Starting from 1 March 2011 the agreement on facilitation of issuance of visas between the European Union and Georgia will come into force.
The visa facilitation agreement makes it easier and cheaper for Georgian citizens, in particular those who travel most, to acquire short stay visas for travels to and throughout the EU. A short stay visa is a visa for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.
EU citizens are already exempt from the visa obligation when travelling to or transiting through Georgia since 1 June 2006.
The agreement substantially simplifies the necessary supporting documents for a visa application for certain categories of persons, e.g. close relatives who are visiting Georgian citizens residing in the EU, businessmen, scientists, students and journalists. For some categories of frequent travellers and under certain conditions, member states are supposed to issue multi-entry visas with long periods of validity.
As a general rule, the agreement stipulates that a decision upon the request to issue a visa must be taken within 10 calendar days. The agreement also reduces the visa handling fee from €60 to €35 for all Georgian citizens and provide a total exemption from the visa fee for certain categories of applicants, e.g. close relatives who are visiting Georgian citizens residing in the EU, pensioners, children below the age of 12, disabled persons, scientists, students and journalists.