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Six percent of Georgians violate EU visa free rules in seven months

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 2
Georgia’s Ministry for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration has informed the local media that 20 161,885 Georgian citizens used the Georgia-EU visa liberalization in the Schengen Zone between March 28 and October 20, 2017.

“Allegedly 9,875 people violated the rules and did not come back after spending 90 days in the Schengen Zone,” the Ministry announced.

The Ministry has no information on how many of the 9,875 people stayed in the Schengen Zone and what is the number of those who moved to a third country in line with the regulations.

In case of violations, such as staying in the EU for longer than 90 days, the Georgian authorities will inform the relevant EU state, after which efforts will be made to return the citizen to Georgia. Along with deportation, these citizens will also have to pay a ˆ3,000 fine.

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, said that during the past six years there had been 7300 applications from the EU to Georgia regarding readmission; 90 percent of these applications have been satisfied.

Mgebrishvili stated that the numbers indicate the police cooperation between Georgia and EU is effective.

The Georgia-EU visa waiver came into play on March 28.

Based on the new regulations, Georgian citizens holding biometric passports have a right to travel to the Schengen Zone for 90 days within any 180-day period for purposes other than working.