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National Flag of
საქართველო (kat)
Currency
GEL
Area Code
+995
Capital
Tbilisi
Region
Western Asia
Native Languages
Georgian
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Citizenship Act of Georgia

ORGANIC LAW OF GEORGIA ON CITIZENSHIP OF GEORGIA

(As of March 31, 2012)

Citizenship means a political and legal bond with the Georgian State, which is reflected in reciprocal rights and obligations, and is based on the respect for human dignity and recognition of fundamental human rights and freedoms. This Law provides protection of rights of citizens of Georgia both within the country and in abroad in accordance with international law and legislation of Georgia.

CHAPTER I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 - Citizenship of Georgia

1. In Georgia there is a single citizenship.

2. A citizen of Georgia shall not at the same time be a citizen of another state, save in exceptional cases established by the Constitution of Georgia. Citizenship of Georgia shall be granted by the President of Georgia to a citizen of foreign country, who has a special merit before Georgia or granting the citizenship of Georgia to him/her is due to State interests.

Article 2 - The right to citizenship

In Georgia each person has the right to citizenship of Georgia in accordance with rules established by this Law. No one may be subjected to the restriction of the right to change his or her citizenship except in cases defined in this Law. No one may be deprived of citizenship of Georgia.

Article 3 - A citizen of Georgia

The following persons shall be considered as citizens of Georgia:

a) A person who has been permanently residing in Georgia at least for 5 years and is residing in Georgia by the date of entry into force of this Law, unless he or she declares refusal to be a Georgian citizen in writing within six months; (24.06.93. N 277)

b) A person born in Georgia who left Georgia after December 21, 1991 and therefore does not meet the requirements stipulated in paragraph (a) of this Article, provided that he or she does not have citizenship of another country; (15.10.96. N 423)

c) A person who has acquired citizenship of Georgia in accordance with this law.

Article 4 - Equality of citizens of Georgia

Citizens of Georgia are equal before the law regardless of their race, color, language, sex, religion, political or other beliefs, national, ethnic or social affiliation, origin, property status, rank or place of residence. (15.10.96. N 423)

Article 5 - Legal status of citizens of Georgia

Citizens of Georgia are guaranteed political, social, economic and personal rights and freedoms established by legislation of Georgia and international law.

Citizens of Georgia shall observe the Constitution of Georgia and other laws, respect territorial integrity of the country, contribute to the strengthening of its power, and be devoted to the interests of Georgia.

Article 6 - Protection of rights and lawful interests of citizens by the State

Georgia shall protect rights, freedoms and lawful interests of citizens of Georgia within its territory and in abroad.

Article 7 - Retention of citizenship of Georgia by persons residing outside Georgia

The mere fact that a citizen of Georgia is residing outside the country shall not by itself cause termination of citizenship of Georgia.

Article 8 - Legal status of citizens of other states and stateless persons

Being on the territory of Georgia, citizens of other states and stateless persons shall respect and observe the Georgian laws and shall enjoy rights and freedoms guaranteed by the norms of international law and legislation of Georgia, including the right to appeal to court and other state bodies in order to protect their personal, property and other rights.

Citizens of other states who are on the territory of Georgia may appeal to consulates and embassies of their countries for assistance and protection.

Article 9 - Conditions of extradition of a citizen of Georgia to another state

A citizen of Georgia may not be extradited to another state, except in cases provided for by international agreements.

Decision on extradition Article 9a – Honorable citizenship of Georgia

Honorable citizenship of Georgia may be awarded to a citizen of another country or stateless person, with his or her consent thereto, for his or her special contribution to Georgia or the mankind by scientific or social activity, or due to special profession or qualification, which is of interest for Georgia and when the award of citizenship of Georgia to such a person is within the state interests.

Honorable citizenship of Georgia shall be awarded according to the Provision of President of Georgia “On Honorable Citizenship of Georgia”. Honorable citizenship of Georgia shall be awarded by President of Georgia. may be challenged before the court. (15.10.96. N 423)

CHAPTER II - ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP OF GEORGIA

Article 10 - Basis for acquisition of citizenship of Georgia

Citizenship of Georgia may be acquired:

(a) at birth;

(b) by naturalization:

(c) on the basis of other grounds provided for by international treaties to which Georgia is a party and this Law.

Article 11 - Citizenship of a child whose parents are citizens of Georgia

A child whose parents were citizens of Georgia at the moment of his or her birth shall be considered as a citizen of Georgia regardless of the place of birth.

Article 12 - Citizenship of a child whose one parent is a citizen of Georgia

If the child’s parents have different citizenship and either of them is a citizen of Georgia at the moment of the child’s birth, the latter shall be considered as a citizen of Georgia if:

(a) he or she was born on the territory of Georgia;

(b) he or she was born outside the borders of Georgia but either of his parents has a permanent place of residence on the territory of Georgia;

(c) either of his parents is a citizen of Georgia at the moment of his birth, regardless of the place of birth, and the other parent is a stateless person or is unknown.

Where parents have different citizenship, either of whom at the moment of the child’s birth is a citizen of Georgia, and both of the parents reside outside the territory of Georgia, the matter of citizenship of the child born outside the borders of Georgia shall be solved by agreement of parents. In the absence of such agreement the matter shall be solved according to the legislation of the state of birth.

In case of affiliation of a child whose mother is a stateless person and a citizen of Georgia is considered to be the father, the child shall be considered as a citizen of Georgia, regardless of the place of his birth.

Article 13 - Citizenship of a child whose parents are stateless persons

A child of stateless persons permanently residing on the territory of Georgia shall be considered as a citizen of Georgia if he or she was born on the territory of Georgia.

Article 14 - Citizenship of a child whose parents are citizens of another country

The matter of citizenship of a child who was born on the territory of Georgia and whose parents are citizens of another country shall be solved pursuant to the legislation of the respective country.

Article 15 - Citizenship of a child whose parents are unknown

(6.07.2010. N3354)

A child who is present on the territory of Georgia and both of whose parents are unknown, shall be considered as a citizen of Georgia until the contrary is proved.

Article 16 - Citizenship of a child in case of the change of parents’ citizenship

Changing of both parents’ citizenship shall cause changing of citizenship of a child aged under 14.

Citizenship of a child aged from 14 to 18 may be changed only with his or her consent thereto.

Article 17 - Citizenship of a child upon the change of citizenship of either of his parents

1. Where either of the parents changes citizenship of Georgia to that of another country, a child shall retain citizenship of Georgia if he or she remains in Georgia for residence.

2. If either of the parents abandons citizenship of Georgia and leaves Georgia with a child aged under 14 for permanent residence in another country, the child shall no longer be considered as a citizen of Georgia.

3. A child’s citizenship shall not be terminated when either of the parents abandons or (15.10.96. N 423 ) loses citizenship of Georgia.

Article 18 - Citizenship of a child when either of the parents acquires citizenship of Georgia

If either of the parents acquires citizenship of Georgia and the other remains a citizen of another state, the child may become a citizen of Georgia at the parents’ joint request.

If either parent acquires citizenship of Georgia and the other remains a stateless person, the child shall become a citizen of Georgia.

Article 19 – Freedom of an adult to choose citizenship

Where parents have different citizenship and either of them is a citizen of Georgia, a person is free to choose either parent’s citizenship upon achievement of legal age. (15.10.96. N 423)

Article 20 - Acquisition of citizenship of Georgia by an adopted child

A child who is a citizen of another state or a stateless person and who has been adopted by the citizen (s) of Georgia may become a citizen of Georgia at the request of the adoptive parent(s).

A child who is a citizen of another state or a stateless person and who had been adopted by spouses either of whom is a citizen of Georgia may become a citizen of Georgia at the adoptive parents’ joint request. (15.10.96. N 423)

Article 21 - Retention of citizenship by a child upon adoption

If a child who is a citizen of Georgia is adopted by foreign citizens or spouses either of whom is a citizen of Georgia and the other is a foreign citizen, the child retains citizenship of Georgia. In such case, at the adoptive parents’ request, the child shall be allowed to abandon citizenship of Georgia.

If a child who is a citizen of Georgia and is adopted by stateless persons or spouses either of whom is a citizen of Georgia and the other is a stateless person, the child shall retain citizenship of Georgia.

Article 22 - Citizenship of a child under custody or guardianship

In the case when a custody or guardianship is established over a child, and one of his parents or both are leaving Georgian citizenship, relying on the request of the child’s custodian or guardian, he may retain Georgian citizenship.

Article 22a – Particularities of solving the matter of a child’s citizenship

In the cases defined in Articles 17-22 of this Law, the changing of citizenship of a child aged from 14 to 18 requires the latter’s consent. (15.10.96. N 423)

Article 23 - Citizenship of an incapable person

Citizenship of an incapable person, according to his own interests, may be changed at his or her custodian’s request pursuant to the rules established by this Law. (15.10.96. N 423)

Article 24 - Disputes regarding citizenship of a child, incompetent person or a person with restricted abilities.

Disputes between parents, custodians or guardians regarding citizenship of a child, incapable person or person with restricted abilities shall be solved by court that shall take into consideration interests of the child, incapable person or person with restricted abilities.

Article 25 - Citizenship of Georgia upon marriage or divorce

The fact of marriage or divorce of a citizen of Georgia with a foreign citizen or stateless person shall not by itself result in the change of the spouses’ citizenship.

The change of citizenship of either of the spouses shall not result in the change of citizenship of another spouse.

Divorce shall not result in the change of citizenship of children of divorced parents.

Article 26 - Criteria for granting citizenship of Georgia

(19.12.2008 N 802)

Citizenship of Georgia may be granted to a person of legal age pursuant to this Law if he or she meets the following requirements:

(a) has been permanently residing within the territory of Georgia during the last five years;

(b) knows the state language within the established limits;

(c) knows the history and legislation of Georgia within the established limits;

(d) has a job or any real estate in Georgia, or is engaged in entrepreneurial activities on the territory of Georgia, or has shares in an enterprise in Georgia.

Article 26a – Grounds of denial to grant citizenship of Georgia

A person shall not be granted citizenship of Georgia if he or she:

(a) committed an international crime against peace and humanity;

(b) has taken part in a crime against the State foreseen in the Georgian legislation; or (15.10.96.N 423)

(c) if granting of a citizenship would be inexpedient from the point of view of state or/and public security** (6.07.2010. N 3354)

Article 27 - Special criteria for granting citizenship of Georgia

In exceptional circumstances President of Georgia is entitled to grant citizenship of Georgia to a person without having observed requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Article 26 of this Law if:

(a) the person has made a special contribution to Georgia or the mankind with his scientific or social activity, or possesses special profession or qualification which is of interest for Georgia; or

(b) granting of citizenship to him is within the interests of the state.

Article 27a - Special criteria for granting citizenship of Georgia to persons with repatriate status

(11.07.2007. N 5262 effective since January 1, 2009)

1. Criteria of Article 26 do not apply for granting citizenship of Georgia to persons with repatriate status;

2. Granting citizenship of Georgia to persons with repatriate status is regulated in accordance with the decree of the Government of Georgia on ‘the Simplified Procedures of Granting Citizenship for Individuals with Repatriate Status.’

Article 28 – Granting of citizenship of Georgia to a person married to a citizen of Georgia

(19.12.2008. N 802 effective since February 1, 2009)

A person who married a citizen of Georgia and has been residing on the territory of Georgia together with his or her spouse during the last two years may be granted citizenship of Georgia in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of Article 26 and Article 261 of the this law.

Article 29 - Restoration of citizenship of Georgia

(11.07.2009. N 1390)

Citizenship of Georgia may be restored pursuant to this Law to a person who by the time of submission of an application is not a citizen of a foreign country and whose citizenship has been terminated as a result of:

(a) unlawful deprivation of citizenship of Georgia;

(c) abandonment of citizenship of Georgia; or

(d) his or her parents' choice.

1. In the case stipulated in paragraph (b) of this Article, citizenship of Georgia shall be restored to the person who by the time of submission of an application has been permanently residing on the territory of Georgia and meets the requirements provided for by paragraph (b) and (c) of Article 26 and Article 261 of the this Law.

2. In the case stipulated in paragraph (b) of this Article, citizenship of Georgia can be restored to the person who by the time of submission of an application does not permanently reside on the territory of Georgia, if he or she has special merit before Georgia or restoring the citizenship of Georgia to him/her is due to State interests.

Article 291 – Oath of a citizen of Georgia

A person who has acquired citizenship of Georgia by naturalization or restoration of citizenship of Georgia, shall give an oath of allegiance to Georgia in Georgian language: “By becoming a citizen of Georgia, I (last name and first name) hereby swear to serve to Georgia, to comply with its Constitution and all laws, to defend its independence and territorial integrity. I recognize Georgian as a state language of Georgia and undertake to respect Georgian culture and national traditions”. The oath shall be attested with a signature. (15.10.96. N 423)

CHAPTER III - TERMINATION OF CITIZENSHIP OF GEORGIA

Article 30. Citizenship of Georgia may be terminated on the following grounds:

(a) Abandonment of citizenship of Georgia;

(b) Loss of citizenship of Georgia;

(c) Other circumstances provided for by international treaties to which Georgia is a party and by this Law.

Article 31 – Abandonment of citizenship of Georgia

(19.12.2008. N 802 effective since February 1, 2009)

1. A citizen of Georgia may abandon citizenship of Georgia. The matter of abandonment of citizenship of Georgia shall be solved according to this Law. A citizen of Georgia may be denied to abandon citizenship of Georgia if he or she has not fulfilled the duties owed to the state, or failed to complete military service. This norm does not apply to a person who is exempted from military service according to law. (17.12.2010. N 4136)

2. Abandonment of citizenship of Georgia shall not be permitted if a person is under criminal prosecution or a court passed a valid judgment against him, which is subject to enforcement.

Article 32 - Loss of citizenship of Georgia

In accordance with this Law a person shall lose citizenship of Georgia if he or she:

(a) without permission of respective Georgian authorities becomes a member of foreign army, police, departments of justice and other government bodies or state authorities;

(b) permanently resides on the territory of another state and has not been registered in a consulate of Georgia for 2 years without any excusable cause;

(c) acquires citizenship of Georgia by submitting false documents; or (c) acquires citizenship of another state.

CHAPTER IV - THE RULES CONCERNING CONSIDERATION OF MATTERS RELATED TO CITIZENSHIP OF GEORGIA

Article 33 - Powers of President of Georgia in deciding citizenship matters

President of Georgia may take decisions on the following issues:

(a) granting of citizenship of Georgia to aliens and stateless persons;

(b) restoration of citizenship of Georgia;

(c) abandonment of citizenship of Georgia; or

(d) loss of citizenship of Georgia.

(e) in cases envisaged by the Constitution, granting citizenship of Georgia to foreign citizens. (24.06.2004. N 182)

Article 34 – Submission of applications on citizenship matters

1. Applications on acquisition, abandonment and restoration of citizenship of Georgia shall be submitted by persons concerned to the Civil Registry Agency (Agency hereafter) at the Ministry of Justice of Georgia; persons residing outside Georgia shall forward applications to Agency through Georgian consulates or embassies or directly to President of Georgia.

(1.10.2010. N3658 effective on 15th days after publication)

2. Applications of minors or incapable persons on citizenship matters shall be submitted by their legal representatives. (15.10.96. N 423)

3. In relation to matters stipulated in the article 1(2) of this Law, a person concerned shall submit his/her application to Agency or to the diplomatic representation or consulate of Georgia in the respective country. (19.12.2008. N 802 effective since February 1, 2009)

4. In exceptional cases, at the initiative of the President of Georgia, citizenship of Georgia shall be granted to a foreign citizen without observance of the procedure set by this Law. (20.12.2005. N 2381)

Article 35 – Proposition on the loss of citizenship of Georgia (19.12.2008. N 802 Effective since February 1, 2009)

A proposition on the loss of citizenship of Georgia shall be submitted to Agency by the court, prosecutor's office, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With respect to citizens of Georgia residing outside the country, the proposition shall be made by appropriate consulates or embassies.

Article 37 - Decision-making on citizenship matters

(6.07.2010. N3354)

1. If the application or proposition on acquisition, termination or restoration of citizenship of Georgia is upheld, President of Georgia shall issue a decree. In case of dismissal of application or proposition, President of Georgia shall issue a direction.

2. A decree of President of Georgia on termination of citizenship of Georgia shall be effective: (1.10.2010. N 3658 effective on 15th days after publication)

(a) Immediately when relevant Georgian authorities receive a documental proof that a person leaving Georgian citizenship acquired citizenship of another state.

(b) On the day of signature, if a person provides a document issued by the relevant bodies of a foreign state which unequivocally proves that after the termination of Georgian citizenship he or she shall be granted a citizenship.

Article 38 - Term of consideration and decision-making on citizenship matters

(19.12.2008 N 802 Effective since February 1, 2009)

Duration of consideration and decision-making on applications and propositions shall not exceed three months.

Article 39 - Reconsideration of applications and propositions on citizenship matters

(6.07.2010.N 3354)

Applications and propositions on acquisition, termination or restoration of citizenship of Georgia may be reconsidered after six months from the date the previous decision was delivered.

Article 40 – Formal fee

(15.12.2009. N 2318)

1. Upon submission of an applications on citizenship matters, the applicant shall pay a formal fee in the amount and according to the procedures established by the resolution of the Government of Georgia, with the exception of cases envisaged by this Law. (20.12.2011. N 5566 Effective since January 1, 2012).

2. If a personal has unlawfully lost citizenship of Georgia, s/he shall be exempt from paying the formal fee while lodging application on restoration of the citizenship of Georgia.

Article 41 – Provision on Rules of Consideration of Applications and Propositions Relating to Citizenship Matters

Provision on rules of considering applications and propositions relating to citizenship matters shall be approved by an ordinance of President of Georgia thereon.

Article 42 – Challenging of a decision on citizenship matters

(23.06.2005. N 1741)

1. Decision of the President of Georgia on matters of citizenship of Georgia may be appealed in Court as per procedure set by the laws.

2. Respective officials shall bear responsibility according to the legislation in force for unjustified refusal to consider applications on matters of citizenship, for failure to meet time limits of consideration of requests and for other illegal acts.

Article 36 - Consideration of citizenship matters (19.12.2008. N 802 Effective since February 1, 2009)

1. Consideration of the application and proposition on Georgian citizenship matters and conclusion on this consideration are prepared by Agency.

2. If Agency, in the absence of proposition made by agencies indicated in Article 35 of this Law, becomes aware that there are grounds for losing citizenship of Georgia, it shall consider the matter of losing the citizenship of Georgia according to items 1 of this article and shall present the material to President of Georgia.

Article 36a – Consideration of matters concerning ascertainment of citizenship

(19.12.2008. N802 Effective since February 1, 2009)

Matters concerning ascertainment of citizenship as provided for in Article 3(a) and (b) and Articles 11-22 shall be considered and the respective decision shall be made by the territorial units of Agency, while for Georgian citizens residing in foreign countries and applying to the diplomatic representation or consulate of Georgia - in the respective diplomatic representation or consulate.

CHAPTER V – INTERIM PROVISIONS

( 02.03.2001. N 777 )

Article 43 - Documents certifying citizenship of Georgia

Both an identification card of a citizen of Georgia and a passport of a citizen of Georgia are documents verifying citizenship of Georgia.

Citizenship of a child aged under 16 can be verified by a birth certificate or the parent’s passport.

Citizenship of a child aged under 16 whose parents are unknown verified by a birth certificate.

Article 44 - Issuance of citizenship verification documents

(24.06.2004 N 182 effective since November 15, 2004)

1. Identification cards and passports of citizens of Georgia shall be issued by respective territorial units of Agency. (19.12.2008. N 802 Effective since February 1, 2009)

2. Identification cards and passports of citizens of Georgia permanently or temporarily residing in another state shall be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, consulates or embassies of Georgia within the Agency’s delegated authority. (1.10.2010. N 3658 effective on 15th days after publication)

3. Rules and conditions of producing and issuing the documents verifying citizenship of Georgia shall be established by Georgian legislation.

Article 45 - Restoration of the expired term due to an excusable cause

If a person, due to an excusable cause, failed to declare a denial to acquire citizenship of Georgia in the term specified in paragraph 3 of this Article, the expired term shall be restored to him in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Article 46 - Application of international treaties

While making decisions on matters of citizenship, in addition to the present law, international treaties to which Georgia is a party shall be applied.

If an international treaty to which Georgia is a party establishes rules different from those established by this Law, the rules of the international treaty shall be applied unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution of Georgia. (15.10.96. N 423)

Eduard Shevardnadze

Chairman of Parliament of Georgia

Head of State

Vakhtang Goguadze

Speaker of Parliament of Georgia

Tbilisi

March 25, 1993