Getting a Russian passport just got easier - here’s how

Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Putin has signed a new law facilitating a quicker naturalization process of foreigners in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill that eases existing requirements for those who seek to acquire Russian citizenship.

Starting from July 22, foreign nationals who apply for Russian citizenship will not need to prove to Russian authorities that they began the process of citizenship termination in their home country.

Although nationals of some states might still be required, by their home country’s legislation, to renounce their citizenship when applying for a new one, this requirement will be waived by the Russian side and leave the matter to the applicant’s discretion.

Roy Jones Jr. was one of the many foreign nationals who received a Russian passport in 2015.

Before this law was passed, foreign nationals had to submit a specific document that proved they began a procedure of citizenship renunciation in their home state.

Most of the applicants for Russian citizenship were required to live in Russia on legal grounds for five years before they could apply for Russian citizenship and had to prove they had legal income in the years preceding the application. However, the new law now exempts certain categories of individuals from these requirements.

In particular, these requirements are waived for:

  • citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine;
  • those foreigners who have at least one parent who lives in Russia and has Russian citizenship;
  • stateless persons over 18 years of age who were born on the territory that comprised the former Soviet Union. 

Probably the most crucial change concerns foreign nationals who have a Russian spouse. Before the new law was adopted, they had to be married to a Russian citizen for at least three years before they could apply for Russian citizenship. However, as the new law comes into effect, those foreigners will be allowed to apply for citizenship after only one year of marriage to a Russian citizen.

Earlier, President Putin signed a law that extended the validity of all visas and migration cards up until June 15, 2020.

Earlier, President Putin signed a law that extended the validity of all visas and migration cards up until June 15, 2020, for foreigners who could not leave Russia in time, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Click here to find out how you can get Russian citizenship.

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