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Foreign parent’s consent not needed for child to gain Russian citizenship

June 11, 2013, 20:58 UTC+3

Тhe interests of a child without Russian citizenship cannot be protected by Russia, by its diplomatic and consular services

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MOSCOW, June 11 (Itar-Tass) - The State Duma on Tuesday adopted a bill under which the consent of a foreign parent is not needed for a child of a mixed family to obtain Russian citizenship.

The bill envisages a simplified procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship for a child residing abroad, if one of the parents is a Russian citizen. Under the bill, there is no need for the foreign parent’s consent to a child obtaining the Russian citizenship if an appropriate application is made.

The bill also envisages that a person who gained Russian citizenship before the age of 18 and has the citizenship of another state must choose the citizenship of one state, and if the choice is in favor of a Russian passport, an appropriate application must be made. “Otherwise, the Russian citizenship will be terminated,” says the bill. Such citizens will be registered by the Federal Migration Service of Russia, by diplomatic missions and consular institutions of the Russian Federation.

This rule does not apply to young people who have the right to double citizenships under international agreements of the Russian Federation.

The explanatory note says that, should a conflict start in a mixed family, the interests of a child without Russian citizenship cannot be protected by Russia, by its diplomatic and consular services. Moreover, the exercise of parental rights guaranteed by Russian legislation is considerably complicated. The foreign parent is in a more advantageous position, being able to draw on the entire range of mechanisms envisaged by national legislation.

“The aim of the bill is to enable children of Russian origin to have real opportunity to gain Russian citizenship,” Dmitry Sablin, member of the United Russia party, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, told reporters on Tuesday. “If one of the parents is a Russian citizen, this is enough for a child to become a Russian citizen, too. There is now no need for the foreign parent’s consent to this,” he said. “Granting Russian citizenship to a child is an internal affair of Russia,” he said, “so why the opinion of a citizen of a foreign state should be considered.”

“This decision also has a practical sense. If one of the parents is of Russian origin, the child surely speaks Russian and is familiar with Russian culture and customs,” Sablin went on. “That is, the child will easily adapt to life in Russia and link destiny with it,” he stressed. “And when a person comes of age, he or she can make a conscious choice whether to keep or waive Russian citizenship. And I am sure many such people will choose Russia.” Sablin stressed.

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