Details were added after the sixth paragraph (the first version was published at 4:49)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
Today, the European Union signed the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Georgia. Both agreements will enter into force on March 1, the EU said.
Visa regime facilitation
The negotiations between EU and Georgia on visa facilitation were launched in 2008. They completed in the first half of last year. The agreement was signed in June. The European Parliament gave its consent in December last year.
The agreement on visa regime facilitation will simplify getting short-term visas to the EU countries, which are designed to stay up to 90 days and are issued for a period of 180 days. The EU citizens have been exempt from the need to get a visa when traveling to Georgia or transit through Georgia since 2006.
The agreement rather simplifies visa procedures for businessmen, scientists, students and journalists, as well as for those visiting relatives who are citizens of Georgia, but living in the EU countries.
The EU member-states will issue long-term multiple entry visa for certain categories of people traveling often and under certain conditions. People with diplomatic passports are exempted from visa obligations.
The agreement provides for the issuance of visas within 10 calendar days. The fee for a visa is also decreased from 60 to 35 euros for all citizens of Georgia. The certain categories of citizens are fully exempted from payment. These categories include pensioners, children under 12, handicapped, scholars, students, journalists, and people visiting relatives in Europe who are citizens of Georgia.
National visa is required to travel to Great Britain and Ireland as these countries do not participate in the agreement.
The visa facilitation is directly related to the readmission agreement between the EU and third countries. The readmission agreement clearly prescribes the obligations and procedures for returning people illegally residing in the territory of a country-participant of the agreement. It includes not only the illegally staying citizens of both parties, but also citizens of the third countries and people without citizenship illegally staying in the country.
Ireland and Denmark do not participate in the readmission agreement with Georgia.