At a Glance

Effective July 30, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Georgia has increased to at least five times the national minimum monthly wage, up from at least twice the national minimum monthly wage.

The situation

Effective since July 30, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Georgia has increased to at least five times the national minimum monthly wage (currently approximately GEL 1,034, approximately USD 350), up from at least twice the national minimum monthly wage.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under an employment residence permit do not need to increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew an employment residence permit must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected. Renewal applications will be subject to the new minimum salary.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending work permit applications submitted after July 30, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.

Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances may only be included in the minimum salary calculation if they are specified in the employment contract, guaranteed and fixed, and are not paid in kind. Holiday allowance cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in GEL regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.

Background

Georgia has not historically set a minimum salary figure and the requirement was that foreign nationals had to be paid at least twice the national minimum monthly wage. The new minimum salary is more reflective of the current makeup of the foreign population in Georgia, most of which have a college or higher educational degree and are likely to earn more than twice the minimum wage.

Looking ahead

As Georgia’s economy and tourism sector grows, the government is seeking to continue to increase the skill level of its immigrant community. Other reforms that highlight this aim are likely ahead in the future.