Living as an Expat in Georgia

1. What is the cost of living like for expats in Georgia?

The cost of living for expats in Georgia is relatively affordable compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a high quality of life at a lower cost. Rent prices can vary depending on the city and neighborhood, but overall, accommodation expenses are typically much cheaper than in most Western European countries or the United States. Grocery costs are reasonable, especially if you shop at local markets and cook at home. Dining out is also affordable, with many options for budget-friendly meals.

Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet services are generally inexpensive compared to Western standards. Transportation costs are also low, whether you choose to use public transportation or own a vehicle. Healthcare is another area where expats can save money, as medical services are affordable and of good quality in Georgia.

Overall, expats can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Georgia without breaking the bank. However, it’s important to note that costs can vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle choices, so it’s recommended to create a budget and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth transition to living as an expat in this beautiful country.

2. How easy is it to find accommodation as an expat in Georgia?

Finding accommodation as an expat in Georgia can vary depending on the city you are looking to live in. In larger cities such as Tbilisi, Batumi, or Kutaisi, there are ample options available ranging from apartments to houses. Generally, it is relatively easy to find accommodation in these urban areas as there is a growing real estate market catering to expats. Online platforms such as,, and Airbnb are popular choices for finding rental properties. Additionally, working with local real estate agents can greatly simplify the process and provide access to a wider range of options that may not be advertised online.

It is advisable to consider the following factors when looking for accommodation in Georgia:
1. Budget: Determine your budget in advance to narrow down your options and avoid overspending on rent.
2. Location: Consider the proximity to your workplace, amenities, and public transportation when choosing the location of your accommodation.
3. Lease Agreement: Understand the terms of the lease agreement, including rental costs, duration, and potential additional fees.
4. Utilities: Clarify which utilities are included in the rent and which ones you will need to pay separately.
5. Safety and Security: Prioritize safe neighborhoods with adequate security measures in place.

Overall, with careful research and planning, expats can find suitable accommodation in Georgia that meets their needs and preferences.

3. What are the visa requirements for expats living in Georgia?

1. For expats looking to live in Georgia, the visa requirements will depend on their nationality and the purpose of their stay. Generally, citizens of many countries, including the EU, US, Canada, Australia, and many others, are allowed to stay in Georgia visa-free for up to one year for tourism or business purposes.

2. For those who need a visa to stay longer or for other purposes, there are several visa options available. These include the Georgia Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Student Visa, and Work Visa, each with specific requirements and application processes.

3. Expats looking to live in Georgia long-term may consider applying for a residence permit, which allows them to stay in the country for extended periods. Requirements for a residence permit may include proof of financial means, health insurance, and a clean criminal record. It’s important for expats to carefully review the specific requirements for the visa or residence permit they are applying for and ensure they have all necessary documentation before submitting their application.

4. Is it easy to find employment as an expat in Georgia?

Finding employment as an expat in Georgia can vary depending on factors such as your field of expertise, language skills, and network. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Job Market: Georgia has a growing economy with sectors such as tourism, IT, agriculture, and hospitality offering potential opportunities for expats. However, competition can be fierce, especially in popular expat destinations like Tbilisi.

2. Language Skills: While English is widely spoken in larger cities like Tbilisi, having some knowledge of the local language, Georgian, can be advantageous in certain job sectors. It may also open up more opportunities outside of major urban areas.

3. Work Permits: Expats looking to work in Georgia will need to secure a work permit, which can sometimes be a lengthy process. It’s important to research the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining a work permit in your field.

4. Networking: Building a strong professional network in Georgia can be key to finding job opportunities as an expat. Attending industry events, networking with local professionals, and utilizing online platforms can help expand your job search.

In conclusion, while finding employment as an expat in Georgia may have its challenges, with the right skills, language proficiency, and networking efforts, it is possible to secure rewarding job opportunities in the country.

5. What is the healthcare system like for expats in Georgia?

The healthcare system for expats in Georgia is generally viewed as being of a good standard, particularly in the capital city of Tbilisi. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Public healthcare in Georgia is provided through the Social Service Agency and is available to all residents, including expats, free of charge. However, the quality of care and facilities can vary, with some hospitals and clinics lacking modern equipment and resources.

2. Many expats living in Georgia opt to use private healthcare services, which are more expensive but often provide higher quality care and shorter waiting times. There are several private hospitals and clinics in major cities like Tbilisi and Batumi that cater to expatriates and offer services in multiple languages.

3. It’s recommended that expats in Georgia invest in comprehensive health insurance to cover any medical expenses they may incur while living in the country. This can help ensure access to the best healthcare services available and provide peace of mind in the event of any health issues.

4. Overall, the healthcare system in Georgia is continuously improving, with ongoing investments in medical infrastructure and services. Expats should familiarize themselves with the local healthcare options and facilities in their area to ensure they receive the best possible care while living in Georgia.

In conclusion, while the healthcare system in Georgia may have some limitations, expats can access a range of public and private healthcare services to meet their needs. It’s essential to be proactive in maintaining good health and securing appropriate medical insurance to navigate the system effectively.

6. Are there any language barriers for expats living in Georgia?

Yes, expats living in Georgia may encounter some language barriers. Georgian is the official language in the country, and while English is increasingly spoken in urban areas, outside of the main cities, proficiency in English may be limited. Russian is also widely understood due to historical ties, so knowing some basic Russian phrases can be helpful. Learning the Georgian alphabet and some key phrases can go a long way in navigating daily life and building relationships with locals. Expats can also consider taking language classes or hiring a language tutor to improve their communication skills. Additionally, there are expat communities and language exchange groups that can provide support and resources for overcoming language barriers in Georgia.

7. How safe is Georgia for expats living there?

Georgia is considered to be a safe country for expats to live in. Here are some reasons why expats often feel safe in Georgia:

1. Low crime rate: Georgia has a relatively low crime rate compared to many other countries. Violent crimes are rare, and petty crimes such as theft are also relatively low.

2. Friendly locals: Georgians are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards foreigners. Expats often feel welcomed and safe in the community.

3. Stable political environment: Georgia has made significant progress in terms of political stability over the years. The government is actively working to improve the overall safety and security of the country.

4. Safety measures: The government has implemented various safety measures to ensure the security of both locals and expats living in Georgia. Police presence is noticeable in major cities, and there are dedicated tourist police to assist visitors.

5. Safe neighborhoods: Many expat-friendly neighborhoods in cities like Tbilisi are considered safe and secure for residents. These areas often have lower crime rates and offer a sense of community and safety.

Overall, expats generally feel safe in Georgia due to the country’s low crime rate, friendly locals, stable political environment, and effective safety measures in place. However, like any other country, it’s always important for expats to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and well-being while living in Georgia.

8. What is the climate like in Georgia and how does it impact expat life?

1. The climate in Georgia can vary significantly depending on the region. In general, the country experiences a diverse climate due to its topography, with the coastal areas having a subtropical climate while the inland regions have more of a continental climate. Summers are typically hot and humid, especially in the low-lying areas, with temperatures reaching well above 30 degrees Celsius. Winters can be cold, particularly in higher elevation areas, with temperatures dropping below freezing and snowfall occurring.

2. The climate in Georgia can impact expat life in several ways. Firstly, expats coming from colder climates may find the hot summers in Georgia challenging to adapt to, especially if they are not used to high temperatures. On the other hand, those coming from warmer climates may appreciate the mild winters in Georgia.

3. The climate can also affect daily activities and lifestyle choices for expats. For example, expats may need to adjust their wardrobe and home amenities to cope with the seasonal variations in temperature. In hot summers, staying hydrated and taking precautions against heat exhaustion becomes important, while in cold winters, ensuring proper heating and winter clothing is essential.

4. Additionally, the climate can impact outdoor recreation and leisure activities for expats living in Georgia. During the pleasant spring and autumn seasons, expats can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the country. However, extreme weather conditions in summer and winter may limit outdoor pursuits, leading expats to seek indoor entertainment options.

5. Overall, while the climate in Georgia can present some challenges for expats adjusting to the seasonal variations, it also offers a diverse range of experiences throughout the year. By understanding and embracing the different climatic conditions, expats can make the most of their time living in Georgia and enjoy all that the country has to offer.

9. How is the transportation system in Georgia for expats?

The transportation system in Georgia for expats is relatively efficient and reliable. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Public transportation: Georgia’s major cities such as Tbilisi and Batumi have well-developed public transportation systems including buses, minibusses (marshrutkas), and a metro system in Tbilisi. These options are usually inexpensive and cover most parts of the cities.

2. Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Georgia and are a convenient way to get around, especially for expats who prefer door-to-door service. It’s important to agree on a fare before getting in to avoid any misunderstandings.

3. Ride-sharing services: Popular ride-sharing apps like Bolt and Yandex are also available in Georgia, providing expats with another convenient option for getting around.

4. Travel between cities: For expats looking to travel between cities, there are also long-distance buses and trains available, offering affordable and comfortable journeys to various parts of the country.

Overall, expats in Georgia should have no trouble navigating the transportation system, whether for daily commutes within cities or for exploring the country.

10. What is the quality of education like for expat families in Georgia?

The quality of education for expat families in Georgia is generally quite good. Here are some key points to consider:

1. International Schools: Expat families in Georgia have access to several prestigious international schools that offer high-quality education following various curricula such as British, American, or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. These schools often have experienced teachers, modern facilities, and a diverse student body, providing an enriching educational experience for expat children.

2. Bilingual Education: Many schools in Georgia offer bilingual education programs, allowing expat children to learn both Georgian and English languages simultaneously. This can be advantageous for expat families looking to integrate into the local community while maintaining their native language proficiency.

3. Cultural Immersion: The Georgian education system emphasizes cultural education, history, and traditional values, which can provide a unique and enriching experience for expat children. Expat families have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich Georgian culture and heritage through the education system.

Overall, expat families in Georgia can expect a high standard of education with a mix of international and local influences, providing a well-rounded academic experience for their children.

11. Are there any cultural norms or etiquette that expats should be aware of in Georgia?

Yes, there are several cultural norms and etiquette that expats should be aware of when living in Georgia:

1. Hospitality: Georgians are known for their hospitality and welcoming nature. It is common for guests to be offered food and drinks when visiting someone’s home, and it is considered polite to accept the offerings graciously.

2. Respect for elders: Respect for elders is highly valued in Georgian culture. It is customary to greet older individuals first in social settings and to show deference to their opinions and decisions.

3. Dress code: Georgians tend to dress conservatively, especially in more rural areas. It is advisable for expats to dress modestly, particularly when visiting churches or other religious sites.

4. Toast traditions: Georgians have a rich tradition of toasting during meals, known as “supra. It is important to participate in toasts and maintain eye contact while clinking glasses with others at the table.

5. Language: While many Georgians speak English, especially in urban areas, learning a few basic phrases in Georgian can go a long way in building rapport with locals and showing respect for their culture.

6. Personal space: Georgians are known for their warmth and closeness in interpersonal interactions. It is common for people to stand closer together during conversations compared to some Western cultures.

7. Religious customs: Georgia is a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, and visitors should be respectful of religious practices and traditions. It is customary to dress modestly when visiting churches and to remove headwear before entering.

8. Punctuality: While Georgians are generally relaxed about timekeeping, it is still important to show respect for appointments and commitments. However, it is not uncommon for social gatherings to start later than the scheduled time.

By being aware of and respecting these cultural norms and etiquette, expats can navigate daily interactions more smoothly and integrate better into Georgian society.

12. How easy is it to make friends and socialize as an expat in Georgia?

Making friends and socializing as an expat in Georgia can be relatively easy due to the country’s welcoming culture and friendly people. Here are some factors that contribute to the ease of socializing in Georgia:

1. Hospitality: Georgians are known for their hospitality and warmth towards foreigners. As an expat, you are likely to be welcomed with open arms and invited to social gatherings, dinners, and other events.

2. Language: While language might be a barrier initially if you don’t speak Georgian, many Georgians, especially in urban areas like Tbilisi, speak English or Russian. Learning a few basic Georgian phrases can also go a long way in building relationships.

3. Expat Communities: Georgia has a growing expat community, especially in major cities like Tbilisi and Batumi. Joining expat groups or attending events specifically for expats can be a great way to meet like-minded individuals.

4. Social Activities: Georgians enjoy socializing over delicious food, wine, and traditional cultural events. Engaging in these activities can help you connect with locals and other expats.

5. Networking Opportunities: Georgia’s growing economy and business sector provide ample networking opportunities for expats looking to build professional relationships and social connections.

Overall, with a friendly and open-minded attitude, a willingness to embrace the local culture, and actively seeking out social opportunities, making friends and socializing as an expat in Georgia can be a rewarding experience.

13. What are the best areas for expats to live in Georgia?

Georgia offers several great areas for expats to live in, each with its unique charm and appeal:

1. Tbilisi: The capital city is a popular choice for expats due to its vibrant cultural scene, excellent healthcare facilities, and diverse dining options. The city also offers a range of international schools and a thriving expat community.

2. Batumi: Located on the Black Sea coast, Batumi is known for its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, and modern infrastructure. Expats looking for a relaxed coastal lifestyle often choose to reside in this picturesque city.

3. Kutaisi: As Georgia’s third-largest city, Kutaisi offers a more laid-back pace of life compared to Tbilisi. Expats seeking a quieter and more affordable option may find Kutaisi to be an attractive choice.

4. Signagi: Situated in the heart of Georgia’s wine region, Signagi is a small town known for its stunning views of the Caucasus Mountains and picturesque cobblestone streets. Expats looking for a tranquil and scenic setting often choose to settle in Signagi.

5. Bakuriani: For expats who enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking, Bakuriani is a popular mountain resort town in Georgia. The town offers a range of recreational opportunities and a peaceful setting away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Overall, the best area for expats to live in Georgia ultimately depends on their preferences in terms of lifestyle, climate, and community. Each of these areas offers its own unique benefits and attractions, making Georgia a diverse and welcoming destination for expats from around the world.

14. Are there any expat communities or groups in Georgia?

Yes, there are expat communities and groups in Georgia, particularly in cities like Tbilisi where you can find a diverse range of expatriates from various countries. These communities often provide a platform for networking, socializing, and support for expats adjusting to life in Georgia. Some expat groups organize regular meetups, cultural events, and activities to help newcomers integrate into the local community. Joining these communities can be beneficial for making new friends, sharing experiences, and gaining valuable insights into living as an expat in Georgia. Additionally, online platforms such as social media groups and forums also serve as hubs for expats to connect and exchange information. Overall, expat communities play a vital role in creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie among foreigners living in Georgia.

15. How is the food and dining scene for expats in Georgia?

The food and dining scene for expats in Georgia is vibrant and diverse, offering a unique culinary experience that reflects the country’s rich history and culture. Georgian cuisine is known for its flavorful and traditional dishes, such as khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and khinkali (dumplings), which are enjoyed by both locals and expats alike.

1. Restaurants in Georgia cater to a variety of tastes, ranging from traditional Georgian to international cuisines, making it easy for expats to find familiar dishes from their home countries.

2. Dining out in Georgia is relatively affordable compared to many Western countries, allowing expats to enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank.

3. Many expats appreciate the emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients in Georgian cuisine, which contributes to the overall quality of the food available in restaurants across the country.

4. Additionally, Georgian wines are renowned worldwide and are a highlight of the dining experience for many expats, with ample opportunities to sample different varietals while dining out.

Overall, expats in Georgia can look forward to a delightful culinary journey filled with unique flavors, warm hospitality, and plenty of opportunities to explore the country’s diverse food scene.

16. What are the best ways to meet other expats in Georgia?

1. Join expat social groups: One of the best ways to meet other expats in Georgia is by joining expat social groups and communities. These groups often organize events, gatherings, and outings where you can meet and connect with fellow expats who are also living in the country. Websites like Meetup and InterNations are great platforms to find expat groups in Georgia.

2. Attend expat events: Keep an eye out for expat events happening in your city or region. These could include cultural events, networking mixers, language exchange meetups, and more. By attending these events, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other expats who share your interests and experiences.

3. Utilize social media: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great tools for connecting with other expats in Georgia. Join expat groups on these platforms, follow expat influencers and bloggers, and engage with their content. You can also use social media to reach out to expats directly and arrange meetups or coffee dates.

4. Take language classes: Enrolling in language classes is another effective way to meet other expats in Georgia. Language schools often attract a diverse group of students from different countries, providing you with the opportunity to make new friends and connections in a structured setting.

5. Volunteer: Volunteering for local organizations or charities is not only a great way to give back to the community, but it can also help you meet other expats who share your passion for making a difference. Look for volunteer opportunities in your area and get involved in projects that interest you.

17. What leisure activities and attractions are available for expats in Georgia?

Expats living in Georgia have a wide range of leisure activities and attractions to enjoy in this vibrant country. Some of the popular options include:

1. Outdoor Adventures: Georgia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as hiking in the Caucasus Mountains, exploring national parks like Kazbegi and Borjomi, or enjoying water sports on the Black Sea coast.

2. Cultural Exploration: Immerse yourself in Georgia’s rich culture by visiting historical sites such as the ancient cave town of Vardzia, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta, or the modern architecture of Tbilisi.

3. Wine Tasting: Georgia is known as the birthplace of wine, so be sure to visit local wineries in Kakheti and taste unique varieties like Saperavi and Rkatsiteli.

4. Festivals and Events: Experience Georgia’s vibrant festival scene by attending events like Tbilisi Open Air, Tbilisi International Film Festival, or the colorful Tbilisoba celebration.

5. Shopping and Dining: Explore local markets like the Dry Bridge Flea Market in Tbilisi for unique souvenirs, and indulge in Georgian cuisine at traditional restaurants offering delicious dishes like khachapuri and khinkali.

Overall, expats in Georgia have ample opportunities to explore the country’s natural beauty, rich history, and diverse cultural offerings, making it an exciting destination for leisure activities and attractions.

18. How is the banking and financial system in Georgia for expats?

The banking and financial system in Georgia is generally considered to be well-developed and expat-friendly. Here are some key points to consider:

1. International banks: Georgia has a number of well-known international banks operating in the country, such as TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia, and Liberty Bank. These banks offer a wide range of financial services tailored to expats, including multi-currency accounts, online banking, and English-speaking customer support.

2. Ease of opening accounts: Expats will find it relatively easy to open a bank account in Georgia, with minimal documentation requirements compared to many other countries. In most cases, all that is needed is a valid passport and proof of address.

3. Online banking: The majority of banks in Georgia provide robust online banking platforms, allowing expats to easily manage their finances from anywhere in the world. This includes the ability to transfer funds, pay bills, and access account statements online.

4. Currency exchange: Given that Georgia is a country with a freely convertible currency (Georgian Lari), expats can easily exchange their home currency for GEL at banks or exchange offices throughout the country. It is advisable to shop around for the best exchange rates before making any currency conversions.

5. Fees and charges: While banking fees in Georgia are generally reasonable, it is important for expats to familiarize themselves with the fee structure of their chosen bank to avoid any unexpected charges. Some banks may offer special account packages for expats that include perks such as free international transfers or reduced fees.

Overall, expats should find the banking and financial system in Georgia to be efficient, reliable, and convenient for managing their financial affairs while living in the country.

19. Are there any specific challenges that expats may face when living in Georgia?

Living as an expat in Georgia can be a truly enriching experience, but there are indeed certain challenges that individuals may encounter during their stay in the country. Some of the specific challenges expats might face include:

1. Language barrier: Georgian is the official language of the country, and while many younger Georgians speak English, proficiency levels can vary. Learning basic Georgian phrases can greatly help in day-to-day interactions.

2. Cultural differences: Expats may find that Georgian cultural norms and traditions differ significantly from what they are used to in their home country. It is essential to familiarize oneself with local customs to avoid misunderstandings.

3. Administrative hurdles: Dealing with bureaucracy and paperwork can sometimes be challenging in Georgia. Expats may encounter delays or confusion when navigating visa requirements, permits, or other administrative processes.

4. Access to healthcare: While Georgia has made progress in its healthcare system, expats may find that medical facilities, especially outside major cities, do not meet the standards they are accustomed to. It is advisable to secure comprehensive health insurance.

5. Integration difficulties: Building a social network and feeling integrated into the local community can take time, particularly for expats who do not speak Georgian fluently. Joining expat groups or community activities can help in this regard.

Overall, while these challenges exist, they are not insurmountable, and many expats find the experience of living in Georgia to be rewarding despite these initial obstacles.

20. What advice do you have for expats considering moving to Georgia?

If you are considering moving to Georgia as an expat, here are some key pieces of advice to keep in mind:

1. Research the Country: It is important to thoroughly research Georgia, including its culture, customs, language, and overall way of life. Understanding the country’s norms and values will help you integrate more easily into the community.

2. Visa and Legal Requirements: Make sure you are aware of the visa and legal requirements for living in Georgia. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, different rules and regulations may apply. It is advisable to consult with the relevant authorities or seek legal advice to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork in order.

3. Language Skills: While it is possible to get by with English in major cities like Tbilisi, knowing at least some basic Georgian phrases can greatly enhance your experience and help you connect with locals on a deeper level. Consider taking language lessons before you move or once you arrive in the country.

4. Cost of Living: Georgia is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to many Western countries, but prices can vary depending on your location and lifestyle. Take the time to create a budget and understand the average expenses for housing, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and leisure activities.

5. Healthcare and Insurance: Familiarize yourself with the healthcare system in Georgia and ensure you have appropriate health insurance coverage during your stay. While the quality of healthcare facilities can vary, it is recommended to have comprehensive insurance to cover any unexpected medical issues.

6. Network and Connect: Building a strong network of expats and locals can help you navigate the challenges of living in a new country. Attend social events, join expat groups, and engage in activities that interest you to meet like-minded individuals and form lasting connections.

7. Embrace the Culture: One of the most rewarding aspects of living as an expat in Georgia is immersing yourself in the local culture and traditions. Be open-minded, respectful, and willing to learn from your experiences to truly make the most of your time in this unique country.

Overall, moving to Georgia as an expat can be a fulfilling and enriching experience if approached with careful planning, an open mind, and a willingness to embrace the opportunities that come your way.