Georgia is one of the most digital nomad-friendly countries I’ve visited. Did you know that as a digital nomad, you can visit Georgia for one year completely visa-free, for up to 95 different countries around the world? You can also open a bank account in the country of Georgia quite easily as a non-resident.
In this guide, I will show you how you can set up a bank account as a non-resident in Georgia. I have personally done this myself when I visited Georgia, and I wasn’t sure which bank was best, the process, and how long it would take.
Let’s discuss why you would want to open a bank account in Georgia as a non-resident.
As a global citizen or digital nomad, it’s good practice to ensure you have different bank accounts and financial institutions working for you around the world.
You never want to rely on one country’s banking system, and therefore I like to be diversified in opening bank accounts across the globe.
Right now, I have bank accounts in over five different countries. This is not to say that I use all these different bank accounts often, but I like the peace of mind of not having to rely on one country’s financial system.
This was a big reason why I wanted to open a bank account in Georgia. If you are living in Georgia or planning to visit Georgia somewhat frequently, then this may be a good option for you.
Georgia is also a great place to get residency for tax purposes. So if you don’t have a business, getting a personal bank account may also be a good idea as a foreigner.
Next, let’s talk about who can open a bank account. Any person who is a foreigner or a non-tax resident of Georgia is able to open a bank account with one of the many different banking institutions in Georgia.
Any of the banks will allow foreigners to open an account, so don’t think you’re only limited to one or two of the biggest banks in Georgia. I’ll touch on the best banks to open a bank account with later in this article.
You can also open a bank account remotely. If have a lawyer in Georgia and give them Power of Attorney, they will be able to open a bank account for you at a fee.
If you aren’t in a rush to have your account open, you can travel to Georgia and open an account for free.
Which are the best banks to open a bank account as a non-resident in the country of Georgia?
I ventured to many of the different banks during my visit to Georgia and asked each for information on the different plans and tiers.
After much research, I highly recommend everybody open a bank account with the Bank of Georgia. Bank of Georgia is one of the biggest banks in the country.
Walking into the Bank of Georgia to open my account, I realized the bank was quite busy, with over 50% of the people in the bank being foreigners.
The only document you need to open an account is your passport, along with your address (Airbnb or hotel address will suffice), and a Georgian phone number. And that’s it! It took about 20 minutes to open the account.
Each bank does have different plans and tiers. However, the Bank of Georgia has a very simple pricing structure, which is 1.5 Gel, the local currency per month.
Bank of Georgia also has an app, and they will help you download the app in-store while you are setting up your account.
They will give you the login information for the app, and from there you will be able to log into the app to do banking anytime online. You can pay the 1.5 Gel fee directly via the app as well.
One nice perk of the bank accounts in Georgia is that they hold multiple currencies. The Bank of Georgia account will hold Gel which is the local currency, US dollars, and British pounds.
The bank account holds these three different currencies and you can easily send or receive money from any of these currencies into your bank account via the app. This is a convenient and easy-to-use feature of bank accounts in Georgia.
The bank staff was quite helpful, and we’re very used to dealing with foreigners and to speaking English. They knew the exact process of what information they would need in order to open my bank account.
Bank of Georgia is my first recommendation if you are looking to open a bank account in Georgia.
The second recommendation I have, although this choice is not my first choice, is TBC.
TBC is the second-largest bank in Georgia. I would highly recommend if you are looking for a backup bank account in Georgia, TBC would be a good option for you.
The process of setting up the account was very similar to Bank of Georgia, where all I needed was my passport, address, and phone number (and if you are American, you need a W8 form).
I did run into complications with the plans and pricing tiers at TBC. When I went to open my bank account, I wasn’t given an option for which bank plan I wanted. I was told I would have the 10 euro per month plan.
After going back into the bank at a later date with my partner, he got a plan that was 2 euros per month. I asked to switch, and my account was almost accidentally closed.
I was then told I couldn’t downgrade my plan for one year, so I was stuck with the highest-tier plan for no reason.
I haven’t paid the fees and I have no money in that account, so I guess we will see what happened with that account whenever I go back to Georgia!
One other important note if you are opening a TBC account: don’t lose your Georgia phone number!
If you are not planning on keeping your Georgian phone number, I highly recommend only opening a Bank of Georgia account, as with the Bank of Georgia you are able to log in via the app using either your email or your phone number.
As I got rid of my Georgia SIM card when I left the country, and since TBC doesn’t have an email login option, I can’t access my TBC bank account (my face ID did work for a while until it asked for my password again.)
While there are other banking options in Georgia, these two banks are the most popular banks for foreigners and the two that most lawyers will recommend if you are going to Georgia for the purpose of setting up a bank account.
I try to not keep too much money in these accounts as I don’t want to get caught in their tax system in the future. However, these accounts are great if I need to transfer money into different currencies in a pinch.
Comment below if this guide was helpful, and any questions if you will be opening a bank account in Georgia in the future!
If you want to learn more about becoming a digital nomad, creating a business you are passionate about, global taxes, and entrepreneurship, check out the links below:
©2024. Work, Wealth and Travel.