliament voted to approve visa liberalisation for Georgia, allowing Georgians to travel to the European Union’s Schengen Area without obtaining visas.

Under the visa exemption, Georgians who hold a biometric passport have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work.

The proposal was approved by the Council of Ministers on 27 February 2017 and an amendment to Regulation 539/2001 was adopted on 1 March 2017 and published in the Official Journal on 8 March 2017.

Background

The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union Member States and four non-members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.

The visa waiver does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland, which have opted out of the Schengen area.

Action Items

  • Note that nationals of Georgia are allowed to travel to the Schengen Area for tourism, business or family purposes, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, later this year.