A total of 868 Georgians have been sent back from European Union Member States to Georgia, in the last three months alone, as a part of the agreement on the readmission of Georgians residing illegally in the EU, reached between the two sides back in 2011.
The number of readmissions for the last three months has been revealed by the Ministry of the Interior of Georgia this Friday, October 28, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the Ministry, 868 individuals have been deported from different EU countries – though the majority of them from Germany – for violating the rules of staying visa-free in the EU.
The EU countries that deported these Georgians are as follows:
- Germany – 535
- France – 176
- Greece – 33
- Poland – 33
- Switzerland – 23
- Spain – 17
The Ministry actually received a total of 873 files of Georgian citizens to be returned to Georgia, but it decided to reject five of them.
The European Union Agency for Asylum has also reported an increasing number of Georgian citizens seeking asylum in the EU. In the first four months of this year, 8,075 asylum applications from Georgian citizens have been filed at asylum reception centres across the EU, representing a 183 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
The majority of applications filed by Georgians were submitted in five main countries: France (2,725), Germany (2,455), Italy (1,100), Ireland (420) and Belgium (315).
In order to prevent Georgians from travelling to Europe with the intention of seeking asylum, Georgian authorities started carrying out additional checks at all border points for Georgian citizens travelling to the Schengen Area Member States, asking them to provide additional documents in order to prove they are eligible to travel to and stay in the borderless zone.
Only this week, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the border authorities of Georgia have prevented from travelling to the Schengen area 3,684 Georgian citizens, from January 1 to September 30 this year.
Whereas in 2021, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that there were 1,922 cases of Georgians who were not allowed to travel to the Schengen area were registered.
“A citizen of Georgia may be refused the right to depart from Georgia if he/she is prohibited from entering any EU/Schengen area country or fails to submit the documents required by law,” the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia had said at the time.
The EU granted Georgians with visa-free travel in March 2017, and within the first five years since then, 645,639 Georgian citizens have made a total of 1,398,803 trips to the Schengen Zone.
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