At a Glance
- Effective immediately, applicants for employment residence permits in Georgia must submit a reference letter issued by the Revenue Service confirming that the employer or host company has an annual turnover of at least GEL 50,000 (approximately USD 17,000) per each foreign employee. Employers must now calculate their turnover and track this against each foreign employee, which may limit the number of foreign workers they can hire.
- Employers must also file a notification to the Service Development Agency within five days of the termination of employment of a foreign worker.
New documentary requirements have been introduced for employers hiring foreign nationals in Georgia.
A closer look
A summary of the new obligations are outlined below:
|Additional turnover and documentary requirements||Effective since July 30, 2019, applicants for employment residence permits must submit a reference letter issued by the Revenue Service confirming that the employer or host company has an annual turnover (the total income of the business over a year) of at least GEL 50,000 (approximately USD 17,000) per each foreign employee.||
Employers must now calculate their turnover and track this against each migrant worker they hire, which may limit the number of foreign nationals a company with relatively low turnover can hire.
For example, for an employee with 50 foreign employees, annual turnover would need to be at least GEL 2,500 (approximately USD 850,000). This may also increase the time required to obtain the reference letter.
|Notification requirement upon termination introduced||
Effective since July 30, 2019, employers must inform the Service Development Agency of any termination of employment of a foreign employee within five calendar days of the termination, whereas previously there was no such requirement.
The notification must be drafted and submitted to the registry by an authorized person, acting on the basis of power of attorney, or by a director of the employer company.
Employers should update their visa tracking systems to ensure they capture and meet the new five-day deadline to submit a termination notification.
The additional requirement will increase the compliance burden and the cost and time required to hire a foreign national. Repeated failure to comply with the requirement may lead to a refusal of subsequent residence permit applications.
- Trends in Georgia. Georgia has increasingly tightened its compliance checks and border controls in recent years, as concerns relating to immigration remain high, and has recently strengthened its commitment with Switzerland to tackle irregular migration.
- Regional trends. Departure notification obligations are common across the region, however Georgia is unusual in linking the ability to hire foreign workers with a company’s’ annual turnover. Most countries in the region control migration using other means such as labor market tests or similar alternative mechanisms.
Former Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia has been approved by the Georgian parliament as the new Prime Minister of the country. As the new Prime Minister takes office, further restrictive immigration changes may be forthcoming, particularly as Georgia works to tackle migration concerns as the rate of tourists and foreign workers to the area grows.