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A “general” procedure to obtain Russian citizenship (rarely used)

The main condition for obtaining Russian citizenship in a general procedure is that the applicant has lived in Russia as a permanent resident for five (5) years. However, Article 13 of the Russian Citizenship Law, which describes the general procedure for obtaining citizenship, also lists the grounds for reducing the time spent in Russia as a permanent resident to one (1) year.

To be able to use this provision of the law, the following conditions must be met:

  • The foreign national was granted a permanent resident’s status in Russia, and also
  • The foreign national has lived in Russia as a permanent resident for not less than one (1) year, and also

one of the following grounds apply: 

  • He or she has made significant contributions or significant achievements, or has a profession* which are of interest to Russia (this clause implies contributions to science, culture, etc.)
  • The foreign national has been given political asylum in Russia
  • The foreign national has been admitted as a refugee (receiving refugee status and a refugee’s certificate)

* – unfortunately, an explicit official list of professions which can be grounds for being granted Russian citizenship does not exist. To use this provision, in addition to a general application package, you would have to submit a petition on your behalf by an agency of the Russian federal government.

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