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Georgia Denies Thousands of Iranians Entry Visas

Georgia -- Shota Rustaveli International Airport, Tbilisi, 19Mar2017

The Interior Ministry of Georgia says it has denied 6,400 foreigners, half of them Iranians, entry visa in the first quarter of 2019.

Based on the ministry's report, 3000 Iranians were denied entry visa from January to April.

In the past, regional countries welcomed Iranian tourists, who prefer cheaper holidays in countries with no restrictions, such as a dress code or ban on alcohol, which they experience in their own country.

But deteriorating economic conditions in Iran lead to migration attempts using countries with no visa requirement or easier rules.

Faulty documents, as well as unsatisfactory reasons given as the purpose of travel to Georgia, were the main reason behind the rejection of entry visa applications, the ministry announced.

Meanwhile, the latest statistics show that 2,895 Iranian citizens succeeded in obtaining work permits and staying in Georgia between 2012 and 2016.

Iranian citizens rank fourth, after Turkey, China, and India in acquiring work permits from Georgia.

Latest surveys show that Iranian citizens mainly travel to Georgia as tourists, and they can stay there for 45 days. To extend the tourist visa, foreigners should leave Georgia and re-apply for returning to the country.

Georgian Statistics Center report says that more than 290,000 Iranians visited the country last year as tourists, which accounts for 4% of foreigners traveling to the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

According to Passport Index, the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran's passport with 42 points ranks close to the bottom in global rating, slightly ahead of Yemen, Somalia.

Iranians can only visit twelve countries visa-free and need a visa for traveling to 156 countries.

The United Arab Emirates with 169 points has currently the most powerful passport in the world, followed by Luxemburg, Finland, Germany and Spain, all in second place with 167 points.