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Last night at a party with lots of expats and Georgians the topic came up that foreigners don't need any special visa or work permit to work in Georgia while they are visiting the country as tourists.

But can this really be true? Both Georgians and foreigners there said it was but I want to find an authoritative source because the consequences for working illegally can include deportation or being banned from future visits. I wouldn't want to tell people to come and work here on their travels if the advice could get them in trouble.

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This would probably be the best question to ask CRA or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs –  Karlson Dec 28 '11 at 17:26
    
I had hunted around on the MFR site a bit with no luck. I'll try the CRA one too thanks. –  hippietrail Dec 28 '11 at 17:36
    
I don't think that sites will yield you anything. Contacting the agencies might. One thing that was surprising on MFA site that there was no work visas. So they are either not issued or not required. –  Karlson Dec 28 '11 at 17:38
    
Yes I noticed that myself. –  hippietrail Dec 28 '11 at 17:58
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1 Answer

OK, it's a topic that comes up not just for Georgia, but several countries. We were told by many sources that in Argentina paying tax was 'optional'. Lots of anecdotes about not really needing a work visa. That sort of thing.

However, when it comes down to it, the Georgian government certainly exists. And so do their police, and justice system. No doubting that.

And as we would have it, the Georgian Govt has a Visa web site. And on it, yes, in addition to tourist, spousal, visitor, residence and other visas, there is the Employment Visa.

So, legally and technically speaking, it is NOT 'permitted' on a tourist visa, because otherwise there'd be no need for the Employment Visa. The tourist visa permits access under which you cannot engage in business, use government benefits or study. And you cannot stay permanently. However, hypothetically you may get away with it. You might over-stay, and when you finally leave, encounter a lax border guard who doesn't care, and so you were 'permitted' to overstay. Similarly, you may be 'permitted' to work on a tourist visa, but if ever it comes down to it, an overzealous cop, an angry co-worker (or jealous local), it may not take much and you'd have nothing to defend against the written law, other than 'I was told it was ok'. Which unfortunately, does not work out as a defense.

That's a bit of a rant with some sense in there, I hope, but the point is - legally, no, but you may get away with it.

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I think there's actually the possibility that you're still making an assumption. Technically I'm on a visa waiver and don't have a visa, just a stamp in my passport. It could well be that people on these are allowed to work but people who need actual visas, like my friends here from Arabic speaking countries, might not be allowed to work and that this employment visa exists only for them. It's really hard to know for sure but many countries have very convoluted rules. –  hippietrail Jan 31 '12 at 12:38
    
Hmm, quite possibly. I was going on the question which said 'tourist visa'. This seemed to exclude one directly from employment, as they're separate visas. Waivers do make things interesting ;) –  Mark Mayo Jan 31 '12 at 12:41
    
@hippietrail A stamp on a passport is STILL a visa; it's just not one that you have to apply for. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 31 '12 at 12:44
    
Yes when I asked my question I wasn't certain how best to word it. Also the links to the various visas on the government page are all broken. The two I needed to check both led to blank pages at http://www.visainformation.mobi/?f –  hippietrail Jan 31 '12 at 12:51
    
I just discussed this with a Tbilisi native and a German friend who has been working here, under contract, and paying taxes. Both insist that it's definitely legal to work here without a special visa. At least for Europeans or people from rich/white countries. They don't know what this employment visa is about and suspect it could be out-of-date information. But we still lack solid government-backed facts... –  hippietrail Jan 31 '12 at 13:38
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