Getting all your documentation and permits together isn’t too difficult. In fact, Georgia has one of the simpler visa policies when it comes to studying.
Nationals of the EU, the EEA, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, as well as many other countries, can enter Georgia without a visa for up to a year. Chinese and Indian nationals may enter for up to thirty days in any one-hundred and twenty-day period, but Taiwanese passport holders are refused entry at the border. Those with Palestinian travel documents are denied entry as well. Those with documents demonstrating Palestinian nationality are also turned away at the border, even if they are travelling on another passport.
However, these exemptions only apply for tourism and other kinds of temporary visits. If you intend to study, or take up any kind of work during your studies, then you will need a visa. But this is where Georgia is a bit of an anomaly. If you’re from a country with a year-long visa exemption period, you don’t actually need a student visa. You also don’t have to worry about getting a residency permit until you’re actually in Georgia. You just need to make sure that your passport is stamped when you arrive and that it’s valid for as long as you intend to stay.
Once in Georgia, you have forty-five days to get your permit sorted. To do this, you’ll need to visit the Public Service Hall in Tbilisi and hand over documents like your confirmation of enrolment, a receipt for paid tuition fees and your passport. A few days after that, you will then be issued a Student Residence Permit. This permit entitles you to legally reside in Georgia for the duration of your studies and can be extended should you find a job there afterwards.
If you’re not from one of the year-long exemption countries, then the whole process follows a more standard path. In your home country, or the nearest country to you with a Georgian embassy or consulate, you’ll need to apply for a Category D3 visa - a study visa. You’ll need to visit the embassy or consulate in-person. The documentation required is no more stringent than for those who visit the Public Service Hall, you just need to have the visa in your passport when you arrive at the border. The cost is about US$25 paid in the local currency, although this changes fairly frequently. The visa is valid for ninety days from the date of arrival.
Once you’ve arrived in Georgia, you will need to visit the Public Service Hall in Tbilisi to get a temporary residency permit. You have forty-five days after your arrival to begin doing this.
Many students like to find a part-time job whilst studying. It brings in some money and can help build a healthy work-life-study balance. But English, whilst becoming increasingly common, is still not widely spoken as an additional language, particularly amongst Georgians over the age of about twenty-five. As it was once a part of the Soviet Union, Russian de facto operates as a national language alongside Georgian. This means that, unless you speak excellent Georgian or Russian, you will struggle to find work.
However, once you have your temporary residency permit in hand, you can work in Georgia. The permit must be valid for at least six months.
Although not an entry requirement, do be aware that Georgia has some incredibly strict anti-drugs laws, ones that are comparable to Indonesia or Singapore. Some medications that would ordinarily be available on prescription in most countries, like codeine-based painkillers, are illegal in Georgia.
Take a good supply with you if you will be staying for a longer period of time. You will also need a prescription and a doctor’s letter to get any medications across the border. Ideally, any medications should be in the original packaging, even if you’ve already opened them. A label with your name and home country address should also be visibly affixed to any medications.
Studying in Georgia
Want an overview of Georgia? This section gives a brief insight into the country, the culture, some of the customs and some of norms. Did you know that Georgia is one of the world's original wine producers? If the answer was no, then you need to take a look at this section.
Education in Georgia
Want to know more about how the higher education system in Georgia works? Want to know which Georgian universities are best for international students? We've put together information on this in this section.
Housing & Living Costs
No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Georgia.
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
Tuition fees for degree programs in Georgia are fairly similar. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Georgia. We've put together information on how this works in this section.
Language & Culture
Georgia is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more! We also look at the unusual statuses of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in this section.
All schools have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Georgia, and what you need to apply.