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Georgia
Official Name:

Georgia

Last Updated: October 17, 2017

Embassy Messages

Tbilisi

 

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia 0131

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid at the time of entry.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page is required for an entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays of 365 days or less.

VACCINATIONS:

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Hepatitis A and pre-exposure rabies are recommended.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Less than 30,000 GEL (or equivalent in other currency) is not subject to declaration.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Less than 30,000 GEL (or equivalent in other currency) is not subject to declaration.

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U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131

Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7024 

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Georgia for information on U.S. – Georgia relations.

You need a valid passport to enter Georgia. U.S. citizens may enter and stay in Georgia without a visa for up to 365 days. Visit the Embassy of Georgia's website for most current visa information.

  • U.S. citizens who overstay the permitted 365-day period are subject to a fine.
  • For a Georgian residency permit, contact the Public Service Development Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
  • If transiting Georgia, law enforcement and border officials may inquire about the purpose of your travel, funds, insurance, reservations, return tickets, and invitations, before granting you entry.
  • Foreign documents intended for official use in Georgia must be authenticated under apostille, including documents used to apply for Georgian residency permits.
  • The U.S. Embassy cannot, under any circumstances, authenticate a document issued in the United States, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational records, driver's licenses, or other documents, regardless of whether the documents have already been notarized in the United States. See our sections on Judicial Assistance and Notarial and/or Authentication Service for more information on apostilles.


The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Georgia.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

  • In the case of a crisis or natural disaster, U.S. citizens in Tbilisi may tune in to FM radio stations to hear U.S. Embassy emergency and security messages. You can also view them on the Embassy’s website or receive them automatically by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  • Avoid demonstrations. U.S. citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice.
    • Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Mission to Georgia website.
  • Seek local guides’ expert advice and maintain communication with your family and friends if you intend to climb or hike in the Georgian mountains. Provide route and contact information to someone not traveling with you. If in trouble, call the emergency number 112.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia

  • U.S. Embassy personnel are restricted from travel to Abkhazia or South Ossetia, even in the case of emergencies involving U.S. citizens.
  • The Department of State strongly cautions U.S. citizens against travel to the Russian-occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The United States and most other countries consider these regions part of Georgia. However, de facto local authorities claim independence, and Russian troops and border guards occupy both regions. A number of attacks, criminal incidents, and kidnappings have occurred in and around the area. Unexploded ordnance poses a danger near the administrative boundary lines of both territories near South Ossetia.
  • Do not enter the occupied regions without the proper documentation. You will be arrested, imprisoned, and/or fined by Russian, Georgian, or de facto officials. If you cannot avoid traveling to the occupied territories, follow Georgian law, which specifies U.S. citizens must enter the two regions from the Georgian side. 
  • Per Georgian law, it is illegal to undertake any type of economic activity in Abkhazia or South Ossetia if such activities require permits, licenses, or registration in accordance with Georgian legislation. Laws also ban mineral exploration, money transfers, and international transit via Abkhazia or South Ossetia.
  • Medical services in the occupied territories are extremely limited. Hospitals do not accept credit cards or medical insurance, have little to no infectious disease control, and lack medicine.
  • There are no commercial airports in either region making air ambulance evacuations impossible during medical emergencies.

Crime: Take the same precautions against becoming a victim of crime as you would in any large city. Firearms are readily available in Georgia, assailants may be armed, and disputes with firearms could occur in areas visited by U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens have reported occurrences of sexual assault in Georgia. The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to take appropriate steps to enhance personal security, remain aware of your surroundings, and be aware of the risk of sexual assault while traveling.

  • Travel overland during daylight hours. Use personal vehicles or established, clearly-marked taxis and public transportation.
  • Exercise caution when traveling alone in private taxis or “marshrutka” mini buses.
  • Maintain a low profile, do not carry large amounts of cash, nor draw unnecessary attention to yourself.
  • Report suspicious vehicles, individuals, or activities to Georgian authorities, and inform the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible.
  • Use caution with ATMs, and always check for evidence of tampering.
  • Avoid using use publicly-available internet terminals as they may be compromised.
  • Beware of theft of personal items from hotel rooms.
  • Report counterfeit money crimes to the Ministry of Finance’s Revenue Service.
  • U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Georgia.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizens victim of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi.

Report crimes or emergencies to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) which operates a 24-hour emergency response center similar to 911 and transfers emergency calls to the fire and rescue service, police, or the nearest medical emergency center. Dispatchers speak Georgian and Russian, but they will transfer calls to English-speaking operators.

Remember that the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide a handout with information about local resources for victims of crime
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Outside major cities, medical facilities in Georgia are limited. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. Ensure food is cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. 

  • Prescription medications may be restricted from import based on their drug composition and quantity. Only personal medications with a doctor’s statement can be imported without the permission of the government of Georgia. Review Georgia’s medication importation regulations here. Travelers without the required permits are often detained at the border and face heavy fines.
  • Georgia has eight venomous snake species that are active between March and October. Few medical facilities have anti-venom. Treat all snakes as venomous.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Georgia to insure the medication is legal in Georgia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Georgia are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. 
  •  Georgia’s customs authorities enforce regulations concerning the import or export of alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, religious materials, art or artifacts, antiquities, and business equipment.
  • To export items of historical value, such as art work, antiques, jewelry, or paintings, obtain a license from the Ministry of Culture. Contact the Embassy of Georgia or see our customs regulations webpage for information regarding customs requirements.
  • Firearms cannot be imported into Georgia. You may bring hunting weapons for a two-week period contingent on possession of a valid Georgian hunting license.
  • The Government of Georgia considers the sale of property (land and houses) in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia illegal. The property could be reclaimed by its original owners in the future.
  • Monitor your credit card statements. U.S. citizens in Georgia have reported incidents of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Dual nationals: Under Georgian law, U.S.-Georgian dual national males between the ages of 18 and 27 may be subject to military conscription. For more information, please review the Ministry of Defense’s webpage.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Georgia. However, traditional cultural attitudes result in LGBTI individuals often facing discrimination and harassment. In the past, some members of religious and LGBTI minorities in Georgia have been targets of attacks. On May 17, 2013, protestors violently disrupted the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia rallies in Tbilisi, causing injuries to participants and police.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section six of our Human Rights Report for further information.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodations in Georgia are different from those in the United States. Georgian administrative code mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, very few public or private facilities are accessible. Public transportation offers no accommodation for persons with disabilities. There are few sidewalks outside of Tbilisi or Batumi.

Students: See our students abroad page.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Georgia differ significantly from those in the United States. Roads are frequently in poor condition with stretches of missing pavement and large potholes. Driving at night can be especially dangerous.

  • Exercise caution when driving in Georgia. Reckless driving is common, and drivers frequently ignore traffic laws.
  • Be careful when crossing streets as pedestrians are not given right-of-way.
  • Winter travel can also be hazardous, especially in mountainous areas.

Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right. Speed limits range from 80 to 110 km/hr on highways and 30 to 70 km/hr on urban thoroughfares. Motorists are not permitted to make right turns at red traffic lights.

  • Wear seat belts when driving. Children under four must travel in child-safety seats. Children under twelve may not ride in the front seat.
  • There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Anything above a blood alcohol content of 0.0% is illegal.
  • There is no requirement that vehicles are certified safe to drive, and some vehicles may not have working headlights or tail lights.
  • The Georgian Patrol Police maintain traffic safety in Georgia, but enforcement of traffic regulations is not systematic.

See our road safety page and the website of the Georgian National Tourism Agency for more information.

Public Transportation: Public transportation, while inexpensive, may be unreliable and uncomfortable. Minibuses are dangerous. They are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, lack seatbelts, and are frequently involved in accidents.

Traveling by air:
Regional airlines may experience prolonged delays, sudden cancellations, and overbooking. Air travel to Georgia on international carriers via Europe is typically more reliable. Ticketed passengers on flights departing from Georgia should reconfirm reservations with the airline 24 hours prior to departure.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Georgia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Georgia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Georgia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

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