Several types of visas allow foreign nationals to enter Georgia and stay for long or short-term purposes. Among these, the investor visa is one that is based on minimum investment and that also allows the holder to legally reside in the country (with his family, if applicable). In order to obtain the Georgia investor visa, a foreigner will need to make the aforementioned minimum investment, in the case of investment by business activities, maintain the company, and provide information to the authorities about the annual turnover.
This can be a valid option for those looking to obtain Georgian citizenship, after a number of years.
The investment residence permit can be a suitable option for entrepreneurs who have the capital and are interested in obtaining Georgia permanent residence. However, before applying, it is useful to properly understand all of the conditions for this visa as well as how to apply and provide adequate evidence of the actual investment. In this article, our team provides key details on the requirements, namely the minimum amounts, and other details that may be of interest.
Foreign nationals who are interested in Georgia immigration can also reach out to us for details about other types of visas if they are more suitable for their particular situation.
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What is the minimum amount for obtaining a Georgia investor visa?
The primary condition for obtaining an investment residence permit in Georgia is to make an investment of at least 300,000 USD, the equivalent in GEL (amounting to approximately 990,000 GEL). This can be made in property ownership (only real estate, not in agricultural land). When the Georgia investor visa is obtained following a real estate investment, it is useful to know that a certified property assessor in the country will valuate the purchase.
According to the Doing Business Report 2020, Georgia improved the procedures required to deal with construction permits and scored well in the registering property category, under the number of procedures subsection and the number of days needed to register the property.
The residence permit obtained after a real estate investment of at least 300,000 USD is valid for five years and it can also extend to the investor’s family members (for example, the spouse, children, underage dependent person, or fully dependent incapacitated person). One of our Georgia permanent residence agents can provide more details on how the family members can also enter the country based on this permit.
The renewal of the permit is possible and once this is complete the residence permit will be a perpetual one, it will allow permanent residence, provided that the property has remained in the applicant’s possession for the duration of the five years. An important note in this case is that the application for renewal is to be submitted within 40 calendar days before the expiration of the term he or she is legally allowed to remain in the country.
When foreign nationals cannot present the application for the residence permit themselves, a representative can do this in their name, provided that the concerned individual, the concerned person is in the country. This is done based on a power of attorney which empowers another party (the appointed agent, for example, one of our immigration specialists in Georgia) to handle the process in the name of the interested person. The power of attorney is a legal instrument which can be drawn up to meet particular needs (a special power of attorney, in this case, solely for the purpose of making the residence permit application) and the powers of the appointed individual case once the purpose if fulfilled.
What are the general investment conditions?
As previously noted, the investment can be made in real estate in the country. Another option, and one that will allow the holder to obtain a residence permit for an indefinite stay, would be to make an investment of the GEL equivalent of 300,000 USD in a business venture with a minimum annual turnover. The conditions are as follows:
- 50,000 USD: the minimum turnover for the company’s first year of activity;
- 100,000 USD: the turnover for the company’s second year of doing business; and
- 120,000 USD: the minimum turnover for the third, fourth, and fifth years of activity.
The USD equivalent in GEL is used when calculating these amounts for the Georgia investor visa.
The Doing Business Report 2020 also offers a good score to Georgia in terms of the ease of doing business ranking, the country having received a score of 83.7 and being one of the countries that have the lowest number of procedures required to start a business.
Foreign nationals who have the capital to invest in property, a business, or a project in the country can benefit from obtaining the five-year residence permit in Georgia for themselves and their family and this can extend to obtaining Georgia citizenship if certain other conditions are met at the end of the minimum mandatory residence period.
What are the steps for obtaining the Georgia investor visa?
Securing the investment is the most important step when applying for this type of visa or residence permit. As previously mentioned, purchasing a property will be subject to a real estate evaluation performed by a local accredited appraiser. This is an important step in order to determine if the chosen property does qualify. Once the process is complete, the owner can present the documents, along with the others that are required, when submitting the application for the Georgia investor visa.
Our team of Georgia immigration agents can provide more details on the actual application submission process. We can also provide details on the general company formation steps, for those investors who are willing to open a company in Georgia and register it.
Additional information about the residence permit for investment purposes in Georgia
Certain service fees are in place when applying for the residence permit that offers the right of permanent residence (such as the one awarded for investment activities). The fees differ according to the moment in which the application is submitted (on the 30th calendar day from the application, 180 GEL or within 20 calendar days, 300 GEL). Certain foreigners, namely those who have made an application for a special residence permit are exempt from paying the service fee.
Investors who are interested in applying for a residence permit should know that they apply for a residence card within one month from receiving their residence permit. This is applied for at the Public Service Development Agency, belonging to the Public Service Hall. Our team can assist applicants during the entire process related to obtaining permanent residence and, later on, as needed, Georgian citizenship. Failure to apply for the residence card within 6 months results in the termination of the residence permit.
The Georgia investor visa can be a preferred manner of obtaining residence in the country for foreign nationals, compared to the Georgia work visa, for example. The primary condition is for foreigners to make and maintain their investment in the country.
Obtaining citizenship in Georgia after making an investment
Foreign nationals who acquire residence in Georgia through an investment in real estate or in a business venture can apply for citizenship through naturalization through the ordinary procedure, in most cases. The following conditions apply in this case:
- Residence: the applicant must have resided in the country for the last consecutive 10 years before submitting the application;
- Language: the individual must be able to show that he/she has satisfactory command of the Georgian language within the established limits;
- Knowledge: the applicant must also be able to show that he or she has basic knowledge of the country’s history and laws;
- Status: in case of investors, they will need to be able to show that the real estate investment remained in their possession, that they run a business in the country or hold interest or shares in a Georgian company.
A simplified procedure is available for foreign nationals who marry a Georgian citizen and who has been lawfully and uninterruptedly living in the country for the last 5 years prior to submitting the application. The same remaining requirements, for language, history and law knowledge remain in place in this case.
A special category of foreign nationals can request the restoration of their previous Georgian citizenship when this was terminated unlawfully, when they renounced it or when the decision to renounce to the citizenship was based on the wishes of his or her parents and not on his own accord. The condition for language knowledge also applies for the restoration of the citizenship.
Upon applying for Georgian citizenship by naturalization, the authorities express their decision within three months. If a foreign investor who has Georgia residency by investment in real estate or business investments makes an application for citizenship within the prescribed time and it is refused, he can submit the application again within one year.
An important phase during the citizenship application evaluation is the assessment made by the authorities needed to determine the value of the investment. The officials will examine if the presented investment has contributed or continues to contribute in an effective and substantial manner to the development of the economy.
Our team can help you apply for the investor visa or apply for citizenship if you are a foreign investor who has already been living in the country for the minimum number of years and has kept his investment(s) active.
Contact us for more information about the Georgia investor visa as well as other types of visas for entering the country.