29 Dec 2021 12:03

Russian president to have broader rights to designate categories eligible for fast-track naturalization - bill

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill on Russian citizenship to the State Duma.

The document published in the Duma's legislative database broadens the presidential rights to designate categories eligible for fast-track naturalization in Russia.

The approach takes into account the need for adaptation of an applicant for Russian citizenship to living in Russian society.

The bill shortens the list of requirements to more than 20 categories of persons in the course of their naturalization.

It primarily applies to compatriots, citizens of the former Soviet Union and their children and participants in the state program assisting in their voluntary resettlement to Russia from abroad.

People who have close relatives, citizens of Russia residing in the Russian territory, are also eligible for the fast-track procedure.

People with relatives in a direct ascending line who permanently resided in the territory belonging to the Russian Empire or the USSR (within the state border of the Russian Federation) can also apply for fast-track naturalization without being identified as native speakers of the Russian language.

The bill allows naturalization of people born in the territory of the Russian Federation (the Russian Soviet Federative Social Republic) before February 6, 1992, people with at least one of the parents being a citizen of the former USSR permanently residing in the territory of the Russian Federation (the Russian Soviet Federative Social Republic), and servicemen who took an oath of allegiance to the USSR or the Russian Federation and served in military units under the Russian jurisdiction and those stationed in the territory of other countries before February 6, 1992. The bill says that foreign citizenship of such persons should not serve as grounds for denial of their naturalization by Russia.

The right of the Russian president to designate categories eligible for fast-track naturalization will be broadened. The president will be allowed to designate such categories for both humanitarian and any other goals. It could be citizens of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan indicated in the current Law on Russian Citizenship and other persons.

Investors and skilled specialists are not included in the categories eligible for fast-track naturalization.

For the purpose of prevention of fictitious marriages between foreign citizens and Russian citizens aimed at naturalization in Russia, the fast-track naturalization procedure will apply exclusively to married couples with a common child.

Instead of cancelling naturalization decisions, Russia will have an institution of termination of Russian citizenship.

The bill allows the Russian president to decide on termination of Russian citizenship of children under guardianship of foreign citizens or adopted by foreign citizens, irrespective of the place of residence of such children, in order to protect their rights and interests.

All persons whose Russian citizenship is terminated at the initiative of their parents (adopted parents) will be entitled to fast-track naturalization in Russia within five years since they turn 18.

The bill envisages a ten-year period, after which a decision on the termination of a Russian citizenship will no longer be possible due to violations committed in the application process.

The bill broadens the list of crimes that entail termination of Russian citizenship. Besides terrorist crimes, the list contains certain types of grave crimes against the state and crimes related to the distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Whenever Russian citizenship is terminated due to the perpetration of such crimes, the ten-year period will not be applicable.

A Russian citizen, who is also a citizen of a foreign country or several foreign countries, is viewed by Russia exclusively as a Russian citizen irrespective of the place of residence.