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Abuse of visa-free regime: Germany sends delegation to Georgia for talks
In order to curb the rising number of unfounded asylum applications of Georgian nationals, Germany has now offered its direct support to the Georgian authorities. A delegation under the leadership of the Head of the Department Return in the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Commissioner for Flight and Migration in the Foreign Office traveled to Tbilisi.

Since the introduction of the visa liberalization, Georgian asylum applications in Germany have increased threefold. Nearly 100% of the applications were rejected.

Few abuse the benefit of all

In the German Government's view, unsubstantiated asylum applications and illegal stays are a security problem for Germany.

Nevertheless, many experts and politicians consider a demand for a review of the visa-free regime for all Georgians, as requested in February by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, to be exaggerated and unjustified. The Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas De Maizière, tried to defuse: the lifting of the visa-free regime is only a “last resort”.

Abuses can lead to long-term entry ban

However, to “sustainably ensure” the visa-free regime for Georgian nationals, stricter rules and procedures, as well as clear penalties for abuses, are required, the German Embassy wrote in a press release on the occasion of the delegation’s visit (external link).

To this effect, Germany has announced it will implement a long-term entry ban for the entire Schengen area for Georgian nationals abusing asylum procedures in Germany.

It is yet unknown to what extent the option of declaring Georgia a “safe country of origin” in Germany is currently being considered. Such a classification would, for example, make it easier for German authorities to process and reject unsubstantiated asylum applications and also to return the rejected travelers to Georgia. There, in turn, considerable penalties and heavy fines from the Georgian side await the abusers of the visa-free regime. Since the announcement of the problem, the Georgian government has reinforced its fight against the visa abuse and once again raised the penalties associated with offenses.

Information by the German Embassy Tbilisi

The German Embassy in Tbilisi provides information on its website about fundamental questions concerning asylum procedure and illegal stay in Germany (external link).

This information is also available in the Georgian language (external link).

Titelbild: CC0 Creative Common License

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