Georgian Visa To Filipino Tourist (A Filipina Travels To Georgia)

 
 

on the road to Georgia. my marshutka (van) on a WC stop going to Tbilisi.

I traveled from Moscow to Yerevan, Armenia (see related post in my travel to Armenia) and decided to hop on to a marshutka (van) to Tbilisi, Georgia which is only five hours away from Yerevan.

At 7.30 a.m. I checked out from my hostel and asked for a taxi to take me to the international bus station to Georgia. Everybody advises (including my lonely planet book) to be there early, before 9:00 a.m. to get a good seat and a good van. It’s 6,500.00 ARD (or roughly 18 USD) which is not a bad deal considering the level of comfort you’ll be getting comparing to a bus or a train which I heard is beyond words.

The road to Georgia (on the Armenian side) was splendid. Beautiful. Like am just in awe of creation. Snow covered mountains on each side of the road, everything’s white, like I died and went to heaven… am just like wow! Krasiva. They (the Armenian Tourism Dept) could totally exploit this part of their country by having ski resorts, I could just totally envision some extreme winter adventure sports played there…. have you guys seen that movie in triple X with Vin Diesil and they have that seen on extreme snow boarding? I think it was shot there! :).

After three and a half hours and two WC stops, we are now in the Armenian – Georgian border, it was like a scene from a movie, people queuing, big buses & trucks of gas & petrol were weighed, serious looking border patrol officers and men in black jackets were everywhere . We all disembarked from the van, walked to the passport control and hand in my passport. The officer stamped something on my Armenian visa then I proceeded to walked on to a bridge crossing the river divide between Armenia and Georgia. I’m now geographically and politically out of Armenia and about to step on to the land of Georgia. I was nervous.

Again, another queue and another passport control operation (on the Georgian side). I went directly to the visa section and filled in a paper with information about myself– standard questions like, your purpose of visiting, place of stay, inviting organization or who invited you, your job etc… After filling in the paper I was directed to go to the next window and pay 20.00 USD (I didn’t have any Lari with me, the Georgian money). The guy who worked behind the glass window was super slow, there were two Iranians before me, I was worried that my marshutka will leave without me.

Finally it was my turn, he asked me how long will I stay in Georgia, I said maximum of three days as this was only a side trip for me, I have to go back to Yerevan by the 5th of March to fly back to Moscow. The next officer at the visa section took his time turning the pages of my passport for a hundred times… I was sooooo tempted to be a diva and yell wtf is his problem. But no, I tried to be calm and pretended I was cool whatever it is his trying to find or do with my passport and application. After about 30 minutes of standing and tweedling my fingers in frustration. He gave me four days.

The process of getting the visa wasn’t that complicated, . It took a bit longer for me than the Iranians because I have a Philippine passport and I am from the Philippines, and they probably don’t know where the Philippine is and what kind of relation does Georgia have with my archipelago country, which I think is fair enough but sometimes could be f*cking annoying.

Hoping that my mashutka didn’t leave without me I ran like mad towards the rest of the Georgian gate border and felt relieved that they (the driver and the rest of my now angry co-passengers) were still there waiting and looking out for me behind the wires of the Georgian gate. I profusely apologized to everybody both in English and Russian.

I thought I was the last passenger they were waiting but there was another woman whom we waited for another 20 minutes, some of the women asked me, if I saw her and where was she? Then, I remembered the tall Georgian woman inside the office of the visa officer yelling and crying…. I tried to tell them these by miming in Russian seems like they understood my story, after considering my report all have decided that she has passport problems and that we should leave now (that is, without her).

So, yeah, basically my fellow Filipino compatriots, we can go to Georgia and get the visa on arrival at Tbilisi’s international airport or through the land borders of Gerogia with Armenia or Iran or Azerbajian and even Turkey. 

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35 thoughts on “Georgian Visa To Filipino Tourist (A Filipina Travels To Georgia)

  1. Hi! I would just like to check again if we can get the visa AT THE AIRPORT in Georgia with a Philippine passport.

    I have an upcoming training in Georgia in June and would like to make sure of my entry requirements.

    Thanks!

  2. there’s no problem, you can get a georgian visa at the airport and even on land borders between georgia and armenia. just be prepared to answer lots of questions about your purpose of coming (it helps if you speak a little bit of russian), show them your documents if need be to evidenced what you are claiming like, say, you are invited for a conference or whatever…. all in all, the whole transaction is straightforward, just be cool. don’t be annoyed if they let you stand and wait for an hour, be patient, smile and say thank you. :)

  3. commercial visa in russia last for how many day’s?? my friend is inviting me to work in russia using commercial visa. but i don’t know if that’s a safe thing to do. she said that the visa will last for 2yrs, is it true?? please help..

  4. Jelly bean,

    Your friend, whoever that person is… is stupid. Is she/he here in Moscow? What’s her/his name? What’s your nationality? Are u a Filipino? You should know that the visa law in Russia is very fickle and changes in a blink of an eye. First thing, you cannot work here on a commercial visa. You should have a working visa. The police are on every street corner waiting to check your passport, registration, and working permit. it doesn’t matter whether your white, yellow, brown or black everyone is checked if the police wants you…

    As of press time, a commercial visa can be issued for 30 to 90 days, then you have got to get out of Russia. Basically the rules with commercial visa holders are—

    1. you are actually “working” as a consultant of a foreign subsidiary co. operating in Moscow and you are here just to supervise the operation and has no motive to stay longer.

    2. you only have a maximum of 90 days.

    3. after the expiration of your 90 days, and yet, you still want to stay, your choices are (a) go back to your home country and get another commercial visa for 90 days (b) go to a country wherein you can get a commercial visa from the Russian embassy.

    Renewing a commercial visa in Moscow is NOT possible.

    So I suggest that you should talk to your friend again and ask what’s the real score. Don’t come here hastily, Moscow is a difficult place to live. Everything is expensive and people are surviving to live.

  5. @ manoboprincess, now, im really really confused, how come other’s are still in russia working for more than a year, with commercial visa?? if i’m not mistaken they work as a house keeping and many other part time jobs..
    i am a filipino working in dubai my contract here will end soon that’s why im so eager to get to another country. i’m of great relief when my friend told me that i can go with her to russia because her friend (currently in russia) will send us an invitation so that we can get commercial visa, plus my friend told me that i need to pay like 100,000 pesos for visa processing..
    please i need help.. i will also ask my friend again what type of visa do we really get.. thank you so much. god bless.

  6. jelly bean, don’t get confused. it’s simple, they come here on a commercial visa then convert it into a working visa by paying “somebody”. It’s what they used to do before when the law still issues a commercial visa for a year, but now the law has changed.

    Since January 2010 a commercial visa is only good up to 3 months then you have to get out of Russia and get another 3 month commercial visa from your home country or from another country if you want to come back.

    The Filipinos who are here have working visas, do not believe that they are working on a commercial paper (maybe they have before but already converted into a working visa by paying somebody), whether or not they are regularly employed by a family or doing freelance, the papers that they have are all working visas. I told you, it’s difficult to live here, you can’t just walk around Moscow without papers the police will get you.

    As I can see, they asked you to pay 100Thou. Clearly, this “friend” is just milking you for money. This is the problem of a lot of Filipinos now in Moscow. A lot were invited by someone to come promising work by giving money, others were asked to pay until 500thou. It’s ridiculous! Some of them are still jobless…

    If you really want to come, ask the following–

    1. what kind of invitation are they going to give you. a working invitation or a commercial invitation or a tourist invitation?

    2. if it’s a working invitation, then you get a working visa, no problem. if it’s a tourist invitation, a big problem. decline the offer. if it’s a commercial invitation, thus a commercial visa– inquire for how many days, tell them about the new law that I told you, if they don’t know it, they’re stupid and you are screwed.

    3. assuming that you have 90 days in your commercial visa, will they be able to convert it into a working visa by not paying an additional amount (that is on top of 100,000php) of say 2,500 USdollars? That’s the amount I know some Filipinos paid before when they converted their commercial into working… And I don’t think it’s even possible to convert now with the new law.

    To renew your working visa now ( assuming you have one already) will cost you 1,600Usd and that’s the cheapest ‘coz it all depends on the “person” whom you approached for help.

  7. manoboprincess, me and my friend will get commercial visa and then convert it to working visa.. they say, someone will take care of our papers. i’m not sure if we need to pay for that..?? well i certainly hope not!! thanks alot you’re helping me alot on this.. are there in russia? how come you know all
    this? i hope that in end everything’s gonna be fine. i’ll just keep my faith strong, and ask for the lord’s guidance. take care. salamat po.

  8. jelly bean, what you are about to do is very risky & expensive. believe me, an invitation for a commercial visa is NOT worth 100thou or 3,333 USd from the foreign office. Just be sure that with your 100thou they will be the one who’s going to give you an employer and NO additional 3,333 USd will be shell out to pay the visa conversion. As I told you before, the new law does NOT allow conversion anymore, so maybe this “friend” of yours has strings from the under world….

    this is my third year teaching Legal English for Russian lawyers here in Moscow, so I know a bit about their law. Plus, the Russian working visa has always been the top problem of every Filipino working here in Moscow… and we always talk about these issues for security reasons.

    I wish you good luck and once you get here be strong!

  9. Dear Pepot:

    Kmusta na??
    Kinsa man nang Jelly Bean, nga mag sigig panutana???. Unya ang pangutana murag “stupid” ra man kaayo, murag dili man cya maka sabot? Unsa may mental level ana niya? Mura man cyag lisud pasabton, unsa ba, madam? Taga-asa man na cya nga school? Naka human ba na cyag elementary? Murag talagang nahirapan cya maka intindi…. sus naku, mama, patawara ang kamang-mangan…. Mabuang ko Yotch, sa iyang ka bogo…..

    Anyway, I was so fascinated by your Travelogues…. linbgaw kaayo kog basa basa diri, seems like ur just around me, ga chikka chikka…..

    Ingat olwezzz, miss u and God bless u….

    LLOYD

  10. Hello Faith,

    You are heaven-sent! I stumbled upon your blog while researching for information on how to get a valid working visa to Russia. It is nice to know that there is a kababayan I could count on for some real information.

    I have been teaching conversational English to Russian students online for about 3 years now and I have been in Moscow winter of 2009. I was invited by my company to take a 2-week vacation and celebrate my 2009 New Year there. It was quite easy for me to get a tourist visa then. However, this time, I am invited by one of my students to become a private tutor for her kids – which means I would probably be staying in Moscow for about a year or longer, depending on the circumstances. Now, this family who is inviting me is planning to get me a commercial/business visa through their own PR company. She says (my future employer) that she would convert such business visa to a work visa as soon as I get to Moscow as she is aware that the business visa’s validity is only 3 months . I’d like to ask you about the validity of such visa and your advice as to how to go about this. She wants me to be in Moscow by middle of September. I would greatly appreciate your help on this. Spassiba. :)

  11. Weng,

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t recommend going to Moscow on a commercial visa if it means that you’ll be really “working” there. However in your case I would make an exception by saying that you can take that offer from your student now. The difference is (as compared to the case of Jellybeans, I hope you’ve read my discussion over this russian-commercial-working-visa) you have an actual Russian person backing you up. True, they can invite you via commercial visa through their own company and work for their family… Now as to the conversion part i.e. from commercial to working visa is another story… there are a lot of possibilities here, but take comfort of the fact that your Russian employer will help you out. And knowing the Russian-mega-rich-families (as I’m sure your student is) they would do anything, pay everything, bribe everyone just to let you stay. :). so, go! experience Moscow, you’l gonna love it! or hate it! depending on your perspective. :).

  12. Gee, Faith! Thanks a lot. It sure is refreshing to know your take on this matter. Well, it is really not easy to just fly out there and be not assured of what’s gonna happen and just put your trust on people who you really don’t know. I mean with the language barrier and all that. And as I have read too that the Filipino community in Moscow is just small, so it’s kinda like I’ll be on my own when I go there. Once again, thanks for this insight. I’m sure I’m gonna love Moscow despite everything. I’ve been there and never stopped dreaming of going back again. Seems that my 2-week vacation last year wasn’t enough, hehe. Anyway, if you are still in Moscow, I hope somehow we could meet. I’d say we’ve got probably something similar. Like you, I am also a law graduate, took the bar once with unfortunate results, deferred taking it again to I don’t know when. haha.

  13. Hey ManoboPrincess,

    I got interested in Georgia and Armenia esp when you mentioned they are the first Christian nations. Which of the two countries is worth travelling. Which is more safe and friendly between the two? I plan to visit them next year.
    Pls reply to flyberine@gmail.com too.

    Thanks you are indeed incredible!

  14. very helpful entry! i should have read this much earlier.
    i just came back from georgia — flew into Tbilisi airport and got the visa-on-arrival… and yeah, the airport authorities have this tendency to scrutinize the passport.

    interestingly enough, it was my during my departure from georgia that the passport control really scrutinized my passport… page after page… multiple times! i agree it’s prolly coz they haven’t heard of the philippines before!

  15. wanderer,

    where did you stay in Tbilisi? Honestly, I don’t like Georgia.
    the cab drivers are weirdos in the worst possible way,
    though, i love their food. :).

    faith

  16. i stayed in a guesthouse called formula-1.
    i didnt take their cabs while there… found the metro to be quite convenient. i did take their marshrutkas… while i didn’t find the drivers to be weirdos, their driving leaves much to be desired!

  17. georgia is a poor country. however if you are going to work in the oil fields or in the gas industry it’s fine. what kind of job are you looking at?

  18. My husband and I are planning to visit Georgia in December 2012. We are Filipinos living in Abu Dhabi. I would like to ask, since we are able to get a visa on arrival at Tbilisi, do they check like if your tickets are round-trip, you have hotel bookings, certificates of employment, bank statements? What are the questions the immigration usually ask at Tbilisi?

  19. Hello manoboprincess!

    Been doing a lot of research and still don’t know what I need as travel docs. I have same question with SugarPie. Can you please enlighten us with your expertise based on your experience on your way to have your passport stamped at the Georgian’s immigration office? You’ve stated that you need to have an inviting organisation or person as a one of the many requirements, did you have even though Georgia was just a side trip? What are the docs you provided if you don’t mind to share it to us.
    Thanks and hope to hear from you. I have moved my flight from Dec this year to June next year. Merci et au revoir!

  20. Sugarpie:

    hi dear..sa abu dhabi din kami and planning to visit tbilisi this coming nov 30 2012, if you guys are planning din na mag bakasyon dun baka pwde tau sabay mag travel para may mga makakasama din kaming pinoy kung ok lang sa inyo.

  21. i didn’t have any invitation from georgia since that was just a side trip from armenia, though i showed them my hostel reservation and travel plans. i cross the land border. generally, we don’t need a visa in this country, but u have to prove ur purpose in going and show that u can provide ur stay. so, to share to you the docs i brought with me (which i recommend u also bring just in case) were; 1. passport with blank pages 2. russian phrase book (basic yes or no questions, english is rare). 3. at least a thousand dollars extra just in case u will be asked how much money u have with u. 4. a lonely planet book georgia to show that u are serious traveler :) and when asked why u want to visit their country u can quote the book. 5. employment certificate (if u are employed), it shows that u are not there for job hunting or will go TNT, this is important for us as the filipino reputation is terrible abroad as job seekers even if illegal. 6. if not employed, any doc that shows ur source of funds. 7. hotel reservations. 8. valid ID’s (postal) 9. confidence. answer firmly and strong when spoken to or asked but not appear arrogant. speak fluent english in either american or british tone. :). or just neutral filipino tone (not heavy mispronunciation on sounds) as it will appear icky to their ears. only japanese ppl are tolerated to speak in broken english. it’s all about economics. :) goodluck!

  22. thanks pepotchkiy for that info u gave. since i feared to travel alone with no russian, armenian or georgian word i know to speak, i already contacted a travel agency for them to book me a tour package for a week to see the Caucasus. thanks so much. ill be looking forward for an Eurasian experience next year. =)

  23. Hi! ask ko lng ang real situation ng georgia today?
    May offer kc sa father ko to work in georgia. Been doing some research, parang may conflict sila sa russia. Just like to ask kung safe para sa mga filipinos to work there?

    Thank you! God bless!

  24. if ur father is going to work in the oil or gas industry, then its okay. question is anong work nya? Georgia is not a rich country. most people are poor. Georgia is pro-USA whereas the Russian govt. in the kremlin (Moscow) is not generally friendly with some american policies. plus. some Georgians working in Russia cause some troubles in the city, thus discrimination towards them exists. i say, the biggest challenge ur father will be facing in Georgia, is discrimination. (as it is a fact for most OFWs)

  25. Hello , manoboprincess
    I’m from India and have an Indian passport , I already booked an around ticket to Georgia 15 February to 10 March as Travel trip but Have no Visa . I don’t know anybody in Georgia .
    My question is Can I get Georgian Visa at Tibilisi International Airport ?? If ” yes” then what kind of document should I have ??
    Will It be tough to get one month Georgian Visa without knowing anybody in Georgia ??

    Please Advice me … Dear !!!
    Waiting for your Kindly Response .

  26. I googled ur case as an Indian citizen and it may seem that u need a visa to go to Georgia. I looked up wikipedia. I dunno if this is truly reliable but I were u, try to call the Georgian embassy for further clarification. Goodluck!

  27. Hi there! I am planning to go to Georgia this summer. Would you know if Filipinos can still get a tourist visa at the Tbilisi airport upon arrival? And can we get a multiple-entry visa? Because I’m planning to go around the Caucasus then fly back to Tbilisi from Sofia so I can catch my return flight to Manila from Tbilisi, in which case I think I would need to “re-enter” Georgia since it’s not a connecting flight. Also, how did you obtain a visa to Armenia? Thanks for your help!

  28. georgia, armenia & azerbaijan – visas can be obtain upon arrival in airports and its border crossings. did not get the multiple, so like my passport has 2 visas in each country for going in and coming out.

  29. georgia, armenia & azrbaijan – visas can be obtained upon arrival in airports and its border crossings. did not get the multiple, so my passport has 2 visas in each country, one for going in and in coming out. took the marshutka from yerevan to tbilisi, from tbilisi to baku, then back to tbilisi to yerevan.

  30. hello manobo princess., your blog had helped me a lot when i went to israel last year.,when israel immigration officers interviewed me at suvarnabhumi airport, i really remembered what you felt, and it’s true :). but i would say, it was rewarding when i got there, i love the place, the people and the food :), so when my bf sent me this link, i felt like, ohh wow! its her!, i know you could help me again. this time, me and my loves is planning to have vacation in georgia, probably july 26 to aug 4, this year. coz again, as a philippine passport holder citizen, this is one of the countries where i can travel w/out visa., i just wanna ask what Phil immigration would probably ask from me for this trip? and as i search through plane tickets, i stumble upon a common stop over on any airlines, that is either istanbul or doha, would i be needing a transit visa for these countries? thanks so much again for the help.

    Flor

  31. hi manobo princess, i just like to ask if visa upon arrival still applicable going to baku. I’m planning to go tblisi then baku. I’m filipino residing in oman. because i’ve read in some website that azerbaijan does not provide visa upon arrival anymore, unless you are from israel or turkey. Thank u in advance.

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