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Georgia

Visas

Citizens of EU countries, the USA, Canada, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, South Korea and CIS nations (except Russia) need no visa to visit Georgia for up to 90 days.

If you’re not from one of the above countries, you can get a visa from a Georgian embassy or consulate.

Visas are also issued at the official road and air (but not rail or sea) entry points into Georgia.

The standard fee for a 90-day, single-entry ‘ordinary’ visa, which covers tourism, is 60 GEL or its equivalent. Double-entry 90-day visas (only available at consulates) are 90 GEL.

Visa-issuing procedures are pretty straightforward and can normally be completed in a matter of minutes at entry points to Georgia, although consulates require a few days for processing.

Border crossings

Georgia’s international entry and exit points are as follows. Visas, for those who need them, are available at the road and air entry points only.

Batumi International airport (visas available) and Black Sea port (visas not available).

Böyük Kəsik Rail border with Azerbaijan – visas not available here.

Guguti/Tashir Road border with Armenia.

Krasny Most (Red Bridge, Tsiteli Khidi, Qırmızı Körpü) Road border with Azerbaijan.

Ninotsminda/Bavra Road border with Armenia.

Poti Black Sea port – visas not available here.

Sadakhlo/Bagratashen Road and rail border with Armenia – visas available for road travellers only.

Sarpi/Sarp Road border with Turkey.

Tbilisi International airport.

Tsodna (Postbina) Road border with Azerbaijan, between Lagodekhi and Balakən.

Vale/Posof Road border with Turkey, reached via Akhaltsikhe.

The border with Russia at Zemo Larsi/Chertov Most, north of Kazbegi, was only open to Georgians and Russians for several years until 2006, when Russia closed it (‘temporarily’) to everybody.

The crossings from Russia into South Ossetia (the Roki Tunnel) and Abkhazia (Psou River between Gantiadi and Adler) are considered illegal by Georgia. Some travellers who continued on into Georgia after entering South Ossetia or Abkhazia from Russia have been fined or jailed. Others have got away without problems.

Visas for onward travel

Twenty-one-day tourist visas for Armenia are issued in a few minutes at land entry points into Armenia for US$30.

The same visa from the Armenian embassy in Tbilisi costs US$51 and takes two working days.

Azerbaijan visas (€60 for many nationalities, US$100 for US citizens and US$101 for British citizens) are issued on arrival at Baku airport, but if you are going by land you need to arrange a visa in advance. The Azerbaijan embassy in Tbilisi issues them in three working days.

None of the Central Asian countries has embassies in Tbilisi, so it’s best to get their visas before you come, though you can apply in Baku for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan visas (you’ll need an invitation letter or tourist voucher for Uzbekistan, and sometimes for Kazakhstan).

Iranian visas are most easily obtained with the help of agencies such as Persian voyages (www.persianvoyages.com) – allow at least two weeks for preparation before you actually apply. For Turkey, most Westerners either need no visa or can obtain it quickly at the border.