Citizenship based on an international treaty

Russia is currently party to only one international treaty providing for simplified application for Russian citizenship. This is the quadrilateral treaty of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (which came into effect on 26 February 1999).

The treaty provides for the following terms for obtaining Russian citizenship: 

  • A foreign national has received a Russian permanent residence permit and also
  • is a citizen of Belarus, Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, and also

meets one of the following requirements: 

  • He or she was born in the Soviet Russia (RSFSR) or lived in RSFSR until 21 December 1991 (the fact of living in RSFSR at that time should be corroborated by documents) and was a citizen of the USSR (of RSFSR / Belarusian SSR / Kazakh SSR / Kyrgyz SSR)
  • One of the foreign national’s close relatives (permanently living in Russia) is a Russian citizen. These relatives may include: a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, a grandparent, or a grandchild

Please note that previously this treaty gave some foreign nationals a way to obtain Russian citizenship within three (3) months, bypassing the temporary residence permit and permanent residence permit stages. This was the fastest was to obtain Russian citizenship of all (except for Russian citizenship grant by “direct” Presidential decree, when a foreign national is granted Russian citizenship under the section  “for special merit and extraordinary service for the Russian Federation”).

The process of obtaining Russian citizenship under this treaty is currently not all that different from other paths to Russian citizenship. Essentially, the only significant difference is the expanded list of relatives who are Russian citizens who can be valid grounds for an application.

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