Moving to Georgia. Things to consider before immigrating to Georgia
Things to know when immigrating to Georgia
Georgian Lari (GEL)
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Visa regulations for Georgia
There are five main visa types for Georgia, ranging from transit to diplomatic purposes. Foreigners moving to Georgia need to apply for the type of visa that best suits their purpose of stay:
- Diplomatic visa (A). It is issued to foreign authorities, diplomatic representatives, and employees of international organisations.
- Special visa (B). This type of visa is meant for the members of foreign delegations and their family members moving to Georgia as participants in different missions.
- Ordinary visa (C) is for tourists coming to visit Georgia, for freelancers moving to Georgia, and for the members of international scientific communities.
- Immigration visa (D). This type of visa is for people who immigrate to Georgia for work, study, doing research, or family reunification.
- Transit visa (E). It is issued to aliens transiting Georgia to enter a third country.
Property information. Buying property in Georgia
Georgia’s three biggest cities – Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi attract the majority of tourists, foreigners, and expats. The cost of living in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi, as well as the prices for apartment rentals, vary. The average renting cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in Tbilisi is €2300-€430 per month, while a 2-bedroom apartment is around €350-€700 per month. If you are moving to Batumi alone, a 1-bedroom accommodation will cost you €150-€200 per month. If you are moving to Batumi with family, the average cost of a 2-bedroom apartment will be €300-€750 per month.
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LIVING IN GEORGIA
Cost of living in Georgia
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The job market in Georgia
The unemployment rate is currently high in Georgia, but the overall economic situation is getting better. There are many vacancies offered by local and international companies, but the salary rates are still not competitive compared to those in other European countries. The average salary rates in Georgia increased recently, so professionals in various industries have a higher income.
Even though the wages in agriculture sectors are the lowest, the professionals in this field are in high demand in Georgia. That is why the salaries in this industry tend to increase gradually, while more and more qualified expats immigrate to Georgia to work in the agriculture sector.
Healthcare in Georgia
The healthcare system in Georgia is based on the Soviet model, but the country has recently made a radical reform in the healthcare sector. Previously, all citizens of Georgia were covered by the state-funded healthcare insurance policy. Now the funding system is enhanced for people with lower socioeconomic status and almost absent for the wealthy ones. Currently, there are 4 types of healthcare insurance programs in Georgia, depending on one’s level of annual income (high, average, low, and socially disadvantaged).
Expats moving to Georgia opt to choose a private healthcare insurance policy. It covers almost any kind of healthcare services, and grants access to private healthcare institutions as well.
Educational system of Georgia
The educational system of Georgia is typical for Europe. Children have to attend school from the age of 6 for about 12 years. Afterwards, students decide whether they would like to enrol in one of the Georgian universities or start working in a chosen field right away. Those who immigrate to Georgia with children from neighbouring countries should consider that some public schools offer education in Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Russian languages. If you come from overseas territories, there are also international private schools available.
The higher education institutions in the country have already adopted the Bologna system.
Driving in Georgia. Should I get a driving licence in Georgia?
Things to consider before driving in Georgia:
- Expats moving to Georgia can drive with their valid foreign licence, but for no more than 1 year upon the last entry into Georgia. You need to obtain a Georgian driving licence after this.
- Follow the rules and regulations concerning speed limits, in particular. You can drive as fast as 60km/h in villages and cities, 90 km/h on open roads, and 110 km/h on highways.
- You need to have car insurance obligatorily because it is required by law.
- Driving in Georgia can be a bit hazardous because local drivers usually have an aggressive style of driving.
What to expect when living in Georgia
Before moving to Georgia, you need to decide which city or region you prefer to live in. Check the pros and cons of living in Georgia to summarise the impressions of expats:
- Food. Georgian cuisine is incredibly tasty. Each region of Georgia offers its unique local dishes.
- Hospitality. Georgian people are very friendly and cheerful and always ready to assist expats migrating to Georgia.
- Easy to immigrate. Georgia does not have strict immigration policies.
- Rising prices during the tourist season. As Georgia has many resort areas, it expects an influx of tourists each year. That is why prices tend to get higher during that season.
- Low salary rates and high unemployment rate. If you want to immigrate to Georgia for work, find a job in advance.
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