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New rules for acquisition and termination of Russian citizenship in 2022

The Russian President Putin introduced a draft law to the Russian State Duma, according to which, it is proposed to change the rules of acquisition and termination of Russian citizenship in 2022 and to expand the powers of the head of state to determine the categories of persons entitled to a simplified procedure for acquiring Russian citizenship.

The draft law provides for the reduction of the requirements to more than 20 categories of persons when acquiring Russian citizenship and recognizing them as Russian citizens.

First of all, we are talking about persons who are our compatriots, citizens of the former Soviet Union, their children, participants of the state program to assist the voluntary resettlement of compatriots living abroad.

Persons who have close relatives residing in Russia - the citizens of the Russian Federation - are also included in the number of persons entitled to a simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship.

Persons having relatives in the direct ascending line who permanently resided in the territory which belonged to the Russian Empire or the USSR (within the state border of the Russian Federation) shall also have the right to a simplified acquisition of citizenship of the Russian Federation without passing the procedure of recognition as Russian language speakers.

According to the draft law, the following may also be recognized as Russian citizens: persons born on the territory of the Russian Federation (territory of the RSFSR) before February 6, 1992; persons, whose at least one parent was a citizen of the former USSR and permanently resided in the Russian Federation (territory of the RSFSR) as of the date of birth of such persons; the military personnel who have sworn allegiance to the USSR or the Russian Federation and served in military units under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and located on the territory of other states as of February 6, 1992. According to the draft law, the presence of foreign citizenship of these persons is not a basis for refusal to recognize them as citizens of the Russian Federation.

Powers of the President Putin

The law to be adopted expands the powers of the President in determining the categories of persons who have the right to simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship. The President of Russia may define categories of such persons not only for humanitarian purposes but for any other purposes as well. In particular, they may include citizens of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan, specified in the current law "On Citizenship of the Russian Federation", as well as other persons.

It is proposed that the president will be responsible only for granting Russian citizenship on an exceptional basis and that this should be extended to veterans of the Great Patriotic War who were citizens of the former Soviet Union, to persons who have rendered special services to the Russian Federation, and to persons who, because of their profession or qualifications or for other reasons, are of interest to the Russian Federation.

With respect to other categories of persons, the right to make decisions on Russian citizenship is vested in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Citizenship opportunities for investors

The categories of persons who have the right to simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship do not include investors and qualified specialists.

The relevant provisions of the law "On Citizenship of the Russian Federation" were not in demand in practice, says the explanatory note. In addition, the concept of the draft law does not imply granting Russian citizenship on the basis of formal criteria that do not take into account the presence of a real connection between the person seeking to acquire Russian citizenship and the Russian Federation.  For investors in the amendments to the "Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation" in 2022, will provide a simplified permanent residence permit for investors. 

Citizenship through Marriage

In order to avoid the practice of fictitious marriages between foreign nationals and Russian citizens to acquire Russian citizenship, simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship is provided only for cases of the presence of a common child in the marriage.

Termination of citizenship (earlier cancellation)

Instead of canceling decisions on admission to Russian citizenship, the institution of termination of citizenship is being introduced.

In accordance with the draft law, the President of the Russian Federation takes decisions to terminate the citizenship of the Russian Federation of children who are under the care of foreign citizens or adopted by them, regardless of where such children live, in order to ensure the protection of their rights and interests.

All persons whose Russian citizenship was terminated at the initiative of their parents (adoptive parents) have the right to simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship within five years after reaching the age of 18.

Termination of Russian citizenship on all other grounds (committing a crime, using false documents, and reporting false information) is subject to mandatory approval by the President of the Russian Federation.

The draft law establishes a ten-year period after which it will not be possible to decide to terminate Russian citizenship due to violations committed in the process of admission to Russian citizenship.

List of crimes for cancellation of citizenship Russia

The draft law expands the list of crimes that lead to the termination of citizenship of the Russian Federation. Along with crimes of terrorist orientation, the list includes some serious crimes against the state, as well as crimes in the trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. In case of termination of Russian citizenship due to committing such crimes, the established 10-year term will not be applied.

Passport validity period

The draft law determines the passport validity terms, the grounds for its invalidation, cases and conditions of its withdrawal, the possibility of registration of the passport as a document with the electronic medium is provided.

Dual or multiple citizenships

Russian citizens with dual or multiple citizenship shall be considered only as citizens of the Russian Federation regardless of their place of residence.

According to the draft law, acquisition of citizenship (nationality) of a foreign state by a citizen of the Russian Federation shall not result in termination of Russian citizenship.

Dual or multiple citizenships of the citizens of the Russian Federation may not constitute grounds for their expulsion from the Russian Federation or extradition to a foreign state, including the state of citizenship (nationality) of the Russian citizen, the document says.

Obtaining citizenship through education

The right to citizenship of the Russian Federation under a simplified procedure without the "residency requirement" and examinations in the Russian language and the basics of Russian legislation, will also be granted to foreigners who graduated with honors from Russian universities and permanently reside in Russia. For other graduates of universities and colleges of the Russian Federation (without a diploma with honors), an additional requirement is proposed, a work experience in Russia of more than one year.

Procedure for obtaining and other norms

When applying for citizenship of the Russian Federation, foreigners and stateless persons would be obliged to undergo the procedure of state fingerprint registration.

The draft law separately specifies the procedure for foreign citizens and stateless persons who already have a Russian passport but who "have not acquired Russian citizenship "in the prescribed manner" (this includes submitting an application, taking dactyloscopy, and taking the oath). Such acquisition of citizenship takes place according to a simplified procedure (without passing exams and "residency requirements") upon application after verification by the internal affairs bodies. At the same time, children of such a person, including adult children, can be accepted to citizenship, according to the draft law.

The draft law provides for issuing to a person under the age of 14 a document confirming the citizenship of the Russian Federation.

The norms proposed in the draft law, as well as the law itself, will come into force 180 days after the date of its official publication, as you can imagine since the draft law is submitted by the President, it will certainly be adopted. 

If you have any questions write us, I will try to give expert advice! 

This Law on Citizenship, after its adoption in 2022, will be a new law on citizenship to replace the existing Federal Law 62 dated May 31, 2002. 

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