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Changes in a child’s citizenship

Until a child turns 18 (comes of age), he or she cannot obtain citizenship or renounce Russian citizenship independently. Even though a child aged between 14 and 18 must consent to obtaining the Russian citizenship, everything ultimately depends on his or her parents.


The law specifies the circumstances under which a child’s citizenship can change when his or her parents obtain or relinquish their Russian citizenship:

1. Both parents: 

  • A child becomes a Russian citizen, if both (or the only) his or her parent(s) become(s) Russian citizen(s)
  • If both (or the only) parent(s) relinquish(es) their (his or her) Russian citizenship, the child will also forfeit his or her Russian citizenship. This is only allowed to happen if the child does not become a stateless person as a result of forfeiting his or her Russian citizenship

2. Only one parent:  

  • A child may become a Russian citizen if he or she lives in Russia, and one of his or her parents, who is a foreign national, obtains Russian citizenship
  • A child may become a Russian citizen if he or she lives outside Russia and one of his or her parents, who is a foreign national, obtains Russian citizenship (both parents will be required to submit a request to grant Russian citizenship to the child)
  • A child may become a Russian citizen, if one of his or her parents, who is a foreign national, obtains Russian citizenship, while the other parent is a stateless person
  • A child may become a Russian citizen, if one of his or her parents who is a stateless person obtains Russian citizenship, while the other parent is a foreign national (both parents will be required to submit a request to grant Russian citizenship to the child)
  • A child will retain his or her Russian citizenship if one of his parents forfeits his or her Russian citizenship, but the other parent remains a Russian citizen
  • The child may forfeit his or her Russian citizenship if one of the parents relinquishes his or her Russian citizenship, and the other parent, who continues as a Russian citizen, consents to forfeit of the child’s Russian citizenship (this is only allowed to happen if the child does not become a stateless person as a result of forfeiting his or her Russian citizenship)

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