Double citizenship in Russia registration

Dec, 09 2020

Double citizenship is a situation where a person is simultaneously a citizen of several states. This requires an international Treaty regulating double citizenship: if there is no such Treaty between the Russian Federation and another state, it is impossible to obtain another citizenship legally. However, the Russian Constitution provides for the right to obtain citizenship of another country. Why might this be necessary?

Double citizenship is a rather advantageous situation because it allows you to enjoy the rights of citizens of several countries at the same time. For example, having a passport of one of the Schengen countries eliminates the necessity to apply for a visa to enter not just the Schengen territory, but also many other countries. However, the advantages of double citizenship should be discussed more detailed.

The benefits of double citizenship are:

  • Gaining the rights of citizens of several States.
  • Protection of two countries at once in case of a threat.
  • Smooth movement between two States.
  • The ability to receive benefits and subsidies in two countries at once.

However, double citizenship provides a citizen not only with additional rights, but also burdens him with some responsibilities. One of these duties is to notify the Russian state agencies about the presence of a passport of another country.

The registration procedure for double citizenship in Russia

Notification must be submitted to the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the place of residence. This must be done within 60 days from the date of obtaining a second citizenship, otherwise the regulatory agencies may impose a large fine.

The only exception provided for by law is the objective inability to submit a notification. That means that if you are outside of Russia, the law does not require you to go to the Russian Federation immediately and apply to the Ministry of internal Affairs. However, after you enter the country, you would only have 30 days for the official notification of obtaining a second citizenship.

What information is indicated in the notification: 

  • Full name.
  • Residence.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Details of the civil passport of the Russian Federation.
  • Name of the second state and the details of its civil passport.
  • Information about the renewal of this document.
  • Date and grounds for obtaining a second citizenship.

In addition to the notification required for registration of double citizenship in Russia, the set of documents includes copies of the passport of a foreign state and the passport of the Russian Federation.

Notifications can be submitted to the regional office of the Directorate for Migration Affairs. Rather than having to visit the migration service in person, you can hire an official representative. A parent or other legal representative may also act on behalf of an underage or incapacitated person.

The notification of dual citizenship could be completed either by hand or using technical means. If the documents are submitted by an official representative on behalf of an incapacitated or minor citizen, they must be accompanied by a birth certificate of the citizen, the corresponding act of the custody and guardianship agency.

In connection with the latest adopted amendments to the national migration legislation, the procedure for registering double citizenship in Russia has changed. Due to the innovations, it is necessary to notify the relevant state authorities not only about the acquisition of dual citizenship, but also about its termination.

Problems of double citizenship registration

In addition to the advantages, double citizenship also has some disadvantages. Therefore, before getting a civil passport of another country, it would be better to should weigh the pros and cons. For example, a Russian citizen who has double citizenship does not have the opportunity to get a job in public authorities: the FSB, the Prosecutor’s office, the court, or the election Commission. Therefore, people working in the field of law are especially careful when processing documents.

Moreover, in some cases, obtaining a second citizenship can be quite expensive. This is especially true in situations where a person wants to obtain a citizenship of a foreign country for investment.

Some other aspects are also important to consider. These include possible difficulties with pension registration. Formally, the pension is calculated in the country of residence and in the presence of an international agreement on pension provision between the Russian Federation and another country that granted citizenship.

In other words, if you live permanently in Russia and are registered here, your second citizenship will not affect your pension. But the situation becomes more complicated if you live abroad. In this case, much depends on the international agreement. This issue can be resolved on a territorial basis, and then the holder of double citizenship will be awarded a pension according to the laws of the country of permanent residence. However, this is beneficial if official earnings are rather high.

However, it may be different in case that the experience in each country is crucial. We cannot exclude the situation that the second country does not have an agreement with the Russian Federation that would regulate pension issues. Then you can count on a Russian pension only if several conditions are met and only through direct appeal to the Pension Fund.

Having a second citizenship does not affect social guarantees and benefits in Russia, but the situation with taxes and deductions is much more complicated. There is a risk of paying much more taxes than if you do not have a second country passport.

In this issue, the key is not citizenship per se, but residency. This means that if you are outside of Russia for more than 183 days a year, you automatically become a tax non-resident. The law implies that non-residents pay personal income tax in the amount of 30%. If you decide to sell real estate in Russia before the minimum legal term of ownership, you will have to pay income tax in the amount of 30% of the transaction amount. There are no tax credits for non-residents.

On the other hand, you only need to pay with the income that you receive from Russian sources that are subject to taxation. In practice, this means, for example, paying 30% of the fee you receive for renting an apartment in Russia. In addition, you do not have to pay personal income tax if you receive funds from sources located outside the Russian Federation.

If we sum up all the risks listed above, then dual citizenship is still quite profitable. The only exception is when you are permanently residing abroad but expect to receive passive income from renting out real estate in Russia. In this case, you will have to pay large taxes.

Second citizenship can also create difficulties for people who expect to work in the public sector. This is true not only for Russia, but also for many other countries that provide for restrictions on hiring in government agencies.

Who is exempt from the fact of double citizen ship registering?

Under Russian law, individuals must register double citizenship in Russia. Only those who have received a second passport in a state that has concluded a separate international agreement with Russia cannot submit a notification of double citizenship.

Today, there is only one agreement regulating this rule. It is between the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. Thus, Russian citizens who also hold a Tajik passport are not required to inform the state authorities about this, all others are required to notify government agencies about their second citizenship in time, otherwise there is a risk of facing sanctions.

Responsibility for the lack of double citizenship registration in Russia

Administrative or criminal liability may be imposed for violation of the obligation to notify public authorities of the existence of another citizenship. Please note that there are several situations that the law considers violations. You may be fined or sued if:

  • You submitted your documents after the legal deadline.
  • You have provided deliberately false information in the notification.
  • Submitted forged documents.

In addition, you may face criminal liability. It occurs if a Russian citizen does not fulfill the obligation to notify about the presence of another citizenship or nationality. It is necessary to inform the state authorities not only about citizenship, but also about obtaining a residence permit in another country. Violation of this rule is subject to the same penalty as failure to notify of obtaining a second citizenship.

The criminal charge provides for a fine. Its amount can be 200 thousand rubles, but the court can also impose a fine in the amount of the violator’s salary or other income for a certain period. Moreover, this period can be equal to a calendar year. Another option for sanctions for lack of notification is to work for up to 400 hours.

Civil liability is incurred if you submitted a notification late, provided incomplete or incorrect information. In this case, you would also face a fine. However, it is much less than the financial penalties provided for in the criminal article. The amount of the fine does not exceed one thousand rubles. The minimum amount is 500 rubles.

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