Last update 30 June 2018Diplomatic missions
Level 2: Increased attention (please be informed in detail about the current situation in the country)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia
Chancery: 15, Vakhtang Gorgasali Lane, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: +995 32 291 01 94; +995 32 291 01 95
Out-of-hours hotline: +995 577 23 30 30
Office hours: Mon - Fri, 09.30 -18.00 h
09:30 – 11:45 Tue and Thu (previous appointment by tel. recommended)
09:30 – 11:45 Mon, Wed and Fri (only by previous appointment)
Information by telephone: Mon - Fri, 14.00 -16.00 h
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Georgia in Sofia
Address: 65, Krichim Str., Lozenets Ward
Telephone: +359 2 868 54 04
Fax: +359 2 868 34 27
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
Georgian Lari (GEL)
2.40 GEL = 1 EUR (the exchange rate to EURO varies depending on the development of world economics and the current financial conditions)
All payment operations on the territory of Georgia must be performed in local currency – Georgian Lari. It is recommendable to demand receipts for foreign currency exchange from the exchange offices, as well as cashier’s bills or invoices for each paid commodity or service.
Crime and security
Georgians are friendly and open to strangers. Though reported as being improved in the latest years criminal situation in the country and the region should not be underestimated. Vigilance is required in particular with regard to the possibility for pick pocketing, especially on bus and railway stations. Though seldom, there are cases of attacks on foreigners with the purpose of robbery. Attempts to use forged dollars or Lari are possible too. Motor vehicle and truck drivers may not leave the vehicles without guarding, especially at border points and break stops, where thefts of personal and transport documents and personal belongings are recorded.
The main authority in charge of the internal security in the country is the Patrol Police enjoying a very good reputation. In case of a problem or emergency, requiring the involvement of legal security authorities, the telephone of Patrol Police is 022.
Each individual, crossing the border with Georgia has the right to import once in every 24 hours the commodities shown below for his personal use, including excise ones, without completing a customs declaration.
- Tobacco products: 200 pieces of cigarettes or 50 pieces of cigarillos or 50 pieces of cigars or 250 g of tobacco products.
- Alcoholic drinks: up to 4 liter.
- Food commodities at customs value of up to 500 Georgian Lari and up to 30 kg total weight.
- Other commodities at customs value of up to 1000 Lari and up to 50 kg total weight. When traveling by air, the value goes up to 3000 Lari. Commodities may not include mineral oils and lubricants, petrol products, construction materials.
Document handling fee at the border and/or by customs officers is not paid. Offering money, cigarettes, alcohol to them or to the Patrol Police authorities will be sanctioned. Entering untrue data in the customs declarations is penalized according to the Georgian law (by fine or prison). Importing of season’s commodities in quantities exceeding in times the ones normal for consummation by one or several persons should be avoided. This applies in particular to the import of meat, meat or milk products in quantities, exceeding in times the ones normal for consummation by one or several persons. When carrying such products a phyto-sanitary inspection might be required. When importing excise commodities for personal use, which exceed the quantities shown below, it is obligatory to complete a customs declaration and buy excise labels prior to actual import.
Importing of drugs and psychotropic substances, toxic, radioactive and explosive devices, substances and precursors, fire arms and others is strictly prohibited. Attempts to import or transfer such materials are prosecuted according to the Georgian law.
Financial means in cash, exceeding 30 000 Lari or their equivalent in foreign currency, travel checks or securities are subject to declaring. For the transfer of financial means below the determined limit NO fee is charged.
For the export of typical Georgian souvenirs (knives, swards and icons) a special note should be presented, which is obtained when buying them.
In case of need for consultancy on specific questions, along with the information from the Embassy you may use telephone number 077 (free of charge for the conversation on Georgian territory).
Completing of customs declaration
Travelers should complete the customs declaration in Georgian, English or Russian language in the following events:
- When transferring commodities, meant for trading purposes;
- Availability of arms, explosives, narcotic and psychotropic substances, antiques and works of art, medical substances, plants, animals, high-frequency radio electronic devices (personal mobile phones not included);
- When traveling with a pet a veterinary passport is required;
- When carrying financial means in cash which exceed 30 000 Lari or their equivalent in foreign currency, travel checks or securities.
The main road arteries and the highway network are in good condition. Traffic along the main automobile roads is intensive. When traveling by a motor vehicle it is recommended to charge fuel at the petrol stations of the large international chains, such as Lukoil, Visol, Sokar, Echo.
No specific traffic advice – except for individual specific problems and restrictions to be complied with by tourists in case of transit travels and visits in the country – as follows:
Passing of Bulgarian nationals and motor vehicles from Russia through the Caucasus, Georgia to Turkey, as well as back from Georgia to Russia through the only functioning pass Lars, opened only for nationals of CIS (Except Georgia), is not allowed. At the moment there are no other passes or possibilities to pass in the above directions. That is why entry to and exit from Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria is done only through the Border Check Point Sarpi, at the border with Turkey and by the Varna-Batumi ferryboat.
The Embassy is definitely not recommending the entry of Bulgarian nationals in Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the side of the border with Russia. Georgian authorities deem such entry as gross offence of the country border regime, and in case of subsequent entry offenders are detained, sanctioned and extradited from the country, by being banned from further entry.
Entry to Abkhazia and South Ossetia from own Georgian territory is hampered by the real authorities of the two separated regions, although competent Georgian authorities may give their consent to such entry. The Embassy recommends abstaining from such travels.
It is advisable to avoid visits to the border regions to the North, which are located in the vicinity of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to the regions near the administration borders of the two separated regions and in the Pankisi Gorge, as well as to regions along the southern border of the country.
In view of the geographical conditions, the language barrier and the specific road and geographical conditions in Georgia problems of various nature may arise when traveling in the country, which requires higher attention during the trips. This is especially true for the high mountain regions, where, no matter how beautiful and attractive they might be, cautiousness should be paid because of the specific road circumstances. Special attention is to be paid when traveling in winter, because of the risk of snow-drift and avalanche formation.
The health care system is in a comparatively good condition. Health aid and services are obtained against payment.
Travel papers and visas
When travelling to Georgia, you need to have a valid Bulgarian passport or identity card.
Bulgarian nationals, as well as foreigners with permanent residence status in the Republic of Bulgaria, are exempt from the requirement to have entry visas and visas for a stay on the territory of the country not exceeding 360 days. For a stay of more than 360 days, one shall obtain a visa, which can be done in any territorial subdivision of the Civil Register Agency at the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
For citizens of the EU member states, no mandatory vaccines are required for transit travels and tourist visits.
Special requirements with respect to passport control
When passing, you should submit a passport with a valid visa (if applicable) or a valid identity card. The Border Check Point stamp should show the entry/exit. In case of crossing the border at the Sarpi, Sadahlo, Logodekhi and Red Bridge check points, checking of passports and cars is performed by the customs officer or the officer of the border police of one of the two bordering countries (combined/simplified border control). If the person crossing the border is a foreign national and he is traveling by a car with foreign registration and without additional luggage, the entry/exit procedures include motor vehicle registration in the Patrol Police computer system and affixing of a stamp on the driver/owner passport.
In case of motor vehicle entry via the land border the validity of the sticker is 65 calendar days and when entering via the sea border – 90 calendar days.
Money fines are imposed in Georgia for violating the traffic regulations, which are paid via bank, regardless of whether you are a local or foreign national.
If you are detained by the local authorities for any reason, demand the provision of contact with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria. A consulate officer will reach you as soon as possible.
For visiting Georgia we advise you to conclude health, tourist, road or other insurance contract in advance.
In case of death of Bulgarian nationals the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria may render the necessary assistance and help for arranging the formalities.
It is not obligatory, however it is advisable to register at the Bulgarian Embassy in Tbilisi. That would make the contact with you in case of emergency or necessity easier.
Before leaving from the Republic of Bulgaria or immediately after your arrival, write down the addresses and telephones of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia.
When contacting the administrations of the hotels where you stay, the tour operators, arranging your visits, as well as local police authorities, it is preferable to have such details available.
Detailed information and advises for persons traveling by air, as well as about the latest requirements in this relation, you may receive and read before departure on the website of the Sofia Airport.
Certification and legalization
In order to be acknowledged in Bulgaria, a document, issued in Georgia, and reverse, a Bulgarian document to be acknowledged in Georgia, it should be translated and legalized. The translation is done by a translator having a contract signed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making official translations.
In Bulgaria legalization of documents is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice legalize the Bulgarian public acts (documents) by a special certificate “Apostille”.
It should be known, that Georgia is a party to the Hague Convention (No 12) and it also accepts (and makes) legalization of documents with Apostil.
Detailed information about the issue of certificates Apostille in the Republic of Bulgaria you may receive HERE.
In Georgia Apostil of a Georgian document, intended for presentation in the Republic of Bulgaria is affixed at the City Registrar of Population (city of Tbilisi, 68 Abashidze Str.). The service is performed as ordinary, fast and express. Reception office hours from 10.00 to 18.00 h.
In order to be acknowledged in Bulgaria, the document with Apostil, issued in Georgia should be translated into the Bulgarian language. The translation can be done in the Republic of Bulgaria by a translator who has a concluded contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making official translations or by a translator at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia.
A number of activities concerning the civil status are carried out at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia, as well as: recording in the Bulgarian birth registries, concluded marriages and death of Bulgarian nationals, occurring abroad.
Children of Bulgarian nationals, born in Georgia, are registered in the Republic of Bulgaria on the basis of the documents, issued by local authorities. Bulgarian nationals, staying in Georgia, are obligated within six months as from the date of issue by the local authority of their child birth certificate to submit or forward a certified copy or excerpt of the document to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, together with an application showing their permanent address in Bulgaria.
Having received from the municipality the Bulgarian birth certificate, with the PIN entered therein, the parents make an application for the issue of a passport. In such case the municipality where the birth of the child is registered, is the municipality of the mother’s permanent address, and in case she is not a Bulgarian national – the municipality of the permanent address of the father.
National of the Republic of Bulgaria, who are in Georgia, are obligated within six months from the date of issue of the civil marriage certificate by the local civil status authority, to submit or forward to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria a certified copy or excerpt of the document to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, together with an application showing their permanent address in Bulgaria. In such case the municipality where the concluded abroad marriage is registered, is the municipality of the husband’s permanent address, in case he is a Bulgarian national, and if both husband and wife are Bulgarian nationals, this is the municipality of the permanent address of the husband.
A case of death of Bulgarian national, occurring in Georgia is registered at the municipality of the permanent address of the person in the Republic of Bulgaria. For the purpose the original death certificate or a certified copy of the document, issued by the local civil status authority, is submitted or forwarded within six months to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia, together with an application, showing the permanent address of the deceased person in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian nationals should be informed that the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia does not finance, or perform any activities for servicing and transporting the deceased. In case of death the relatives of the deceased Bulgarian national should contact a funeral service/agency in the country, where they will make themselves familiar with the servicing and transportation of the person deceased abroad.
Customs tariffs and VAT
The following customs tariffs are applied for handling customs declarations for commodities in excess of the limits, relieved from duty:
- Commodities not exceeding 3 000 Lari – 5 Euro per declaration;
- Commodities exceeding 3 000 Lari - 60 Euro per declaration;
- The customs tariffs for commodities over the determined limits varies between 5 and 12% of their customs value. The applied specific percentage depends on the type of the commodity;
- VAT in Georgia amounts to 18%.