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International Travel

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Country Information

Georgia

Country Information

Georgia
Georgia
Last Updated: October 17, 2017
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Embassy Messages

Tbilisi

 

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:

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

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F 8:30-5:30)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

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

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Safety and Security

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:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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

Furthermore, some laws 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 in Tbilisi immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugsin 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 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

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 and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Outside major cities, medical facilities in Georgia are limited. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctorsElderly 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:

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Travel and Transportation

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 delayssudden 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 Suriname should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Homeport website and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F 8:30-5:30)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Georgia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Georgia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Georgia acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) on October 1, 1997; however, the United States and Georgia are not yet treaty partners.  Until Georgia and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Georgia or wrongfully retained in Georgia are unable to invoke the Hague Abduction Convention to pursue their children’s return or to seek access to them.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Georgia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov/

Email: AskCI@state.gov 

Parental child abduction is a crime in Georgia.  Additional information to address parental child abduction is available here.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Georgia to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.  


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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Georgia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Georgia for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Georgia are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.  

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

In Georgia, the Social Service Agency (Body of Guardianship and Care under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia) can assist the parties in cases involving custody disputes. Currently, no other governmental or non-governmental organization in Georgia carries out mediation.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Georgia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Georgia.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Georgia, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Georgia also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents in Georgia.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: An adoptive parent may be any person who is 18 years of age or older. The age difference between the adoptive parent and the child to be adopted must not be less than sixteen years. However, a court may waive this age difference requirement if a valid reason exists.
  • Marriage: Both single individuals and married heterosexual couples can adopt. The Civil Code of Georgia defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Accordingly, same sex married couples cannot adopt in Georgia. However, here is no prohibition against adoption based on the sexual orientation of an unmarried prospective adoptive parent.
  • Income: Prospective parents must prove that they can provide for the child but there is no minimum income requirement.
  • Other:
    • Prospective Adoptive Parents can be disqualified due to three types of legal capacity concerns: 1) mental and psychological problems, 2) drug addiction and alcoholism, and 3) physical disorders. In some cases physical disorders may not disqualify a prospective adoptive parent to adopt but this would be reviewed on a case by case basis.
    • Persons who have previously adopted or have been deprived of parental rights, or were the guardians/caregivers of an underage child or had a person in foster care, and have had these relationships terminated due to not properly carrying out their duties, may not adopt.

    The Central Authority has indicated that it reserves the right to make additional requirements on a case by case basis.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Georgia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if a competent authority in Georgia has given due consideration to placement options in Georgia and has determined that the placement is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Georgia's requirements, a child must meet the U.S. definition of a Convention adoptee in order to be brought back to the United States.  

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Citizens of other countries can adopt Georgian children who have been registered in the Registry of Adoptable Children and have not been adopted by a Georgian citizen within eight months.

  • Relinquishment: Children whose legal representative has given consent to his/her being adopted.
  • Abandonment: Persons whose parent(s) has (have) been deemed legally incapable, recognized as missing or been declared deceased by a court of law.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Any child under the age of eighteen who has been registered in the Registry of Adoptable Children and who has not been adopted in Georgia within eight months of being registered, may be selected for intercountry adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Sibling relationships are given consideration in adoption proceedings, but are considered on a case-by-case basis, with particular emphasis given to the possibility of them being adopted together.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Evidence may be required that an adopting family is aware of and able to cope with a child's special needs and families may be required to submit post-placement reports.
  • Waiting Period: A child is placed in the permanent, full-time care of the prospective adoptive parents only after the court has made a final decision on the adoption proceedings. The time frame for processing adoption cases can vary widely.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Georgia before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter." Read on for more information.

Georgia's Adoption Authority
LEPL Social Service Agency of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia LEPL Social Service Agency

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Georgia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or; 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.

THE PROCESS

Because Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Georgia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Georgia
  6. Bringing your Child Home

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Georgia is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Georgia as part of your adoption dossier. Georgia’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Georgia’s law.

3. Be Matched with a Child by in Georgia

If both the United States and Georgia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Georgian central authority may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Georgia. The adoption authority in Georgia will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Georgia. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a convention adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Georgia. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Georgia’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Georgia where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Georgia’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Georgia before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Georgia:

Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Georgia, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Georgia.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Georgia generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Adoption Authority:
    • Reviews the application of the adoptive parents, and an adoptable child’s medical and other conditions, and then proposes a match and transmits the child’s background study and report (which including information such as age, medical condition, sex, and nationality of the child) to an accredited or approved U.S. adoption service provider (ASP). (The ASP provides this information to the prospective adoptive parent.)
    • Ensures that the child is physiologically ready for entrustment to the prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and assists them in travel arrangements.
    • Prepares the adoption case for court hearing. This includes verifying documents in the case, preparing a recommendation on the adoption of the child for the court to avoid omissions, which may delay court hearing. The main goal of this preparatory work is to avoid the adoptive parents being required to travel to Georgia several times if the adoption is delayed due to incomplete or inaccurate case information.
    • Is involved in the Court proceedings of intercountry adoption cases; in particular, an authorized representative of the Social Service Agency protects the interests of the adoptive child in the court during international adoption. The agency is a party in adoption cases.
    • Issues the Article 23 Certificate after the adoption is completed;
  • Role of the Court:
    • Processes all adoption cases and takes appropriate decisions to determine the adoptability of the child and to ensure that the adoption placement is in the best interest of the child. The court makes the final decision regarding the adoption of the child. During the court hearing, the judge reviews the presented documents, listens to the agency representative and adoptive parents’ explanations and makes the final decision.
    • Issues the final adoption decree.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:

    Foreign accredited bodies are permitted to work as intermediaries between the Central Authorities of receiving states and the Social Service Agency. They oversee the preparation of documents related to adoption (translation, notarization, transmission etc.) and counsels PAPs throughout the adoption process.

  • Time Frame:

    The timing varies significantly across cases. The Georgian Central Authority provided the following minimum time frames. However, in several cases, adoptions have taken more than two years to complete and the timing of a match depends on whether there is a child in need of adoption.

    • Select the PAPs, notify the U.S. ASP about the match - one week.
    • Acceptance of the match by the PAPs (to receive the document, under the Article 17) largely depends on the receiving state - two weeks.
    • Notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia about the acceptance of the match by PAPs - one week.
    • Final examination of the case and preparation of the decree on adoption for the Court hearing by the Central Authority - one week.
    • Court hearing, including the final decision - two to five months.
    • After successful completion of the Court hearing, preparation of the Certificate of Adoption and a new Birth Certificate and Passport for the child.
    • The birth certificate is issued free of charge on the day of submission of the application and the documents to the Civil Registry Agency, as stipulated by law.
    • For more information please click here
    • Issuance of the Certificate under Article 23 - one week.
    • Issuance of Birth Certificate and passport - one week, or less when using paid expedited services.
  • Adoption Application:

    The prospective adoptive family’s adoption application must be submitted to the Central Authority of Georgia.

  • Adoption Fees:

    In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize fees and estimate related expenses. Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Georgia include:

    • Fees at Court - 50 GEL; 
    • Notarial service (translation, notarization) 50-150 GEL (depending on the number of pages);
    • Preparation of the passport for the child - 100-205 GEL (depending on the amount of time necessary) http://www.cra.gov.ge/;
    • Legal fees - (vary).
  • Documents Required:

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help.  

    • Application form;
    • Spouse's consent, if the child is being adopted by one of the spouses;
    • Copy of the ID document (personal ID, passport, residence ID);
    • Copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable);
    • Reference sheet on health condition;
    • Reference sheet of the medical-narcological inspection;
    • Reference sheet on the criminal record;
    • Research concerning the family, conducted by the authorized body on adoption of the Receiving State;
    • In the instance when one of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to travel for the Court hearing, a signed and notarized explanation is required, clearly stating the reason(s) for absence;
    • In the instance when one of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to travel at the time of the adoption finalization, a signed and notarized consent form from the absent parent, for the minor’s Georgian passport issuance, is required;

    Using an Interpreter
    Prospective adoptive parents will need interpreters at the Court and other state bodies. The Central Authority does not provide this service; the PAPs may contact interpreters' offices.

    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist. Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate 
If you have finalized the adoption in Georgia, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

For information on how to apply for a new birth certificate, please go the Georgian language sites. The English version of the site is currently under construction.

Georgia Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Georgia.

For information on how to apply for a Georgian passport, please go to the Georgian language sites. The English version of the site is currently under construction.

U.S. Immigrant Visa 
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for a U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child.  After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided with the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child, if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.

Georgian Citizenship
After adoption your child remains a citizen of Georgia until the child is granted U.S. citizenship. Evidence of U.S. citizenship should be presented to:

Embassy of Georgia
2209 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20008
tel. (202) 387-2390, fax: (202) 387-0864.

Contact the Embassy of Georgia in the United States and the Civil Service Development Agency for additional information.

Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Georgia
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Georgia, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Georgia, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Adoption service providers must submit information on the health and social condition of the child on an annual basis until the adopted child is eighteen years old. Social Service Agency is responsible to request annually information about the adopted child. U.S. ASPs may assist in providing a report on the child on annual basis until the adopted child is eighteen years old. ASPs should provide the information using the form approved by Minister of Labour Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, which is titled “Special information form about the health and social condition of the adopted child from Georgia”.

We urge you to comply with Georgia requests and to complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Georgia 
11 George Balanchine St.
Didi Dighomi
Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 227-70-00 or Consular Section: (995 32) 227-77-24
Duty officer for emergencies after hours: (995 32) (995 32) 227-70-00
Email: askconsultbilisi@state.gov
Internet: ge.usembassy.gov/

Georgia's Adoption Authority 
LEPL Social Service Agency 
Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
144 Akaki Tsereteli Ave.
0119 Tbilisi
Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 251-00-47
(995 32) 251-00-48
(995 32) 251-00-49
(995 595) 28-15-15
Contact: Ms. Mari Tsereteli
Email: mtsereteli@ssa.gov.ge
Internet: ssa.gov.ge

Embassy of Georgia
2209 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20008
Tel: (202) 387-2390
Fax: (202) 387-0864
Email: embgeorgia.usa@mfa.gov.gewashington.emb@mfa.gov.ge
Internet: usa.mfa.gov.ge

Georgian Consulate
144, East 44th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 867-3617; (212) 867-3272
Fax: (212) 867-3654
Email: georgianconsulate1@verizon.netnewyork.con@mfa.gov.ge

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Two 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-3 None Multiple 120 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 12 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 12 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A
H-2B None N/A N/A
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 60 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Civil documents, except as noted below, are available in the country of Georgia. Certified copies of original documents can be obtained at a local notary office. The following government entities may issue an apostille for certified copies:

-The Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice (CRA)
-The Ministry of Education and Sciences
-The Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs
-The Supreme Court

Some civil records were destroyed during World War II or during the internal conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali region) and may not be available. In this case, the Civil Registry Agency (CRA) will issue a certificate indicating that the document was lost. Replacement documents can be obtained if archive records are available. If a record cannot be retrieved, one of the regional CRA offices may issue a replacement document on the basis of other relevant available documentation. If no supporting documentation is available, a court must review the matter and decide whether the requested document can be issued.

Duplicate civil documents also can be obtained after the CRA verifies an applicant's identity by means of Skype or similar technologies.

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi cannot assist in obtaining civil documents.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Death

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Divorce

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certificates of adoption can be obtained from regional CRA offices.

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Identity Card

Georgian citizens must have Georgian identity cards, which can be obtained at regional CRA offices. As of July 1, 2011, the Georgian government started issuing a new "Georgian Electronic ID Card", which is a biometric identification card, although the existing laminated non-biometric photo ID cards are also valid. The Georgian Electronic ID Card contains information in both Georgian and English.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police/Prison Records

Available. The Information Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs maintains a centralized database of police and prison records indexed by name, date and place of birth. The records also contain fingerprints of convicted persons. The records are maintained at:

The Ministry of Internal Affairs
Service Agency
Tsiteli Khidi Highway 21km
Tbilisi, Georgia

Individuals living in Tbilisi may obtain police and prison records free of charge within five working days upon direct application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Individuals complete an application form which includes information on their full name including patronymic and their Georgian personal identification number. Persons living outside of Tbilisi or outside of Georgia can apply by proxy (e.g. relative in Tbilisi) or through the mail with a written request stating the type of record required and the purpose for which the information is being sought. If a person has a criminal record, police may prefer to send the information directly to the requesting office. A court record of a sentence is available, while criminal investigation and court trial records are unavailable.

Court Records

Unavailable.

Military Records

Available. Records of service in the Armed Forces can be obtained from local municipalities, the official name of this office is: რაიონების/გამგეობების სამხედრო განყოფილებები და მუნიციპალიტეტების გამგეობების სამხედრო აღრიცხვის გაწვევის და მობილიზაციის სამსახურები (local/regional military recruiting & mobilization board and municipal military sections). The record is in booklet format and indicates the place and length of service and the military rank of the service member. Military records can be obtained from the military division of the district where the applicant is registered. All males age 17-27 are required to perform military service and if they have been exempted their booklet would show the justification.

Males age 18 and older without military service should provide certificates of non-completion of military service. These records are available from the same local municipalities.

Military records must contain a complete record of the applicant's service and conduct while in the service. For career military, this document is called პირადისაქმეები (personal files) and should be submitted in addition to the regular military booklet provided to non-career military.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Passport

There are three types of Georgian passports: regular (maroon cover), diplomatic (dark blue cover), and service (black cover). In May 2010, the Georgian government started issuing new biometric passports. The government of Georgia no longer considers Georgian passports issued before January 2005 and bearing the "Borjghalo" image to be valid travel documents for Georgian citizens; therefore, they are not valid for visa-issuing purposes. A Georgian citizen may simultaneously hold several valid passports.

Georgia's Status Neutral Travel Document

The Georgian Civil Registry Agency began issuing Status Neutral Travel Documents (SNTDs) to residents of the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia, in 2011. These new Georgian government-issued travel documents meet the U.S. definition of a passport under INA 101(a)(30) and may be accepted for visa issuance (see announcement ALDAC, 12 State 72738). The new travel document is green with gold lettering on the front cover reading "Neutral Travel Document."

The SNTD and the U.S. visa to be placed in it use the code "SNTD" in both the nationality and the machine readable fields. Applicants bearing an SNTD and born in Abkhazia or South Ossetia should select "Status Neutral Travel Document" as both Country of Birth and Nationality in the DS-160 online application form. They should select "Georgia" as the Country that Issued Travel Document. Visa validity and number of entries should be determined based on the Georgia reciprocity table, above.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Tbilisi, Georgia (Embassy)

Street Address:
11 George Balanchine St.
Tbilisi, 0131, Georgia

Address:

7060 Tbilisi Place
Washington, DC 20189

Telephone Number:

(995 32) 227-70-00

Visa Services

The Embassy processes visa applications for all immigrant and non-immigrant visa categories for all of Georgia, and all immigrant visa categories for nationals of Azerbaijan. The Embassy also processes Visas 92/93 for nationals of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 387-9153 (202) 387-0864

New York, NY (212) 922-1722 (212) 922-1707

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi
11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone
+(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F from 8:30-5:30)
Emergency
+(995)(32) 227-7000
Fax
No Fax
Georgia Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Georgia
Georgia
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Embassy Messages

Tbilisi

 

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:

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

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F 8:30-5:30)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

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

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Safety and Security

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:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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

Furthermore, some laws 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 in Tbilisi immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugsin 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 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

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 and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Outside major cities, medical facilities in Georgia are limited. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking doctorsElderly 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:

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Travel and Transportation

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 delayssudden 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 Suriname should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Homeport website and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F 8:30-5:30)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(995)(32) 227-7000

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Georgia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Georgia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Georgia acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) on October 1, 1997; however, the United States and Georgia are not yet treaty partners.  Until Georgia and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Georgia or wrongfully retained in Georgia are unable to invoke the Hague Abduction Convention to pursue their children’s return or to seek access to them.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Georgia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov/

Email: AskCI@state.gov 

Parental child abduction is a crime in Georgia.  Additional information to address parental child abduction is available here.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Georgia to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.  


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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Georgia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Georgia for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Georgia are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.  

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

In Georgia, the Social Service Agency (Body of Guardianship and Care under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia) can assist the parties in cases involving custody disputes. Currently, no other governmental or non-governmental organization in Georgia carries out mediation.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Georgia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Georgia.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Georgia, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Georgia also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents in Georgia.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: An adoptive parent may be any person who is 18 years of age or older. The age difference between the adoptive parent and the child to be adopted must not be less than sixteen years. However, a court may waive this age difference requirement if a valid reason exists.
  • Marriage: Both single individuals and married heterosexual couples can adopt. The Civil Code of Georgia defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Accordingly, same sex married couples cannot adopt in Georgia. However, here is no prohibition against adoption based on the sexual orientation of an unmarried prospective adoptive parent.
  • Income: Prospective parents must prove that they can provide for the child but there is no minimum income requirement.
  • Other:
    • Prospective Adoptive Parents can be disqualified due to three types of legal capacity concerns: 1) mental and psychological problems, 2) drug addiction and alcoholism, and 3) physical disorders. In some cases physical disorders may not disqualify a prospective adoptive parent to adopt but this would be reviewed on a case by case basis.
    • Persons who have previously adopted or have been deprived of parental rights, or were the guardians/caregivers of an underage child or had a person in foster care, and have had these relationships terminated due to not properly carrying out their duties, may not adopt.

    The Central Authority has indicated that it reserves the right to make additional requirements on a case by case basis.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Georgia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if a competent authority in Georgia has given due consideration to placement options in Georgia and has determined that the placement is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Georgia's requirements, a child must meet the U.S. definition of a Convention adoptee in order to be brought back to the United States.  

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Citizens of other countries can adopt Georgian children who have been registered in the Registry of Adoptable Children and have not been adopted by a Georgian citizen within eight months.

  • Relinquishment: Children whose legal representative has given consent to his/her being adopted.
  • Abandonment: Persons whose parent(s) has (have) been deemed legally incapable, recognized as missing or been declared deceased by a court of law.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Any child under the age of eighteen who has been registered in the Registry of Adoptable Children and who has not been adopted in Georgia within eight months of being registered, may be selected for intercountry adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Sibling relationships are given consideration in adoption proceedings, but are considered on a case-by-case basis, with particular emphasis given to the possibility of them being adopted together.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Evidence may be required that an adopting family is aware of and able to cope with a child's special needs and families may be required to submit post-placement reports.
  • Waiting Period: A child is placed in the permanent, full-time care of the prospective adoptive parents only after the court has made a final decision on the adoption proceedings. The time frame for processing adoption cases can vary widely.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Georgia before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter." Read on for more information.

Georgia's Adoption Authority
LEPL Social Service Agency of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia LEPL Social Service Agency

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Georgia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or; 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.

THE PROCESS

Because Georgia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Georgia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Georgia
  6. Bringing your Child Home

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Georgia is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Georgia as part of your adoption dossier. Georgia’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Georgia’s law.

3. Be Matched with a Child by in Georgia

If both the United States and Georgia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Georgian central authority may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Georgia. The adoption authority in Georgia will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Georgia. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a convention adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Georgia. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Georgia’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Georgia where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Georgia’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Georgia before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Georgia:

Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Georgia, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Georgia.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Georgia generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Adoption Authority:
    • Reviews the application of the adoptive parents, and an adoptable child’s medical and other conditions, and then proposes a match and transmits the child’s background study and report (which including information such as age, medical condition, sex, and nationality of the child) to an accredited or approved U.S. adoption service provider (ASP). (The ASP provides this information to the prospective adoptive parent.)
    • Ensures that the child is physiologically ready for entrustment to the prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and assists them in travel arrangements.
    • Prepares the adoption case for court hearing. This includes verifying documents in the case, preparing a recommendation on the adoption of the child for the court to avoid omissions, which may delay court hearing. The main goal of this preparatory work is to avoid the adoptive parents being required to travel to Georgia several times if the adoption is delayed due to incomplete or inaccurate case information.
    • Is involved in the Court proceedings of intercountry adoption cases; in particular, an authorized representative of the Social Service Agency protects the interests of the adoptive child in the court during international adoption. The agency is a party in adoption cases.
    • Issues the Article 23 Certificate after the adoption is completed;
  • Role of the Court:
    • Processes all adoption cases and takes appropriate decisions to determine the adoptability of the child and to ensure that the adoption placement is in the best interest of the child. The court makes the final decision regarding the adoption of the child. During the court hearing, the judge reviews the presented documents, listens to the agency representative and adoptive parents’ explanations and makes the final decision.
    • Issues the final adoption decree.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:

    Foreign accredited bodies are permitted to work as intermediaries between the Central Authorities of receiving states and the Social Service Agency. They oversee the preparation of documents related to adoption (translation, notarization, transmission etc.) and counsels PAPs throughout the adoption process.

  • Time Frame:

    The timing varies significantly across cases. The Georgian Central Authority provided the following minimum time frames. However, in several cases, adoptions have taken more than two years to complete and the timing of a match depends on whether there is a child in need of adoption.

    • Select the PAPs, notify the U.S. ASP about the match - one week.
    • Acceptance of the match by the PAPs (to receive the document, under the Article 17) largely depends on the receiving state - two weeks.
    • Notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia about the acceptance of the match by PAPs - one week.
    • Final examination of the case and preparation of the decree on adoption for the Court hearing by the Central Authority - one week.
    • Court hearing, including the final decision - two to five months.
    • After successful completion of the Court hearing, preparation of the Certificate of Adoption and a new Birth Certificate and Passport for the child.
    • The birth certificate is issued free of charge on the day of submission of the application and the documents to the Civil Registry Agency, as stipulated by law.
    • For more information please click here
    • Issuance of the Certificate under Article 23 - one week.
    • Issuance of Birth Certificate and passport - one week, or less when using paid expedited services.
  • Adoption Application:

    The prospective adoptive family’s adoption application must be submitted to the Central Authority of Georgia.

  • Adoption Fees:

    In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize fees and estimate related expenses. Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Georgia include:

    • Fees at Court - 50 GEL; 
    • Notarial service (translation, notarization) 50-150 GEL (depending on the number of pages);
    • Preparation of the passport for the child - 100-205 GEL (depending on the amount of time necessary) http://www.cra.gov.ge/;
    • Legal fees - (vary).
  • Documents Required:

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help.  

    • Application form;
    • Spouse's consent, if the child is being adopted by one of the spouses;
    • Copy of the ID document (personal ID, passport, residence ID);
    • Copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable);
    • Reference sheet on health condition;
    • Reference sheet of the medical-narcological inspection;
    • Reference sheet on the criminal record;
    • Research concerning the family, conducted by the authorized body on adoption of the Receiving State;
    • In the instance when one of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to travel for the Court hearing, a signed and notarized explanation is required, clearly stating the reason(s) for absence;
    • In the instance when one of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to travel at the time of the adoption finalization, a signed and notarized consent form from the absent parent, for the minor’s Georgian passport issuance, is required;

    Using an Interpreter
    Prospective adoptive parents will need interpreters at the Court and other state bodies. The Central Authority does not provide this service; the PAPs may contact interpreters' offices.

    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist. Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate 
If you have finalized the adoption in Georgia, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

For information on how to apply for a new birth certificate, please go the Georgian language sites. The English version of the site is currently under construction.

Georgia Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Georgia.

For information on how to apply for a Georgian passport, please go to the Georgian language sites. The English version of the site is currently under construction.

U.S. Immigrant Visa 
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for a U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child.  After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided with the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child, if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.

Georgian Citizenship
After adoption your child remains a citizen of Georgia until the child is granted U.S. citizenship. Evidence of U.S. citizenship should be presented to:

Embassy of Georgia
2209 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20008
tel. (202) 387-2390, fax: (202) 387-0864.

Contact the Embassy of Georgia in the United States and the Civil Service Development Agency for additional information.

Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Georgia
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Georgia, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Georgia, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Adoption service providers must submit information on the health and social condition of the child on an annual basis until the adopted child is eighteen years old. Social Service Agency is responsible to request annually information about the adopted child. U.S. ASPs may assist in providing a report on the child on annual basis until the adopted child is eighteen years old. ASPs should provide the information using the form approved by Minister of Labour Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, which is titled “Special information form about the health and social condition of the adopted child from Georgia”.

We urge you to comply with Georgia requests and to complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Georgia 
11 George Balanchine St.
Didi Dighomi
Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 227-70-00 or Consular Section: (995 32) 227-77-24
Duty officer for emergencies after hours: (995 32) (995 32) 227-70-00
Email: askconsultbilisi@state.gov
Internet: ge.usembassy.gov/

Georgia's Adoption Authority 
LEPL Social Service Agency 
Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
144 Akaki Tsereteli Ave.
0119 Tbilisi
Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 251-00-47
(995 32) 251-00-48
(995 32) 251-00-49
(995 595) 28-15-15
Contact: Ms. Mari Tsereteli
Email: mtsereteli@ssa.gov.ge
Internet: ssa.gov.ge

Embassy of Georgia
2209 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20008
Tel: (202) 387-2390
Fax: (202) 387-0864
Email: embgeorgia.usa@mfa.gov.gewashington.emb@mfa.gov.ge
Internet: usa.mfa.gov.ge

Georgian Consulate
144, East 44th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 867-3617; (212) 867-3272
Fax: (212) 867-3654
Email: georgianconsulate1@verizon.netnewyork.con@mfa.gov.ge

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Two 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-3 None Multiple 120 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 12 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 12 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A
H-2B None N/A N/A
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 60 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Civil documents, except as noted below, are available in the country of Georgia. Certified copies of original documents can be obtained at a local notary office. The following government entities may issue an apostille for certified copies:

-The Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice (CRA)
-The Ministry of Education and Sciences
-The Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs
-The Supreme Court

Some civil records were destroyed during World War II or during the internal conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali region) and may not be available. In this case, the Civil Registry Agency (CRA) will issue a certificate indicating that the document was lost. Replacement documents can be obtained if archive records are available. If a record cannot be retrieved, one of the regional CRA offices may issue a replacement document on the basis of other relevant available documentation. If no supporting documentation is available, a court must review the matter and decide whether the requested document can be issued.

Duplicate civil documents also can be obtained after the CRA verifies an applicant's identity by means of Skype or similar technologies.

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi cannot assist in obtaining civil documents.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Death

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Divorce

Available. Duplicates of these documents may be obtained from regional CRA offices.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certificates of adoption can be obtained from regional CRA offices.

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Identity Card

Georgian citizens must have Georgian identity cards, which can be obtained at regional CRA offices. As of July 1, 2011, the Georgian government started issuing a new "Georgian Electronic ID Card", which is a biometric identification card, although the existing laminated non-biometric photo ID cards are also valid. The Georgian Electronic ID Card contains information in both Georgian and English.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police/Prison Records

Available. The Information Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs maintains a centralized database of police and prison records indexed by name, date and place of birth. The records also contain fingerprints of convicted persons. The records are maintained at:

The Ministry of Internal Affairs
Service Agency
Tsiteli Khidi Highway 21km
Tbilisi, Georgia

Individuals living in Tbilisi may obtain police and prison records free of charge within five working days upon direct application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Individuals complete an application form which includes information on their full name including patronymic and their Georgian personal identification number. Persons living outside of Tbilisi or outside of Georgia can apply by proxy (e.g. relative in Tbilisi) or through the mail with a written request stating the type of record required and the purpose for which the information is being sought. If a person has a criminal record, police may prefer to send the information directly to the requesting office. A court record of a sentence is available, while criminal investigation and court trial records are unavailable.

Court Records

Unavailable.

Military Records

Available. Records of service in the Armed Forces can be obtained from local municipalities, the official name of this office is: რაიონების/გამგეობების სამხედრო განყოფილებები და მუნიციპალიტეტების გამგეობების სამხედრო აღრიცხვის გაწვევის და მობილიზაციის სამსახურები (local/regional military recruiting & mobilization board and municipal military sections). The record is in booklet format and indicates the place and length of service and the military rank of the service member. Military records can be obtained from the military division of the district where the applicant is registered. All males age 17-27 are required to perform military service and if they have been exempted their booklet would show the justification.

Males age 18 and older without military service should provide certificates of non-completion of military service. These records are available from the same local municipalities.

Military records must contain a complete record of the applicant's service and conduct while in the service. For career military, this document is called პირადისაქმეები (personal files) and should be submitted in addition to the regular military booklet provided to non-career military.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Passport

There are three types of Georgian passports: regular (maroon cover), diplomatic (dark blue cover), and service (black cover). In May 2010, the Georgian government started issuing new biometric passports. The government of Georgia no longer considers Georgian passports issued before January 2005 and bearing the "Borjghalo" image to be valid travel documents for Georgian citizens; therefore, they are not valid for visa-issuing purposes. A Georgian citizen may simultaneously hold several valid passports.

Georgia's Status Neutral Travel Document

The Georgian Civil Registry Agency began issuing Status Neutral Travel Documents (SNTDs) to residents of the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia, in 2011. These new Georgian government-issued travel documents meet the U.S. definition of a passport under INA 101(a)(30) and may be accepted for visa issuance (see announcement ALDAC, 12 State 72738). The new travel document is green with gold lettering on the front cover reading "Neutral Travel Document."

The SNTD and the U.S. visa to be placed in it use the code "SNTD" in both the nationality and the machine readable fields. Applicants bearing an SNTD and born in Abkhazia or South Ossetia should select "Status Neutral Travel Document" as both Country of Birth and Nationality in the DS-160 online application form. They should select "Georgia" as the Country that Issued Travel Document. Visa validity and number of entries should be determined based on the Georgia reciprocity table, above.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Tbilisi, Georgia (Embassy)

Street Address:
11 George Balanchine St.
Tbilisi, 0131, Georgia

Address:

7060 Tbilisi Place
Washington, DC 20189

Telephone Number:

(995 32) 227-70-00

Visa Services

The Embassy processes visa applications for all immigrant and non-immigrant visa categories for all of Georgia, and all immigrant visa categories for nationals of Azerbaijan. The Embassy also processes Visas 92/93 for nationals of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 387-9153 (202) 387-0864

New York, NY (212) 922-1722 (212) 922-1707

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi
11 George Balanchine Street
Tbilisi, Georgia, 0131
Telephone
+(995)(32) 227-7724 (M-F from 8:30-5:30)
Emergency
+(995)(32) 227-7000
Fax
No Fax
Georgia Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.