Individuals who wish to immigrate to Georgia from South Africa will need a residence permit in order to remain in the country for long-term purposes, as intended for relocation. South Africa is included in the list of countries for which Georgia allows free entry, residence, work, and study for one year, however, in order to remain in the country after this period expires, South African nationals will need a residence permit.
Read below to find out more about the residence permit and the residence card as well as how to apply if you wish to move to Georgia. Our team of Georgia immigration specialists can give you more details, and personalized information according to your family situation, once you decide to apply for a residence permit.
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Conditions for those who relocate to Georgia from South Africa
The residence permit is applied for in-person, either directly in Georgia (after the South African citizen has entered the country based on the visa waiver regime), via an authorized representative or through the distance service made available by the Public Service development agency.
The documents and the application are generally submitted in Georgian, however, those in English or Russian are also processed.
The first step before you apply is to determine the motive for the long-term stay in the country which will be used to immigrate to Georgia from South Africa.
The following residence permits are available:
- Work: for those who are coming to the country for employment or as entrepreneurs; it is also awarded to freelancers;
- Study: for South African nationals who have been accepted by and enrolled with an authorized educational institution;
- Family reunification: foreign nationals can relocate to Georgia from South Africa if they already have a spouse or family member lawfully living in the country;
- Investment: for those who are able to make an investment of at least USD 300,000 (the equivalent in GEL).
In addition to the permits listed above, which are commonly used to move to Georgia from South Africa, the following are also available for special situations:
- Former citizens: for those who have had their Georgian citizenship previously terminated;
- Stateless persons: issued to an individual whose status of stateless person was determined in Georgia;
- Human trafficking victims: when the individual is beyond reasonable doubt such as victim the permit is awarded based on the Law on Combating Human Trafficking;
- Violence victims: when it was established that the applicant is a victim of domestic violence.
If you need more information about any of these categories of residence permits, or additional details on the laws governing these and how they are enforced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as please reach out to our Georgian immigration experts. We can assist you during the application.
What to keep in mind when you move to Georgia from South Africa
South African citizens who apply for a Georgian residence permit will need to keep the following issues in mind:
- the residence permit is generally issued within 30 days following the receipt of a complete set of documents; in some cases, an accelerated procedure is available;
- within 1 month following the receipt of the residence permit, the holder needs to apply for a residence card with the Public Service Hall or Community Centre; failure to follow this step within 6 months results in the termination of the issued residence permit;
- the residence permits for study, work, family reunification, the special, and short-term ones grant the right of temporary residence for 6 years – they first have a validity period of 6 months to 1 year and are then extended for up to 5 years.
For many of those who immigrate to Georgia from South Africa, the goal is to remain in the country for the rest of their lives. This also means that, once they are eligible, they will be interested in becoming citizens.
Georgian citizenship is granted under the following conditions for the ordinary procedure:
- lawfully reside in the country for the last 10 consecutive years;
- have sufficient knowledge of the Georgian language;
- have knowledge of the Georgian history and basic laws;
- have a job, own real estate, have a business or own interest or shares in a Georgian company.
South African citizens can apply for the simplified citizenship procedure when they have been married to a Georgian citizen and have been legally residing in the country uninterruptedly for 5 years.
Contact us if you want to know more about how to immigrate to Georgia from South Africa. Our team of Georgia immigration experts can help you apply for the residence permit and handle all of the post-arrival steps so that you may settle in the country.