In our previous article, we mentioned the benefits of setting up a company in Georgia. Georgia becomes one of the most popular places for digital nomads to set up a company and move there. Another good benefit to incorporate a company in Georgia is that it enables you to become a citizen if you fulfil the requirements. In this article, we will give you detailed information about immigration to Georgia as an entrepreneur.
Incorporating a company in Georgia
Georgia offers a wide range of benefits for global entrepreneurs who want to incorporate a company there. There are different schemes that offer good tax benefits to companies incorporated there. If you want to start a Georgian company and run it remotely, you may not need to get the information about how to move there. But if you want to use your own Georgian company to sponsor you for a valid visa, which ultimately enables you to live in Georgia permanently, you may take a look at the available paths leading you to Georgian citizenship.
Yes, it is possible that you incorporate a company in Georgia, hire yourself and obtain a work permit in Georgia. After certain years living in Georgia, you can apply for citizenship. It is the process of immigration to Georgia.
Immigration Schemes of Georgia
Georgia offers a relatively smooth immigration scheme. In general, there are 4 types of visas that allow foreigners to stay in Georgia in the long term:
- D1 Visa for Foreigners coming to Georgia for work and investment
- D2 Visa for Foreigners coming to Georgia to live and work in freelancing digital nomad
- D3 Visa for Foreigners coming to Georgia for family reunification
- D5 Visa for Foreigners coming to Georgia to invest in real estate worth at least $100,000
In this article, we will focus on D1 and D2 Visa. Both visas allow you to stay and live in Georgia for the long term with a temporary residence permit. The temporary residence permit allows you to become a permanent resident once you live in Georgia for a long period of time. Ultimately, you can apply for citizenship in Georgia.
Move to Georgia as the Georgian Company Director or Investor
If foreigners are interested in incorporating a company in Georgia, you can apply for a work residence permit in Georgia. You need to follow these general steps first for immigration to Georgia:
- Register a Georgian company
- Open a Bank Account
- Obtain an Employment Agreement
- Apply for the Work Visa
- Visit Georgia
- File the application for work residence permit
- Wait 10-30 days for the work residence permit to be approved
- Apply for and get the residence card (ID card)
From point 1 to point 4, you don’t need to do it in Georgia. You can do these tasks with an agent. But for the application for a work residence permit, you need to be physically inside Georgia.
How to Apply for the Georgian Work Visa
There are two ways to apply for a Georgian work visa:
- Apply it at the Georgian Embassies near you;
- Come to Georgia as a toursit and apply for the work visa in Tbilisi
If you decided to come to Georgia as a tourist and apply for a work visa, please note that you must observe the rules and the visa expiry date. You may also be required to show documents showing 1) purpose of visit 2) sufficient financial means 3) proof of accommodation 4) travel and health insurance.
A work visa is normally issued within 30 days.
Requirements for Getting a Work Residence Permit
If you decided to hire yourself for your own Georgian company to obtain a work residence permit. For business owners or freelancers, this permit usually has a validity period of 6 months to one year. It’s extendable. This permit allows you to stay in Georgia for the long term. If you decide to hire yourself to obtain the work residence permit, you need to meet the following requirements:
- An employment agreement
- Monthly salary not less than $315
- A bank account statement which shows a minimum amount $1,700 to $4,000
The company annual turnover should exceed GEL 50,000 ($16,206) if you want to continue to extend your work residence permit after one year.
Documents Required for Work Residence Permit
Let’s say you have incorporated a Georgian company already. You are in Georgia with a work visa. The next step is to apply for a work residence permit. You need to provide the following documents:
- Passport (original and with certified Georgian translation)
- Copy of work visa
- Employment agreement
- *Certificate from the tax office
- Bank account statement
- Passport photos
- Application form
* It is a certificate to confirm the employer’s annual turnover of not less than GEL 50,000 ($16,206). If it is a startup, you can show your own personal bank account with the amount that can support your stay in Georgia.
Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship
Please note that if you want to live in Georgia on the work residence permit, it is considered a temporary residence in Georgia. In general, the government will issue a one-year work residence permit to you. You can extend this work residence permit for another 5 years. But the company must also meet the turnover requirements.
After you renew the work residence permit for 5 years, you can convert this temporary residence permit into a permanent residence permit. You can apply for Georgian citizenship after 5 years.