Russia Relaxes its Dual Passport Rules for Foreigners

After mulling over its citizenship law for quite some time, Russian lawmakers are going to sign a legislature regarding revised citizenship rules in the upper house of their Federation Council, by this month. The draft legislature is aimed to relax restrictions on Dual citizenship and passport to make Russian citizenship an attractive option for foreigners to migrate. 

Under the current Russian Law of Citizenship, a foreign candidate must first renounce his/her other nationality to be able to qualify for the Russian Citizenship. The Russian Daily, Kommersant reported the inclusion of dual Citizenship as a “revolutionary Bill”, which was first tabled in October 2019. The Kommersant notified that the legislature will need three votes in the Federation Council, before getting signed by President Vladimir Putin. Once the Bill is signed by the president, it will be implemented this year!

According to the draft, foreign residents will be exempted from residing in the country for a continuous period of 5 years for the naturalization, the lawmaker Leonid Kalashnikov said. The law is also designed to abolish the necessity to show proof of a legitimate source of income for the citizenship applicant. With these major changes and revisions, the drafters of the legislature expect about 5-10 million new citizens will be attracted to the implementation of the Bill.

According to the Russian Interior Ministry’s data, about 220,000 people became Russian citizens between January and August 2019, a 22% increase from the same period in 2018. In 2019, last year, President Putin also expanded the list of candidates eligible for fast-track passports by adding the residents of Ukraine, Belarus and other countries which he referred to as “near abroad”. Putin ordered to simplify the procedure for enabling a larger number of qualifying candidates to apply for Russian citizenship especially from the Russian speaking population from the post-Soviet states.

The drafters also claimed that the legislature will also help stem the problem of depopulation which has been steadily increasing from 2018 and 2019, as deaths outnumbered births in Russia, about which Putin has repeatedly voiced his concern, revealed Kommersant Daily in its report.

President Putin’s migration Policy for 2019-2025 stresses a great deal on simple and clear conditions to be laid out for candidates who intend to acquire citizenship in Russia and of course welcome a huge influx of migrants. Inspired by the highly awaited revision of the Russian Citizenship offer, separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine has come up with a fast-track passport and citizenship program.

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