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Frequently Asked Questions for Expats Moving in Tbilisi

These Frequently Asked Questions address all the key questions that expats frequently post in Facebook groups, particularly those that relate to moving to Tbilisi. Get the answers beforehand so you are aware of what to anticipate.

What is the cost of living in Tbilisi and Batumi?

The cost of living in Tbilisi and Batumi is relatively affordable compared to many other European cities. Expenses such as accommodation, transportation, and groceries are generally lower. However, prices can vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences.

What is the process for obtaining a visa and residency in Georgia?

The visa and residency process in Georgia can vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay. There are different visa categories, including tourist, business, and long-term visas. For detailed information, it’s best to check with the nearest Georgian embassy or consulate or visit the official website of the Public Service Development Agency of Georgia.

How safe is it to live in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi are generally safe cities to live in. Like any other urban areas, it’s advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye on your belongings. Overall, the crime rates in Tbilisi and Batumi are relatively low, but it’s always a good idea to stay informed about any specific safety concerns.

Are there job opportunities for expats in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi offer some job opportunities for expats, especially in sectors such as tourism, hospitality, education, IT, and international organizations. It’s important to note that proficiency in the Georgian language is often beneficial for job prospects, although there are also positions available for English speakers.

What is the healthcare system like in Georgia?

Georgia has a mixed healthcare system with both public and private healthcare providers. In major cities like Tbilisi and Batumi, you can find well-equipped private hospitals and clinics that provide a range of medical services. It’s advisable to have health insurance to cover any medical expenses.

What are the options for transportation in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi have a variety of transportation options, including buses, minibusses (marshrutkas), taxis, and metro (only available in Tbilisi). Public transportation is generally affordable and well-connected within the cities. Taxis are also readily available, and ride-hailing apps are popular for convenient transportation.

Are there international schools available for expat children?

Yes, both Tbilisi and Batumi have international schools that cater to expat children. These schools offer education in English or other foreign languages and follow international curricula. It’s recommended to research and contact specific schools for admission procedures and availability.

How easy is it to find accommodation in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Finding accommodation in Tbilisi and Batumi can be relatively easy, as there are various options available, including apartments, houses, and shared accommodations. Online real estate platforms and local real estate agents can assist you in finding suitable housing based on your preferences and budget.

What is the weather like in Tbilisi and Batumi throughout the year?

Tbilisi has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The average summer temperatures range from 20-35°C (68-95°F), while winters can see temperatures dropping to 0°C (32°F) and occasionally below. Batumi has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers.

Are there any cultural or social norms I should be aware of in Georgia?

Georgian culture values hospitality, respect for elders, and strong family ties. It’s customary to greet others with a handshake, maintain eye contact, and remove your shoes when entering someone’s home. Georgians appreciate when visitors show an interest in their traditions and customs.

Is it necessary to learn the Georgian language to live in Tbilisi and Batumi?

While it’s not necessary to learn Georgian, knowing the basics of the language can greatly enhance your experience and facilitate day-to-day interactions. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants, but knowledge of Georgian can be helpful for navigating daily life.

How developed is the infrastructure in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi have relatively well-developed infrastructure, including modern road networks, public transportation systems, and utilities such as electricity, water, and internet services. However, it’s important to note that infrastructure quality may vary in certain areas.

What are the popular neighborhoods for expats in Tbilisi and Batumi?

In Tbilisi, some popular neighborhoods among expats include Vake, Saburtalo, and Sololaki, which offer a mix of residential and commercial areas. In Batumi, areas like New Boulevard, Old Batumi, and Green Cape are often preferred by expats due to their proximity to the sea and amenities.

Are there any expat communities or social groups in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Yes, Tbilisi and Batumi have active expat communities and social groups. These communities often organize events, language exchanges, and social gatherings to help expats connect and share experiences. Online platforms and social media groups can be useful for finding and joining these communities.

Can I open a bank account as an expat in Georgia?

Yes, expats can open bank accounts in Georgia. You will need to provide the necessary identification documents, proof of residency, and other required information. It’s advisable to inquire with different banks to compare services and account options available to expatriates.

What are the options for recreational activities in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi offer a wide range of recreational activities. In Tbilisi, you can visit historical sites, museums, parks, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife. Batumi boasts beautiful beaches, a seaside promenade, botanical gardens, and a lively entertainment scene with casinos and restaurants.

How easy is it to travel within Georgia and to neighboring countries from Tbilisi and Batumi?

Traveling within Georgia is relatively easy, with a well-connected transportation network. You can access different regions of Georgia by bus, train, or domestic flights. Tbilisi and Batumi also have international airports, providing convenient access to neighboring countries and beyond.

Are there any specific permits or licenses required for certain activities in Georgia?

Certain activities in Georgia may require specific permits or licenses, depending on the nature of the activity. Examples include work permits for employment, licenses for operating certain businesses, and permits for certain types of construction or land development. It’s advisable to consult relevant authorities or legal professionals for specific requirements.

What is the process for buying or renting property in Tbilisi and Batumi as an expat?

The process for buying or renting property in Tbilisi and Batumi involves signing a contract, providing necessary documentation, and completing legal procedures. It’s recommended to engage a local real estate agency or legal advisor to guide you through the process and ensure compliance with local laws.

How is the internet and telecommunications infrastructure in Tbilisi and Batumi?

Tbilisi and Batumi have a well-developed internet and telecommunications infrastructure. High-speed internet services are widely available, and major mobile network providers offer reliable coverage and a range of service plans. You can choose from various internet and mobile service providers based on your needs and preferences.

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