Repatriation is the process in which a person, who under the certain circumstances happened to live in the foreign country, returns to his/her country of citizenship, permanent residence or origin. On 11 July 2007, under the obligations assumed by Georgia in 1999, on its entry to the Council of Europe, the State adopted a law “on Repatriation of Persons forcefully sent into exile from the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia by the Former USSR in the 40’s of the 20th Century”. The Law offers a formal ground for the return of so-called forced migrants deported from Georgia in 1944 and their descendants. On 31 July, 1944 the State Defense Committee of the USSR issued a resolution No.6279 based on which the Soviet regime deported “suspect nationalities” from the “Border Belt of Georgian SSR.” At night on November 15, 1944 the Soviet authorities in a whole range of regions in southern Georgia carried out a strictly confidential and large-scale operation: several hundred villages of Meskheti were emptied of their populations in one night. Some 80 thousand people were loaded into freight trains bound for Central Asia. About 17 thousand deportees died on the way. In April 1956, however, deportees were released from the places of exile, but, without the right to confiscated property or the right to return to places of their previous residence. The repatriation system established by 2007 law of Georgia is based on the restoration of historical fairness and on worthy and voluntary return principles, and envisages step-by-step repatriation. According to the procedure established by the Law, a person seeking the status of a repatriate should have filled the application and submitted all necessary documents to the Department of Migration, Repatriation and Refugee Issues of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia.
The applications review process began on 1 January 2010, which was the closing date for submitting application forms.