Dual Citizenship Controls and Restrictions in Russia


This article concerns the dual citizenship control and restrictions in Russia on the background of general increasing legislative pressure in the Russian Federation, which have had place for several last years.


Before anything else, it is necessary to point out that dual citizenship came into the Russian law only 25 years ago with crumbling the Soviet system and adoption of a new legislation on citizenship. The Article 62 of the Constitution of Russia of 1993 granted the right for dual citizenship for all Russian citizens.


Federal Law on Citizenship of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1991 and completely revised in 2002. Now it is in force with numerous amendments.  This Law makes difference between the dual citizenship and the second citizenship. The dual citizenship can be possible for Russians only on the ground of international agreement. It is important to notice that Russia concluded few numbers of international treaties which contain provisions related to the dual citizenship. All other cases of obtaining foreign citizenship is considered as the second citizenship.


The Russian Federal Law does not prohibit the second citizenship. However, it is a subject of restrictions and control. The acquisition of another citizenship by a citizen of the Russian Federation shall not entail termination of the citizenship of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Russian citizenship can be granted by a decree of the President of Russia to foreign citizens. Persons who obtain the second citizenship are limited in their civic opportunities, e.g. they can’t have an access to civil service or establish mass media and control mass media in Russia. Besides, they should execute their citizen’s duties that both of the countries imply. Persons who obtain the second citizenship should declare about their foreign citizenship to the Russian bodies for migration control according to the Citizenship Law amendments of 2014. They shall submit a special declaration in according with approved form to the competent local department of Ministry for Internal Affairs (previously, to the Federal Migration Service) in 30 days. If a person who obtains the second citizenship does not submit the declaration on foreign citizenship, he should be prosecuted by criminal law.


Nowadays Russia is implementing the concept of “Nationalization of elite” and is trying to go the extra mile to control dual and second citizenship in this context. Accordingly, these actions restrict Investment migration through citizenship. However, Russian people have always been striving to obtain dual or second citizenship. It happens due to the fact they are afraid of their own government, of an economic and political instability, of the ghost of “Soviet rulings” restoration.



Author: Paul Kalinichenko, Doctor of Legal Science, Professor, Kutafin Moscow State Law University
[email protected]

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