Immigration and Border Management
IOM Georgia has been active in implementing Immigration and Border Management capacity building projects for the past 15 years. These projects have been funded predominantly by the United States Government and more recently by the European Union. The projects look to focus on the activities of the main institutions in Georgia that are charged with managing migration at the border – specifically the Ministry for Internal Affairs (the Patrol Police at recognized ports of entry and the Border Police at the Green and Blue borders), the Revenue Service who are responsible for Customs controls, the Public Service Development Agency (responsible for Identity Management) and also the State Security Agency who have an overarching responsibility for Countering Terrorism and other security-related challenges. A dialogue on visa liberalisation between Georgia and the EU was launched in June 2012. The Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation was handed over to the Government of Georgia on 25 February 2013 and detailed the requirements that have to be achieved by the Georgian side for establishing a visa-free travel regime between Georgia and the Schengen States of the EU. The Action Plan consisted of four blocks:
1. Document security, including biometrics;
2. Integrated border management, migration management, asylum;
3. Public order and security;
4. External relations and fundamental rights.
From 2014, IOM assisted these institutions in satisfying many of these Action Plan requirements under an EU-funded project entitled “More for More”. The project focused particularly on building capacity in the Document Security area and also in helping secure the land border between Georgia and Turkey in the South West of the country. In March 2017, Georgia won the right to visa-free travel to the Schengen Area (subject to certain requirements). IOM’s current EU-funded migration management project is entitled Sustaining Border Management and Migration Governance in Georgia (SBMMG) and the Immigration and Border Management component is designed to help the Georgian Government respond to the ongoing challenges in continuing to satisfy the European Union’s requirements following their regular reviews of the success of Visa Liberalisation and also to address the ongoing migration-related security challenges that Georgia faces. One of the main areas of focus for the project is to assist the Government with designing and procuring an Advance Passenger Information (API) system to ensure that law enforcement agencies will have the opportunity to pre-screen passenger arrivals and departures at airports; this process will increase security and improve resourcing capabilities while at the same time ensuring the streamlined and efficient processing of the vast majority of travelers seeking to enter and leave the territory.
To learn more about IOM's activities in the field of border management and promotion of safe migration or to receive online consultation regarding all migration-related questions visit www.informedmigration.ge