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24 Apr, 2020 13:18

Putin signs law allowing foreigners to become Russian WITHOUT giving up existing citizenship

Putin signs law allowing foreigners to become Russian WITHOUT giving up existing citizenship

Want to become Russian, but don’t want to give up your current citizenship? Now, it’s possible. Just weeks after being introduced to parliament, a new law simplifying the naturalization process has been signed by the president.

On Friday, President Vladimir Putin put pen to paper to revolutionize the country’s citizenship law. From July onwards, foreigners living in Russia will be able to become citizens of the country without giving up their existing passport.

Although rumors of change have been floating around for months, the law was rapidly adopted in April, with the legislation being introduced, voted on, and signed within the space of just 17 days.

In February, daily newspaper Kommersant reported that the procedure for accepting foreigners for citizenship of the Russian Federation will be significantly simplified, with the aim of attracting up to 10 million new citizens.

Before its introduction to parliament, Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin called the idea “correct, long overdue and consistent with common sense,” noting that the new legislation will allow a diaspora born abroad to more easily obtain Russian citizenship. 

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The legislation also eases up the requirements for people with a Russian spouse. For example, if a foreigner is married to a Russian and they have children together, the necessity of a five-year residency is reduced to three, and the need to prove a legal source of income has been scrapped.

Citizens of Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan have had their process to Russian citizenship made even more relaxed, with the entire residence requirement being altogether removed.

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