In addition to the high yields that it is possible for investors to make through investing in property in Tbilisi, another advantage of buying real estate in Georgia is the fact that it is possible to obtain Residence in the country as a result of the purchase.
From 5 July 2019, the minimum investment necessary to apply for the Residence Scheme was raised from $35,000 to $100,000. Rather than purchasing one apartment with a minimum value of $100,000, it would also be possible to buy two or more cheaper apartments – just as long as the value for all apartments comes to over $100,000, it is perfectly acceptable.
The apartment would need to be registered at the Public Services Hall in the buyer’s name and an appraiser who has been certified by the Georgian Accreditation Centre will need to check the property to ensure that the true value of the property is in excess of this amount. As a result, it is not possible to apply for the Scheme until the property is completed and you are the official owner.
To apply for the Residence Scheme, you will need to return to the Public Services Hall in Tbilisi in order to apply. You will need the appraisal of the value of your property, plus a copy of the documents that you received upon registered the property. You will also need your passport, with stamps showing that you have legally entered the country, plus two passport photos. You will also need three Georgian citizens to recommend your application for Residence.
There must be a minimum of 40 days remaining on your visa at the time of first applying for Residence in Georgia.
The fee for processing your application is GEL 210/$85 if you are able to wait for 30 days. If you pay a little more, then the Residence can be issued faster. Current rates are GEL 330/$135 for a period of 20 days, while the fastest possible option is a ten day period, which costs GEL 410/$165.
Once Residence is granted, you should return to the Public Services Hall to apply for an e-residence card. This e-residence card is an identity document certifying the identity of a foreigner living in Georgia, his or her citizenship and the place of his or her residence in Georgia. Be sure to apply for your e-residence card within six months, or else your Residence permit will be terminated and you will need to start the entire process all over again.
Initially you will be granted Temporary Residence for a period of one year. Unless the value of the property is over $200,000, then only one person can obtain this Temporary Residence. However, spouses and dependents are then able to also apply for Temporary Residence once it has been granted to the initial applicant. You will need to take your marriage certificate in order to apply for a spouse and dependents to also obtain Temporary Residence.
After the initial period of Temporary Residence has expired, then it can be renewed providing that the property is still in your possession. Renewing the temporary e-residence card at the end of each period is a fairly simple process. You just need to take your expired card back to the Public Services Hall together with two passport photos and pay a small fee and your new e-residence card will be issued to you after a few weeks.
You can continue to renew your Temporary Residence for a period of six years. After six years, you will be able to apply for Permanent Residence. Once you have received Permanent Residence, there is no need to continually renew the Temporary Residence each year any more.
Temporary and Permanent Residence allows the holder to stay in Georgia throughout the duration of the residence period granted. It does not, however, entitle the holder to a Georgian passport, with access to the Schengen Area. It is not currently possible for foreigners to obtain Georgian passports, except in vary exceptional circumstances.
It is strongly advised, in order to avoid any complications, to hire a specialist immigration lawyer to guide you through the process. Prices for this service start at $600, plus expenses. The lawyer will be able to obtain the recommendations from Georgian citizens and also obtain the official appraisal proving that the value of the property is in excess of $100,000.
The immigration lawyer who we recommend has never had an application rejected, no matter which nationality was applying for the Scheme. Only should the applicant have a criminal record is there any likelihood that an application for Residence be rejected.