Russia needs more people, Bill passed to ease citizenship rules

Moscow: According to the Russian Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill to State Duma on Wednesday to simplify the process of attaining citizenship for people living within the border of the Soviet Union and their children.

According to TASS News, this option will be available for children or Great Patriotic War veterans, former USSR citizens and people who are close relatives of the Russian citizens. This bill states that Russian citizens cannot be stripped of their citizenship. It also stated that Russian citizens have a right to change citizenship and that they will not be expelled or extradited.

According to TASS News, under this legislation, the rights of no citizen will be restricted based on colour, race, ethnicity, language and religion. The significant distinction in this newly submitted bill and the current legislation is that only marriage will not qualify for citizenship. This bill will simplify the process of providing citizenship to people that have a child with a Russian citizen, including through adoption.

Eligible candidates for this simplified naturalization would also include military service members that served in Russian units stationed outside of Russia as of February 6, 1992. Notably, this simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship is not applicable for investors and highly qualified professionals.

According to TASS News, Special Circumstances Naturalizations can be initiated by the federal government, a regional head and the non-profit group: Russia- A country of opportunities. These applicants can avail simplified naturalization if they are able to justify it. It can include their accomplishments in culture, science, engineering, manufacturing, sports, civil activity, economy and contribution to Russia’s defence and security.

Putin previously cited that Russia faces demographic and economic challenges as it has vast areas but the nation only has a population of 146 million. He said that this population in relation to its land size is “insufficient”. He said that Russia only has 81 million people of working age and this comes off as a disadvantage to it and that this is a small viable labour force relative to its size.

According to Russian Times-News(rt news), earlier this month, Putin said “We need to make sure that people who would like to come to work here prepare for this trip to our country and for work here [while] in their homelands,”

Citizenship Revocation

According to TASS News, this bill contains the grounds on which the naturalization of citizenship will be revoked. It includes terrorism-related felonies, such crimes as drug trafficking and crimes against the state.

In the previous legislation the citizenship renunciation used to be handled by the President however in the current legislation this has changed. Now, if anyone wants renunciation of their citizenship, it will be handled by the Interior Ministry.