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January 28, 2021

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January 15, 2021

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April 7, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Travel

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Country Information

Georgia

Georgia
Georgia
Do not travel to Georgia due to COVID-19. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to Georgia due to COVID-19. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Georgia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Georgia.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The Russian-occupied Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia due to risk of crime, civil unrest, and landmines.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Georgia:

South Ossetia and Abkhazia – Do Not Travel

Russian troops and border guards occupy both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The precise locations of administrative boundary lines are difficult to identify. Entering the occupied territories will likely result in your arrest, imprisonment, and/or a fine. Violent attacks and criminal incidents occur in the region. Landmines pose a danger to travelers near the boundary lines of both territories.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at the time of entry.  

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page is required for an entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required for stays of 365 days or less.

VACCINATIONS:

Hepatitis A and pre-exposure rabies are recommended. 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Anything over 30,000 GEL or foreign currency equivalent must be declared. (30,000 GEL is approximately $9,000USD)
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Anything over 30,000 GEL or foreign currency equivalent must be declared.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

29 Georgian-American Friendship Avenue
Didi Dighomi
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone:
+(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F 8:30-5:30)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000
Email: 

Destination Description

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

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Georgia. 

You need a valid passport to enter Georgia. U.S. citizens may enter, reside, work or study in Georgia without a visa for up to 365 days. Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the most current visa information. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for immunization information.

  • U.S. citizens who overstay the permitted 365-day period are subject to a fine.
  • 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.
  • Dual nationals should be aware:
    • Georgian law requires travelers to enter and depart using travel documents of the same nationality.
    • Georgian law requires that Georgian citizens, including dual nationals, enter and depart Georgia on Georgian passports. If you are naturalized in the United States, the government of Georgia may still consider you a Georgian citizen.
    • 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 webpage.
  • For a Georgian residency permit, contact the Public Service Hall  of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
    • Foreign documents intended for official use in Georgia must be authenticated with an apostille. This includes documents used to apply for a Georgian residency permit or to document the birth of a child born in Georgia.
    • The U.S. Embassy cannot, under any circumstances, authenticate a document issued in the United States, regardless of whether the document has been notarized in the United States. See the Department’s webpages on Judicial Assistance and Notarial and/or Authentication Service for more information on apostilles.

Traveling From/Through Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries before you arrive in Georgia, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.   

  • Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the European Union. If you plan on transiting a Schengen country review our U.S. Travelers in Europe page.
  • You will need sufficient proof of funds and a return plane ticket.
  • For additional information about visas for the Schengen area, see the Schengen Visa page.

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 nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations continue to plot possible attacks throughout Europe. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Adjacent Areas: 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. Attacks, criminal incidents, and kidnappings have occurred in and around the areas. While none of the activity has been anti-American in nature, there is a high risk of travelers finding themselves in a wrong place/wrong time situation. Follow the guidance in our Travel Advisory for Georgia and do not travel to these regions. If you choose to travel there, you should be aware:

  • U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia or South Ossetia and are unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens there. U.S. government employees also avoid traveling within five kilometers of the administrative boundary lines (ABL) dividing these regions from Tbilisi-administered territory.
  • Unexploded ordnance left over from previous conflicts pose a danger near the ABL of South Ossetia.
  • You may only legally enter these regions from the Georgian side, per Georgian law.
  • You may be arrested, detained, imprisoned, and/or fined by Russian, Georgian or de facto authorities if you enter without proper documentation. 
  • 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.
  • It is illegal to undertake any type of economic activity in Abkhazia or South Ossetia that requires permits, licenses, or registration, per Georgian law. Laws also ban mineral exploration, money transfers, and international transit via Abkhazia or South Ossetia.

Pankisi Gorge: The Department of State cautions U.S. citizens against travel to the Pankisi Gorge region (north of the villages of Matane and Chorale, to the border with Russia, including the city of Duisk) because of the current security environment and the potential for civil unrest. There are restrictions on U.S. Embassy personnel traveling to this region or within five kilometers of it. While the Georgian government has had success in combating terrorism within its borders, U.S. citizens should remain vigilant. ISIS recruiting has occurred in Pankisi in the past, and some known terrorists have confirmed ties to the Pankisi Gorge region.  

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime: Criminals may target foreigners. Take 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.
  • Alcohol consumption is prevalent and has been attributed to escalating or exacerbating otherwise minor disputes.
  • There has been an increase in reports of “confidence scams” where a traveler who orders drinks or food in a bar or restaurant is presented with a bill for exorbitantly high sums and then physically threatened if they do not pay. These are sometimes combined with “romance scams” wherein a traveler is taken to these establishments by someone they met online through a dating or other social meetup site.
  • U.S. and other visitors have reported occurrences of sexual assault in Georgia.
  • Avoid walking alone at night
  • Exercise caution when riding alone in private taxis or “marshrutka” mini buses.
  • Maintain a low profile, do not carry large amounts of cash, and do not 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 at ATMs, and always check for skimming devices or other tampering.
  • Avoid using public WIFI networks or internet terminals as they did not protect your data or personal information.
  • Foreign visitors report having items stolen from locked hotel rooms. Review additional information on crime threats in the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Georgia.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, and during international events.

  • Demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
    • Security alerts about demonstrations can be found on the Embassy’s website here.

International Financial Scams:  See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi at (+ 995) (32) 227-7724 (after hours + 995 32 227-7000). 

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) operates a 24-hour emergency response center similar to 911 (dial 112) and transfers emergency calls to the fire and rescue service, police, or the nearest medical emergency center. Most dispatchers speak only Georgian and Russian but 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 medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation   and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • 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 are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. Local resources for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or human trafficking include a hotline dial 116-006), temporary shelters, medical and rehabilitation services, interpretation and legal assistance. These may be available through a government agency known as Atipfund Georgia.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are not routine. Individual service providers’ standards vary considerably; visitors are encouraged to research providers beforehand. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified by host government or nongovernmental authorities.

Personal Safety in Remote Areas: If you intend to camp, climb, or hike in the mountains or any remote area in Georgia:

  • Research local conditions in advance.
  • Go with a companion or a group. Avoid traveling alone.
  • Provide route and contact information to someone not traveling with you.
  • Maintain communication with your family and friends.
  • If in trouble, call the emergency number 112. Most dispatchers speak Georgian and Russian but will transfer calls to English-speaking operators.

In the case of a crisis or natural disaster, U.S. citizens in Georgia may check the Embassy’s website for U.S. Embassy emergency messages, or receive them by email by signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be fined, arrested, deported, or imprisoned. If arrested, you may be held in pre-trial detention for up to nine months. Review the State Department’s page on Arrests or Detention of U.S Citizens Abroad.

Furthermore, some crimes committed abroad are also prosecutable in the United States, 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 to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances: Georgia has strict regulations concerning:

  • Possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs. Penalties are severe and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines
  • The import or export of alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, religious materials, art or artifacts, antiquities, and business equipment.
  • Export of items of historical value, such as artwork, antiques, jewelry, or paintings. You must obtain a license from the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. Contact the Embassy of Georgia or see our customs regulations webpage.
  • Firearms cannot be imported into Georgia.
  • Georgian law prohibits the sale of real property (land and houses) in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Prior owners may have the right to reclaim the property in the future.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. If you attempt to bring counterfeit or pirated goods into the United States you may incur a fine or have the items seized. See the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the 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. Some members of the LGBTI community in Georgia have been targets of attacks. In addition, violent anti-LGBTI protests have occurred in Tbilisi, including in response to public LGBTI-related events.

See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: Georgian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities, but the government does not enforce the law effectively.  In July 2020, Georgia adopted legislation on the rights of persons with disabilities that establishes principles to guide the government’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The government has until 2023 to develop an implementation action plan and 15 years to complete accessibility of government buildings, infrastructure, and services. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited or nonexistent in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Georgia.

For emergency services in Georgia, dial 112 (the equivalent of 911 in the United States)

Ambulance services are not widely available outside Tbilisi and training and availability of emergency responders may fall below U.S. standards. Ambulances are not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.  Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

Limited Medical Services in Rural Areas: In the event of injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We do not pay for medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas, and most hospitals and doctors in Georgia do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan will reimburse you for medical costs expended while overseas. Most health care providers in Georgia only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the CDC website for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Georgia strictly regulates types and quantities of prescription medications that may be brought into the country. Check with the Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Georgia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Travelers carrying prohibited prescription drugs have been detained and face heavy fines or arrest.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctors and hospitals in Georgia. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Air pollution is a significant problem in Tbilisi. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling, if necessary. Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Georgia has installed and maintains air quality monitors around the country. Real-time data is available at: https://air.gov.ge/en/.

Health Facilities in General:

  • Adequate healthcare facilities are available in Tbilisi, although below U.S. standards. Outside major cities, medical facilities in Georgia are limited.
  • Hospitals and doctors may require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available. 
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:

  • If you are considering traveling to Georgia to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.

Adventure Travel: Visit the CDC website for more information about Adventure Travel.

Other:

  • Travelers with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities.
  • There is a significant risk of rabies in Georgia. The CDC recommends some travelers complete the rabies vaccine series prior to arriving in country.
  • Some spices made in Georgia contain high levels of lead. Consider purchasing spices only from recognized U.S. or international manufacturers.
  • Georgia has a high rate of Hepatitis C. Exercise caution if you plan to get a tattoo, piercing, dental work, or other procedure with potential for blood exposure. Ensure the provider uses proper sterilization procedures.
  • Ensure food is cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of food-borne illness
  • Georgia has eight venomous snake species that are active between March and October. Few medical facilities have antivenin serum. Treat all snakes as potentially venomous.

Tuberculosis is prevalent in Georgia. Visit the CDC website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Georgia.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Georgia differ significantly from those in the United States. Many roads are in poor condition with stretches of road missing pavement and having large potholes. Driving at night can be dangerous due to varying road and traffic conditions, poor lighting, and the presence of open range livestock.

  • Avoid traveling at night. U.S. Embassy official travel at night outside of urban areas is prohibited, except for emergencies.
  • Exercise caution when driving in Georgia at all times. 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. (50 to 69 m/hr.) on highways and 30 to 70 km/hr. (19 to 44 m/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.
  • Vehicle safety inspections are being phased in since January 2018, but there are still many vehicles on the road in poor condition or lacking basic features such as working lights.
  • The Georgian Patrol Police maintain traffic safety in Georgia, but enforcement of traffic regulations is inconsistent.

Public Transportation: Public transportation, while inexpensive, may be unreliable and uncomfortable.  Minibuses (“marshrutkas”) are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, lack seat belts, and are frequently involved in accidents.

See our Road Safety page and the website of the Georgian National Tourism Agency for more information.

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. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Georgia.  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”

Last Updated: March 12, 2021

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi
29 Georgian-American Friendship Avenue
Didi Dighomi
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone
+(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F from 8:30-5:30)
Emergency
+(995)(32) 227-7000
Fax
No Fax

Georgia Map