Russian citizenship after PRP

Nov, 04 2023

The article is for information only. At the moment our company does not provide such services.


A permanent residence permit (PRP) is required if you are applying for Russian citizenship. This document is a permit for a permanent staying in the country that grants the migrant most of the rights that Russians have. A foreigner who has officially registered this status can freely work in local companies, conduct business, and move from region to region. They can even count on a local pension if they work permanently in the country.

One of the advantages of a residence permit is the ability to obtain Russian citizenship with time. From the legal point of view, the status of a citizen gives a person all the rights and obligations associated with life in the country, even if he was born outside of it. However, many migrants have doubts: if a permanent residence permit provides many advantages, eliminates most restrictions, why initiate a hard procedure for obtaining citizenship? However, the status of a citizen has many advantages.

Applying for Russian citizenship after permanent residence permit (PRP): reasons and advantages

A residence permit in opposition to Russian citizenship cannot offer a whole range of advantages. Sure, if you have this permit, you can work in any Russian company, conduct business here, no one limits your opportunities. However, employers are usually not very interested in hiring foreigners, unless they are rare and valuable professionals with unique knowledge and skills. This reason is that the law imposes additional requirements on companies that employ foreigners.

In addition, even if you have obtained a permanent residence permit, you cannot buy agricultural land, land in border zones, reserves and forest fund. Even more, the law prohibits visiting all these territories, as well as military towns. If you need to get to one of these places, you will need to get a special permit.

No matter how long you have lived in the country, without the status of a citizen, you cannot enter the military and public service. Accordingly, if your work peculiarities are related to one of these areas, obtaining Russian citizenship after a residence permit is a prerequisite for entering the service in your profile.

If you take an active civil position, want to become a part of a political party, participate in elections, you will also have to get citizenship. Without this, you will not be able to vote and lead an active political life in the country. However, do not forget that your residence permit can be revoked if you support extremist ideas or pose a threat to national security.

The status of a citizen will also free you from the obligation to notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs annually that you have not moved to another country or returned to your homeland. (With a permanent residence permit, you must do this: online or in person.) However, every 5 years, you must personally appear at the migration service. If you do not do so, you may be deprived of the right of permanent residence. It is enough to forget about notifying the state authorities for 2 years in a row, and they initiate the process of canceling the residence permit. Of course, citizens do not face such problems.

Finally, it is worth mentioning another point that encourages foreigners to obtain Russian citizenship after a residence permit – proof of your income and residence. Having a residence permit, you must prove the state authorities that you have a legitimate income that covers at least the subsistence minimum. However, the circumstances may be such that you will work informally. And then there will be problems with the migration service.

At the same time, citizens can resort to the benefits and social guarantees provided by the state. This makes it much easier to experience periods of instability that can happen to everyone.

How to get Russian citizenship if you already have PRP

Migrants adhere to one of the two stipulated procedures to obtain Russian citizenship after the permanent residence permit. Most of them submit documents in the general order. This is a standard procedure for foreigners who have already reached the lawful age, are not under guardianship, and are fully capable. They must meet these conditions to qualify for the status of Russian citizens:

  • To live five years in the country after obtaining a residence permit. However, the law requires that you live in Russia continuously during this period. This does not mean that you cannot go on vacation, visit relatives, or go on a business trip. However, you must not spend more than 6 months a year outside Russia.
  • To comply with local laws. If the state authorities find you guilty of wrongdoing, they can not only refuse citizenship, but also revoke your permanent residence permit. Such sanctions are provided even for administrative offenses if the migrant commits them constantly.
  • To confirm the legal source of income. Your reportable salary or business profit should not be less than the subsistence minimum.
  • To confirm that you speak Russian. Even at the stage when you will request a permanent residence permit, you will have to get a certificate that you know at least the basics of Russian history, laws, and language. It is impossible to get the status of a citizen without speaking Russian, but no one requires you to have deep philological knowledge.
  • To renunciate from other citizenships. Russian laws do not allow dual citizenship unless it is provided for by international treaties. Accordingly, if your home country has no agreements with the Russian Federation on this matter, you will have to contact the competent authority of your country to officially renounce your citizenship. Only then will you be able to apply for the status of a Russian citizen.

We have described the conditions that must be met by persons who apply for citizenship according to the standard procedure. However, there is also a simplified way. Who can request the status of a citizen under the simplified document processing scheme? Firstly, these are foreigners who have a parent or parents who are Russian citizens. An important caveat: they should live in the country, not abroad.

According to the simplified procedure, documents can be issued by those foreigners who had Soviet citizenship, and they lived in one of the former Soviet republics but did not receive citizenship there after the collapse of the USSR. This situation is faced, for example, by some residents of the Baltic States. It is also much easier for migrants who were born in the territory of modern Russia during the Soviet period to obtain the status of a citizen. The same can be said for migrants who have been married to Russians for 3 years or longer.

It is much easier to obtain citizenship status for foreigners who are officially recognized as native speakers of Russian, are registered as refugees or participate in the Federal resettlement program. Of course, participants of the Great Patriotic War who previously had the citizenship of the USSR also receive citizenship under the simplified system.

Who else does the simplified procedure for obtaining citizenship apply to?

  • Foreigners who have disabled children who are citizens of the Russian Federation. At the same time, an adult child should not have a second parent, otherwise you need to draw up documents according to the standard scheme. This also applies to those who have minor children-citizens without a second parent.
  • Disabled parents of adult Russian citizens. In fact, this situation mirrors the one described above.
  • Whose adult children are recognized as incapable, but they have the status of Russian citizens. In this case, a foreigner can obtain citizenship in a simplified manner if the second parent has died, been deprived of parental rights, has been declared incapable or missing.
  • Foreigners who studied at local universities or colleges after 2002 and then worked in this country for at least one year.
  • Individual entrepreneurs who have been continuously working in Russia for 3 years and longer. At the same time, their activities must be related to one of the areas provided for by law. Another important condition for these years, the entrepreneur must pay at least one million rubles to state funds as taxes, fees, insurance premiums, and other mandatory payments.
  • Highly qualified specialists who have been invited to work in the country and have lived here for at least a year. This applies to professionals with unique knowledge and experience, as well as a high level of income: such professionals should be paid by employers above the average salary in the market.
  • Investors with a share of contribution to the authorized capital of at least 10%. Of course, we are only talking about contributing to a company that operates on the territory of Russia. You need to invest continuously for 3 years, and the amount of the authorized capital must be at least 100 million rubles, so that you can resort to a simplified scheme for obtaining citizenship. Another important condition: during the three years preceding the application, the company must pay at least 6 million mandatory payments to state funds. These are taxes, fees, insurance premiums, and similar payments.

Finally, citizens of such countries as Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan can apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation after the permanent residence permit without observing the rules on the period of residence. Special international agreements have been concluded between Russia and these states.

Please note that the legislation has changed slightly in recent years. According to the amendments, all categories of migrants who can apply for a special scheme for registering their status are not required to confirm that they have renounced the citizenship of another country.

Eligibility for applying for Russian citizenship

The algorithm of actions depends on whether you belong to the category of persons who have the right to shorten the period of residence in the country before applying. The standard procedure implies that a foreigner will first live 5 years with a permanent residence permit, and only after that will submit documents to change their status. However, if certain conditions are met, the period of life in the country can be reduced to one year.

Those are not so numerous. For example, if you request political asylum, you do not have to wait 5 years to become a citizen, just one year is enough. The same applies to people who have officially received refugee status. Finally, the period of residence before applying for citizenship is reduced if you have high achievements in science, culture, and technology. Or if you are a representative of a profession that is of special state interest.

It is much easier for foreigners with special merits to Russia to get the status of citizens. The general rules also do not affect citizens of former Soviet republics who serve under a contract in the Russian armed forces if it lasts for at least 3 years.

In the summer of 2020, changes in legislation came into force that revoke the obligation of continuous residence for 3 years before obtaining citizenship from certain categories of migrants. These include foreigners who have married a citizen of the Russian Federation, as well as have children in common with them. However, if the state authorities have grounds to suspect that the marriage is sham, the migrant will not only be refused the status of a citizen, but risks losing even his PRP.

The latest amendments also simplified the procedure for obtaining their status for those who have parents – Russian citizens, as well as for apatrides who were previously Soviet citizens, but did not receive the corresponding status in the new republic after the collapse of the USSR.

In July 2020, amendments came into force that reduced the period of residence in the Russian Federation before applying for citizenship to a year for graduates. Of course, we are talking about foreign students who studied in this country. Now they do not need to live and work in Russia for 3 years before they can acquire the status of citizens. Just one calendar year is enough.

The laws also give way to disabled migrants from countries that were part of the Soviet Union. If they have registered at their place of residence in Russia before 2002, they can apply using a simplified procedure. The situation is similar with participants in the Federal Relocation Program. They receive the benefits already listed, and can become citizens after a year of living in the country. Of course, if they do not violate the laws, speak Russian, and can confirm their income level.

List of documents for Russian citizenship after PRP

Usually, foreigners submit documents to the same Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs where they received a permanent residence permit. However, this is not necessary, the law only requires that you submit papers to the migration service in the same region where you received a residence permit. The main document in this case is a correctly filled out application, which contains reliable information. Do not try to falsify information about yourself, this may lead to deportation from the country, even if the lie seems quite innocent to you.

The application is performed in two exemplars on special forms. If you are not sure that you can issue this document correctly, consult with lawyers who specialize in migration law. Please note that if you fill out a document by hand, your handwriting must be readable. Use of abbreviations and corrections are not allowed. If they appear, the application is declined and you will lose the money paid as a fee.

The application must be accompanied by a set of documents:

  • identity card;
  • permanent residence permit;
  • proof of residence;
  • two standard photos;
  • receipt confirming payment of the fee.

If you apply to an embassy or other diplomatic mission of Russia, you pay a consular fee instead of the regular fee. The list of other documents required for obtaining citizenship of the Russian Federation after the permanent residence permit depends on the grounds on which you submit the request. You can always check it on the official website of the Migration Service or during a consultation with a specialized lawyer.

Author of the article
Russian citizenship after PRP
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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