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With all the madness going on in the United States right now, with the loop of political controversies and economic upheaval, do you plan to settle elsewhere, even if only for a while? Maybe somewhere far from all the culture wars and where life is not so expensive? Well, we might know the place…and surprisingly, Americans don’t need a visa at all live there for up to a year.
Have you ever heard of Georgia, the country?
A hidden gem nestled in the Far East of Europe
Georgia is located in the Caucasus, an ambiguous territory marking the European and Asian borders, known for compiling the best of the two continents between which it is sandwiched – even then it has traditionally been considered part of the most Eastern Europe. Still sounds confusing? It is located precisely northeast Turkey and southern Russia.
It is also one of the most underrated destinations in the world. Although relatively obscure to Americans, Georgia is an incredibly ancient country, dating back more than 12,000 years. It has centuries and centuries of history, and there’s plenty to unpack here, although its exciting capital, Tbilisiis a good starting point.
The cityscape of Tbilisi is dominated by picturesque landscapes Eastern Orthodox Churchesthe monumental Sameba Cathedral, a hilltop fortress with views of a colorful old town and the winding river below, and countless museums where visitors – and long-term residents – can immerse themselves and experience Georgian/Caucasian culture.
Beyond Tbilisi, Georgia has a myriad of other attractions ready to be discovered, such as the ancient cave town of Vardziaakin to the most famous Turkish Cappadocia, to the picturesque Black Sea towns with beaches that have hardly seen a massive influx of tourists in recent years, to the natural wonders of Mtirala National Park, and many more.
Also, for history buffs, the city of Gori in eastern Georgia is the birthplace of Soviet leader Stalin. These are already reason enough to consider moving to fascinating Georgia, but this is where things get really interesting:
No pre-departure visa required for stays up to one year
The country allows Americans to stay for up to an entire year without applying for a visa in advance. This means you can easily pack all your stuff – which if you’re a digital nomad won’t be much at all – and move to Georgia with just your passport. No registration required, at Consulate appointments, no pre-issued permits. As simple as that.
For this reason, Georgia is one of the easiest countries to emigrate to. Unlike other European countries, which normally require a truckload of documents to grant residency permits to Americans, Georgia is quite lax on this. If you wish to come and make it your base, either temporarily or for a whole year, you are more than welcome.
On the other hand, the relaxation of immigration rules does not mean that Americans enjoy the freedom to enter and leave Georgia as they wish. It’s still a sovereign country, and certain rules must be followed. If they reside in Georgia for more than 183 days and are employed, for example, Americans are liable for tax.
Small business owners may only pay 1% in taxes
This includes those who work as contractors or for a US-based company while living in Georgia. Those who fail to comply risk a fine, and although the personal income tax rate is relatively high at 20%, it is still much lower than other more popular European nations such as Germany, at 37.7%, or Italy, where taxation can reach the staggering figure of 43%.
If you’re still not satisfied with contributing so much to the Georgian treasury, there’s an easy way around the high fees: for young entrepreneurs and freelancers from America and other countries, Georgia allows them to register for “small business status”. ‘, allowing them to pay 1% instead of 20%.
The only requirements? Have no revenue from consulting and gaming, and an annual turnover of less than 500,000 lari, or about $184,000. It’s not that hard to be a full-time traveler, is it? With all this money talk, you might be wondering: is georgia an expensive place to live?
How much does Georgia cost?
To sum up, no way. Georgia has long been a paradise for digital nomads looking to escape the exorbitant prices of mainland Europe, and according to Numbeo, a platform compiling data on the cost of living in multiple destinations, only one person should spend a average of $538 per month living in the country, rent not included (August 2022 figures).
This 42.42% more affordable life in Georgia than in France, for example. When considering staying longer than a year, or even making Georgia their full-time home, Americans have a number of options to consider, although they are advised to contact local authorities to inquire about visa extensions or permanent residence permits.
Things That Make Georgia Great
Here are more reasons why Georgia is a great place to move:
- He has publicly funded universal health care
- Georgian and Russian may be a majority’s preferred language, but English is widely spoken also, especially in large urban centers like Tbilisi and among young people
- World-class cuisineamong the best in the Caucasus
- The country’s main international airports, including Tbilisi and Kutaisi, have direct links to other destinations across Europe and Asiafacilitating travel for American expatriates
- Entrepreneurs with a “small business” registration pay only 1% in tax
- It has access to the sea, namely the Black Sea, which means there is a wide stretch of beach available for bathers during the hot summer months
- Georgia experiences hot summers, with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees to 32and cold but quite bearable winters (-1 to 7 degrees)
- Wine was invented here 6000 years ago! And trust us, there is certainly no shortage of famous Georgian wine or picturesque vineyards across the country.
I’m not sure about you, but we take the next flight like, right away. For more information on travel to Georgia, entry requirements, health insurance requirements, and long-stay visas, be sure to access this link.
Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2022
Georgia removes all entry requirements
6 reasons the country of Georgia is the next big digital nomad hotspot
10 Must-See Attractions in the Country of Georgia
Why European Travel Might Not Go As Planned This Fall
This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your upcoming trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice