On February 25, Georgian online media outlet Versia published an article headlined “Georgians moving to Germany for work will be paid wages and withheld income taxes in Georgia.” Speaking in the interview with the media outlet, Spain-based Levan Simonishvili, head of Georgian Emigrants Association, claimed that food and accommodation expenses of Georgian seasonal workers will be covered from their wages, while the remaining amount will be transferred to Georgia, where it will be registered by the Finance Ministry and taxed, whereas income taxes will be withheld. The interview with Simonishvili was later published by emigrantebi.ge and digest.pia.ge. The article was shared to Facebook pages Gogaggg and Europe, as well as Facebook group “მოგზაურთა კლუბი” (Travelers Club).
Government agencies have denied information that Georgian seasonal workers will be taxed by the Georgian Finance Ministry and their taxes will be withheld in Georgia.
In the interview with Interpressnews news agency, Giorgi Bunturi, head of the Labor Migration Department of the Ministry of Health, said that Georgian seasonal workers will receive a wage at EUR 9.50 per hour, including a 5% tax per month imposed by the German government. “The Georgian side will not impose any additional tax,” he added.
Nino Veltauri, director of the State Agency for Employment Promotion, clarified in the interview with AccentNews that no double taxation will take place.
The same information was confirmed to Myth Detector at the State Agency for Employment Promotion.
Registration of eligible applicants started on the portal https://workabroad.moh.gov.ge/ from February 15. Over 95,000 citizens have already registered. Giorgi Bunturi also said in the interview with Interpressnews that number of seasonal workers will depend on the number of vacancies provided by German employers. He also noted that Georgian citizens will leave for Germany as soon as seasonal harvest works start, presumably, from the first half of April.
Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria: be a Georgian citizen aged 18 to 60 years, be physically fit, have experience in harvesting, have communication skills in English or German, have no previous conviction. Due to temporary restrictions imposed on visa-free travel to Schengen area, an eligible applicant must have no travel history to the Schengen area for three months prior to entering Germany. In addition, due to the coronavirus-related restrictions, applicants must undergo PCR testing for COVID-19 at their own expense. Employers may have additional criteria. A candidate selected on the basis of these criteria will undergo an interview and receive detailed information about working conditions. In case of a candidate’s consent, the application will be sent to a German employer.