What is Georgia called in the Georgian language?
The country of Georgia is known as "Sakartvelo"
What is Georgia known for?
Georgia is known as the cradle of winemaking. Wine has been produced for the past 8000 years. UNESCO has listed the traditional Georgian winemaking method- in a clay pot known as "Qvevri"- on its intangible Cultural Heritage go Humanity list.
Is the Georgian language unique?
The Georgian language is among 14 languages in the world that has its own alphabet. The Georgian script used to be three different languages throughout its existence- Nuskhuri, Asomtaruli, and Mkhedruli. The one used today is the last one mentioned and has 33 letters.
What about Georgia's climate?
Georgia is ecologically diverse- Georgia has 12 different climate zones, ranging from sub-tropical to alpine to semi-desert, and with 49 different types of soil.
What about winter sports in Georgia?
Georgia is considered an undiscovered heli-ski destination. Georgia's alpine resort in Gudauri has superb snow, spectacular views and wide open slopes, including heli-skiing and snowboarding.
What does the word "Tbilisi" signify?
Georgia's capital Tbilisi means "warm". This is because the city sits atop natural hot springs that were discovered during King Vakhtang's reign in the 5th century. "Tbili" means warm and "Tbilisi" means warm location.
What about remote villages in Georgia?
Georgia has the highest altitude European permanent settlements. The villages of Bochorna and Ushguli are the highest altitude permanent settlements in Europe at 2345 and 2100 meters above sea level.
What are some Georgian traditions?
Georgia is known as the land of the Toast- Georgian hospitality is legendary, and giving multiple toasts at gatherings and dinners followed by a drink (wine or chacha). There are more than 100 typical toasts and the "Tamada" is the person at the table assigned the role of the toastmaster.
Is Georgia part of Europe?
Georgia is generally regarded geographically as a transcontinental country- borders to the north by Russia, to the west by the Black Sea, to the south east by Azerbaijan, and to the south by Armenia and Turkey. Georgia has a ratified Association Agreement with the EU, that specifically identifies it as part of Europe (Eastern Europe).
Is Georgia part of the EU?
Not yet. Georgia and the European Union have maintained
relations since 1996 in the INOGATE framework, and in 2006 a five-year "Action Plan" of
rapprochement was implemented in the context of the European Neighbourhood
Policy (ENP). A more comprehensive Association Agreement entered into force on 1 July
2016. A European Union Monitoring Mission was sent to Georgia in the wake of the 2008
South Ossetia war.
Georgia does not have any official status as a candidate for future enlargement of the European Union, but in 2011 Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili expressed a desire for his country to become a member state of the EU. This view has been explicitly expressed on several occasions as links to the United States, EU and NATO have been strengthened in an attempt to move away from the Russian sphere of influence (reprinted from Wikipedia).
Do Georgian citizens have visa-free travel to Europe?
The EU formally proposed Georgia be granted visa free travel in March 2016. The Committee of Permanent Representatives gave its approval in October 2016, and it was approved by the European Parliament in February 2017. On 8 March 2017 the Official EU Journal published a legislation allowing Georgians owning biometric passports to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free. The legislation came into full effect on 28 March 2017, allowing Georgian citizens to travel visa- free for 90 days to most EU member countries, known as Schengen countries.
How does one Acquire Georgian citizenship?
Georgia's Organic law on Georgian Citizenship was passed by the Georgian Parliament and provides for the acquisition of Georgian Citizenship, including for persons who have special abilities or those who can invest in a manner that is a substantial contribution to the state economy- found in Article 17 of the law.
What is the actual section of the law?
Article 17- Granting Georgian Citizenship by way of exception- the following is the text of Article 17:
To Apply for Citizenship I make an investment, is this correct?
Yes, the investment amount of US$135,000 plus costs has been determined to be a “significant contribution” to the Georgian state and economy. The invested amount, minus fees, are used as capital by the Georgian Health Fund to create a new state-of-the-art medical center in Tbilisi Georgia. This has been confirmed as a tangible benefit to the Georgian state and people.
How do I apply for Georgian citizenship?
CitizenGE.org has the authority to assist interested persons (via his/her authorized Agent/Representative) who makes an investment of a minimum of US$135,000 (single applicant) plus US$7,500 per eligible dependent (lawful spouse and children up to the age of eighteen (18) years). The investment has been defined as "substantial" and will be utilized to fund specific projects that are considered to be beneficial and a substantial contribution to the state economy. Each adult applicant will undergo a stringent background clearance review as part of the application process, including the source of their invested funds. Certain applicants, to be identified at the sole discretion of CitizenGe.org, may be required to undergo "enhanced due diligence", including related to prior employment, public governmental service, and/or source and origin of investment funds, prior to the application advancing to final review.
How long will it take to Process?
It is expected that the citizenship processing time will not exceed 120 days, including the issuance of the approved citizenship and passport.
Is the investment funds held in escrow while the application is pending?
Yes, funds are held by an escrow agent while the citizenship application is pending. Each applicant will be required, at the start of the process, to transmit by wire transfer the investment amount (plus processing & other fees) to a designated Escrow Agent pursuant to an executed escrow agreement. The funds are to be held in escrow until such time as Georgian citizenship has been approved in written form. The escrow agent is an affiliate of CitizenGe.org and David J. Hart PA
What documents are required?
Each applicant will be required to obtain and submit/upload the following documents: digital photograph (passport style), unexpired passport (all pages), birth certificate, marriage certificate, prior divorce(s); record of adoption if applicable. All documents must have translators certification and apostille. The original language document must be uploaded with the translation into the Georgian language and with the Apostle attached per uploaded document (do not separate the original language document from the translation, translators certification, and apostille). In some cases, additional documentation will be requested.
Where is the application submitted?
An interested person seeking to apply for Georgian citizenship must do so via CitizenGE.org. All applicants are required to submit the Georgian citizenship application through an authorized Agent/Representative. The Agent or Representative shall apply using the online platform, including completing the forms and uploading documents and translations.
What is the investment amount?
Are there other expenses or fees?
In most cases, your agent, representative or lawyer will advise you prior to submitting the application if you are eligible or appear to be eligible. In all cases no one can offer you a guaranty that Georgia will approve your application. A denial will usually be based on the applicant's prior history related to criminal activity (including money laundering, corruption, and the like). In some cases, the applicant's work history and/or political activity might lead to a denial of the citizenship. Otherwise, as long as you are able to document the legitimate source of your principal investment funds, you can expect to be approved by the Georgian authorities.
Where do I receive my Georgian Passport?
Once your Georgian citizenship has been approved, the Georgian authorities will transmit the passport to the Georgian consulate closest to your domicile and as indicated in your application. In most cases you will be required to make two visits, the first to submit your biometric data (for passport purposes), and the second to retrieve the issued passport(s).
If my citizenship application is denied will my funds be refunded?
Yes, the investment amount that is held in escrow will be returned to you if your citizenship application is denied. You will also be refunded all of your additional fees (processing, due diligence, escrow) minus $1500 and the service fees paid. If you paid a separate legal fee or consulting fee to a lawyer, consultant or agent directly, check with them to determine if it is refundable or not.
How does the escrow of funds work?
Once you decide to proceed, and after you sign the investment and other agreements, you will be provided with wiring instructions to send the principal investment and expense amounts to the escrow account. The investment amount will remain in the escrow account while your case is processed. Once Georgia issues an approval letter, the investment amount will be released. The other fees (processing, escrow, due diligence) will be released after they are confirmed as received by the Escrow Agent. If your case is denied, the escrow agent will return the full wired amount to you minus $1500 and the service fees paid.
What documents do I need to submit to prove the legitimate source of my investment funds?
In general you should be prepared to submit the following (with translations into English): 5 years of personal tax returns, company registration documents (if your income is based on ownership of a business), 5 years tax returns and financial statements for that company, property ownership and sale records (if principal investment funds based on sale of property). If based on property sale be prepared to demonstrate source of funds used to acquire that property. If based on gift (for example from a parent/relative) be prepared to show source of funds of the person making the gift. If based on a loan from a third party be prepared to document relationship with that third-party and the source of the loaned funds.
If you have any doubts about what to submit ask your agent/representative/lawyer for clarification
Are there per country limitations or quotas?
Yes. The Georgian citizenship initiative is capped at the number of investors required per project, and no single country of origin can be allocated more than 1/3 of that amount. This is especially important for countries with larger populations such as China, India, and Vietnam (where demand for this citizenship is strong). At citizenge.org we will post updated information on the quota limitations including for these countries.
Where can I travel with my Georgian passport?
Since 2017, Georgian citizens can travel to the Schengen zone (European countries) visa-free for 90 days. As of October 17, 2020, Georgian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 116 countries and territories, ranking the Georgian passport 48th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.
What about living and working in Europe?
Georgians are not yet eligible to live and work in the EU- this may be possible in the future if and when Georgia applies for full EU membership. Georgia would be eligible for full EU membership since the Association Agreement it signed with the EU establishes that it is geographically included in the Euro zone.
Do Georgians have any benefits that allow living and working in the United States?
Georgia has a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United States, which allows Georgians to apply for the E non- immigrant visa. The E visa requires a small investment of approximately $100,000 that allows the investor and family to relocate the US to operate that business. The spouse is permitted to obtain a full work permit and children can attend public school at no charge through the end of high school. Only countries with these eligible treaties qualify for the E visa. For example Indians, Russian, Vietnamese or Chinese nationals do not have treaties therefore are not eligible for the E visa. You will find a list of eligible E2 countries here.
Not all countries are eligible for the United States E-2 visa- can you list some examples?
The following citizens from these countries are not eligible for the E-2 visa: China, India, Vietnam, Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Uruguay, Belarus,Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Kenya, Gabon, Nigeria, Dem Rep of Congo, Angola, S. Africa, Zimbabwe, Libya, Niger, Chad, Algeria & Sierra Leone Any citizen from the above-listed countries would, once having acquired Georgian citizenship, qualify for the E-2 visa of the Unites States.
What is the Georgian tax rate on income?
Georgia taxes its citizens only on income generated in Georgia. The tax rate is a flat 20% of net income, which makes it very competitive for those who are considering setting up a business or relocating a business in Georgia.
Do Georgian citizens qualify for the E2 investor visa?
One of the benefits of acquiring Georgian Citizenship includes eligibility for the E2 non-immigrant visa, which is for entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to establish a business presence in the United States. As of August 17, 1997 Georgia and the United States agreed to E2 visa eligibility based on the Georgia Bilateral Investment Treaty (signed March 7, 1994, entered into force August 17, 1997). E2 eligibility is also extended to those who acquire Georgian citizenship. By way of example, citizens of India, China, Russia, Vietnam, Venezuela, and Brazil do not qualify for the E2 since those countries do not have the required treaty with the United States. Upon the acquisition of Georgian citizenship, that individual becomes eligible for E2 status.
Why is the E2 useful for entrepreneurs and business owners?
The advantages of the E2:
How can the E2 speed up the process of moving to the US?
For applicants from India, China and Vietnam, US visa quota restrictions for other visa categories create significant delays due to the oversubscription of those visa categories. For example, for those who have a pending immigrant visa based on an offer of employment, the expected wait list is approximately 3 years for Chinese nationals, and 11 years for Indian nationals. In the EB5 category (US permanent residency by investment), the wait is about 6 years for Chinese applicants and 4 years for Vietnamese applicants. The E2 visa would permit these applicants to reside and work in the US while waiting for these backlogs to reduce.