Visa and Residency

Georgian residence permits issued to Russian citizens – Statistics 2022-2023

Exclusive update with infographic of the numbers of approved, rejected, and pending residence applications for Russian citizens during the last year in Georgia.

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Statistics on residence permit applications in Georgia

The difficult situation in the region has led to an increase in the number of foreign citizens applying for residency in Georgia. Most have been from Russia (10,004), Belarus (1,883), and Ukraine (900).

We’d like to show how many applications submitted by Russian citizens have been approved, rejected, or have yet to be decided. This is official data provided by the Services Development Agency of Georgia for the period of March 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Officially, a total of 37,316 citizens of foreign countries applied to the House of Justice for a residence permit in Georgia over this one-year period:

  • 75% of the applicants (27,806) were granted a residence permit
  • 15% of applications were rejected by the state of Georgia.
  • 10% (3,693) are still waiting for a decision or withdrew their application.

The big picture looks quite different, however, for citizens of Russia (and Ukraine and Belarus). Today we’re going to look at the statistics for citizens of the Russian Federation.

Residence permit applications submitted by Russian citizens in Georgia – the numbers

10,004 Russian citizens applied for various types of residence permits in Georgia between March 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023:

  • 58% of applications (5,838) were approved
  • 34% of applications (3,415) were rejected .
  • 751 applications were still under review as of March 31, 2023 or had been withdrawn by the applicant.

Rejections are becoming more frequent. In 2022, 31% of applications were rejected, with data for 2023 showing an increase in this rate to 41%.

Also statistically interesting is the approval rate relative to the type of residence permit. The following types of residence permits exist in Georgia:

  • Residence permit for a former citizen of Georgia
    granted to someone who previously had Georgian citizenship but lost it for one reason or another
  • Residence permit based on real estate
    granted to individuals purchasing real estate in Georgia valued at more than USD 100,000 USD
  • Permanent residence permit
    granted to the spouse of a Georgian citizen.
  • Residence permit for family reunification
    granted to the spouse or underage child of a resident of Georgia (though the reverse is also possible, with a residence permit granted first to the child and then the parent).
  • Investment residence permit
    granted to those who have invested USD 300,000 in the Georgian economy, including a real estate purchase valued at USD 300,000.
  • Educational residence permit
    granted to individuals in the country for educational purposes.
  • Work residence permit
    for individuals who either work for a Georgian company or have a business (registered as an entrepreneur or registered legal entity).
  • Special residence permit
    issued in rare cases (to a victim of human trafficking, an individual who failed to be deported, and in a few other rare cases).

The breakdown for applications submitted by citizens of the Russian Federation for residence permits by permit type looks like this:

TypeGrantedRejectedUnder review /withdrawnTotal
Residence permit for a former citizen of Georgia588 (94%)20 (3%)8 (3%)626
Real estate residence permit (USD 100,000)819 (46%)876 (49%)102 (6%)1795
Permanent residence permit (Georgian spouse)1612 (76%)363 (17%)148 (7%)2123
Residence permit for family reunification893 (76%)201 (17%)43 (7%)1182
Investment residence permit87 (69%)24 (19%)16 (13%)127
Educational residence permit823 (89%)13 (1%)86 (9%)922
Special residence permit30 (77%)1 (3%)8 (21%)39
Work residence permit898 (31%)1919 (60%)285 (9%)3188

Let’s consider the most sought after types of permits one at a time:

Real estate residence permits granted to Russians

Between March 2022 and the end of the year, 1,339 Russian citizens applied to the House of Justice to obtain a residence permit as the owner of property worth at least USD 100,000.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume most had purchased the property in question in 2022. Of the 1,339 applications:

  • 688 (51%), obtained a residence permit.
  • 612 applications (46%) were rejected.
  • The remaining 3% had not been reviewed.

2023 witnessed an increase in the number of refusals for this kind of permit. If only 46% of Russian citizens were not granted this particular residence permit in 2022, the figure increased to 57% in 2023.

PeriodGrantedRefusedUnder review /suspendedTotal
2022 (March – December)688 (51%)612 (46%)39 (3%)1339
2023 (January – March)131 (29%)262 (57%)63 (14%)456
Percentage change-22%+11%

Work residence permit granted to Russians

According to the official statistics, Russian citizens applied for work residence permits (obtained by working for a company based in Georgia or being registered as an entrepreneur or owning a company with a turnover of at least GEL 50,000) more often than any other kind:

  • 59% of applications for this kind of permit were approved in 2022, with a significant decrease in 2023 (22%).
  • 62% of applications were rejected, an increase of 27 percentage points over 2022, when only 35% were denied.
PeriodGrantedRefusedUnder review /suspendedTotal
2022 (March – December)1290 (59%)756 (35%)123 (6%)2170
2023 (January – March)228 (22%)629 (62 %)161 (16%)1018
Percentage change-37%+27%

Investment residence permit granted to Russians

Investment residence permits (obtained on the basis of an investment of USD 300,000, including in real estate) is the most stable in relation to rejection and approval rates.

Roughly 70% of Russians who applied for an investment residence permit were approved and granted a 5-year residence permit.

PeriodGrantedRefusedUnder review /suspendedTotal
2022 (March – December)56 (70%)15 (19%)9 (11%)80
2023 (January – March)31 (66%)9 (19 %)7 (15%)47
Percentage change-4%0%

Permanent residence permits (granted to the family of a Georgian citizen) are of some interest: In just one year, 2,123 spouses of Georgian citizens applied for permanent residence, with 17% of applications denied.

Infographic

Below you can open our infographic with all the statistical data:

Georgian residence permits issued in 2022/2023

PBS Infographic preview - Statistics on residence permit applications in Georgia

In summary

Many Russian citizens have applied for residence permits in Georgia since March 2022, with positive decisions issued by the Service Development Agency of Georgia decreasing over time and Russian citizens rejected more frequently in 2023 than in 2022. Even so, there are types of residence permits that buck the trend with consistently high positivity rates (like investment residence permits).

Those applying for work residence permits run the greatest risk of rejection in 2023, with only 35% obtaining approval. There has also been an unusual increase in the number of educational and permanent residence permits, with positive decisions especially high for these two.

Such a dramatic increase in applications can certainly be explained. Immigrants arriving in Georgia want to receive a legal document to confirm their right to live in Georgia.

The number of rejections is also understandable. First, an increase in applications increases concerns for state security (a common reason mentioned in most refusals). And second, does a Russian citizen really need a residence permit? Russians already have the right to live in Georgia for 365 days without a visa. Live and work.

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