Russia makes citizenship easier for Ukrainians

Moscow [Russia]: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on granting individuals permanently residing in certain districts of Ukraine the right to apply for Russian citizenship using a simplified procedure.

Citizenship of the Russian Federation is obtained by birth, as a result of granting citizenship and in the event of changing Russia’s state borders in accordance with an international agreement. But the new legislation provides for a general and even more simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship, TASS agency reported.

According to the new legislation, citizenship is granted without requiring a residence permit and uninterrupted residence in Russia for five years. The term considering the documents, in this case, does not exceed six months.
For citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, it has been reduced to three months in accordance with the four-party agreement signed on February 26, 1999, which took effect on November 4, 2000, the Kremlin said in a statement.

In addition, Russian citizenship can be obtained under the simplified procedure by two more groups of foreign citizens and stateless persons (the time period for considering their applications is three months).

The first group includes individuals who reside in Russia legally on a permanent basis and are recognised as native Russian speakers by a special commission set up by the Interior Ministry with the involvement of philologists and linguists. However, they must pledge to comply with the Russian Constitution and legislation, have legitimate income and renounce foreign citizenship, the statement added.

The second category includes participants in the State program of assistance to voluntary resettlement of compatriots to the Russian Federation.

If the application for Russian citizenship is rejected, the applicant may apply for citizenship again in a year’s time.

Putin signed the decree 24 hours after Ukraine’s election commission officially declared Volodymyr Zelenskiy as the winner of the country’s recently held presidential elections.

Simplified citizenship for Donetsk and Luhansk residents was made possible after Putin was granted the authority to select foreigners eligible for Russian passports under a law that entered into force on March 29.