Obtaining Russian citizenship without permanent residence permit

Jan, 14 2021

Contents:

Russian laws define citizenship as a stable legal relationship between a person and the state. This relationship is represented by the sum of mutual rights and obligations that arise between citizen and the Russian Federation. Most of these rights and obligations are provided for by the Constitution.

Citizenship can be obtained not only by birthright. A foreigner can also obtain the status of a Russian citizen, but only if a number of requirements are met.

General and simplified procedure of obtaining citizenship

The laws of the Russian Federation provide for two ways of obtaining the status of a citizen by foreigners. These are general and simplified procedures of obtaining citizenship.

Most foreigners who want to stay in the country and obtain citizenship, apply for documents according to the general procedure. It assumes the following:

  • Obtaining temporary residence permit.
  • Obtaining of permanent residence permit on the basis of TRP after a year.
  • Applying for citizenship after 5 years of residence in the country on the basis of permanent residence permit.

The general procedure assumes that the foreigner will first register his status by obtaining temporary residence permit, having won the government quota. Having lived on the basis of this document in Russia for a year, he will again apply to the migration authorities to obtain permanent residence permit. At the same time, if permanent residence permit is an indefinite document that allows you to solve the issue of citizenship for any length of time, then the validity term of temporary residence permit is limited, and this document cannot be extended. Following the general procedure, it is necessary to live in Russia for about 6 years to obtain the status of a citizen.

Simplified procedure exempts the applicant from the obligation to live in Russia for 5 years on the basis of permanent residence permit before applying for citizenship. However, there must be good reasons for obtaining citizenship under simplified procedure.

Who does not need to apply for permanent residence permit

Permanent residence permit is a document that establishes the right of a foreigner to permanently live in Russia. As in the case of citizenship, there is a general and simplified procedure for obtaining this document. At the same time, general procedure provides that the migrant will first receive temporary residence permit, whereas simplified procedure allows to immediately apply for a PRP.

Permanent residence permit gives a foreigner a wide range of rights, including the possibility to receive pension in Russia. Therefore, many migrants prefer to use only permanent residence permit for a long time and are in no hurry to apply for the status of citizens.

However, a certain category of persons can obtain Russian citizenship without permanent residence permit. They do not need to first apply for other documents, continuously live in the country for 5 years. These categories include:

  • Participants of the state resettlement program.
  • World War II veterans who have citizenship of one of the former Soviet republics, but currently live in Russia.
  • Unemployable people who came from the former Soviet republics and had permanent registration in Russia as of July 1, 2002.

Some legislative amendments came into force recently that allowed another category of foreigners to obtain Russian citizenship without permanent residence permit. We are talking about visitors who are married to Russian citizens, live in the Russian Federation and have common children in this marriage.

Procedure of obtaining citizenship by fact of marriage

The mere fact of marriage between a foreign citizen and a Russian citizen is not a sufficient basis for obtaining Russian citizenship. However, a foreign citizen who has married a citizen of the Russian Federation and has been married for three years has the right to acquire the status of citizen under simplified procedure. Such a person is not subject to the condition of mandatory residence for 5 years on the basis of permanent residence permit.

In other words, it is impossible to obtain Russian citizenship without permanent residence permit for marriage concluded between a foreign citizen and a citizen of the Russian Federation. Marriage only gives the background to simplified citizenship obtaining in Russia, provided that parties will be married at least three years before beginning the procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship by foreigner who received permanent residence permit in Russia.

Moreover, it is necessary to take into account that the residence permit of a foreign citizen can be revoked by state authorities if the marriage concluded between a Russian and a migrant and which served as the basis of obtaining residence permit is declared invalid by the court. Thus, the migration legislation directly prohibits the conclusion of fictitious marriage between foreigners and Russian citizens for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence permit in Russia.

Let us consider the second situation – obtaining Russian citizenship by a foreign citizen who is married to a citizen of the Russian Federation and has children together. In 2020, the legislator decided to simplify the procedure of obtaining citizenship for a certain category of persons and introduced the above circumstance as the basis of obtaining Russian citizenship without prior obtaining of permanent residence permit. 

This means that such foreign citizen can apply for citizenship immediately after obtaining a temporary residence permit. It does not matter how long ago the marriage was concluded. Of paramount importance is the presence of common children in such marriage. In addition, the spouse who is a citizen of Russia must have permanent registration on the territory of our country. Temporary registration is not a proper basis.

Summing up the above, it can be said that only an exceptional category of persons, which is directly defined by Russian legislation, is able to obtain citizenship of the Russian Federation without first obtaining permanent residence permit. Moreover, the mere fact of marriage with a Russian citizen is not a basis for obtaining Russian citizenship. The legislator imposes a number of additional requirements for the conclusion of marriage, compliance with which is mandatory for the subsequent obtaining of citizenship of the Russian Federation in a simplified manner or without prior receipt of permanent residence permit.

Author of the article

Obtaining Russian citizenship without permanent residence permit
Maxim Verbov
Lawyer

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