Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024
Georgia grants visa-free travel to citizens from 95 countries, not just South Koreans

<span>Screenshot of the misleading claim shared on Facebook captured January 17, 2024</span><span></div></div></div><div class=
Screenshot of the misleading claim shared on Facebook captured January 17, 2024

Similar Facebook posts made the same claim here, here and here, and it also surfaced on South Korean forum Humoruniv.

In 2011, Georgian authorities appealed to other states to officially refer to their country as Georgia, rather than the Russian-favoured name Gruziya — a reminder of a Moscow-dominated past which the ex-Soviet country’s pro-Western government is trying to eradicate.

South Korea said it was the first country to make the switch (archived link).

Georgian visa policy

But South Korea is not the only foreign country with visa-free access to Georgia.

“Georgia has a liberal visa policy and offers visa-free entry to citizens of many countries, not exclusively South Korea,” a spokesperson for the Georgian embassy in Seoul told AFP on January 17. 

Georgia’s State Commission on Migration Issues lists a total of 95 countries on its website “whose citizens have the right to enter and stay in Georgia without visa, for 1 full year,” which includes South Korea (archived link).

According to the embassy, Georgia granted visa-free entry to South Koreans in 2015, following Seoul’s announcement in 2011 that it would officially call the country Georgia instead of Gruziya (archived link).  

However, Georgia’s visa policy for South Korean citizens was not related to Seoul’s decision to call the country by its preferred name.

“The Georgian government granting visa-free status to South Korean citizens is not contingent on South Korea changing its exonym for Georgia from the Russian-favoured ‘Gruziya’ to ‘Georgia,'” the embassy explained.

Visa policies are typically based on diplomatic relations and mutual agreements and are not typically influenced by the nomenclature of countries in foreign languages.”

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