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Russian State Duma simplifies Russian citizenship-granting procedures

April 02, 2014, 0:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house on Tuesday passed in the first reading amendments to the law on Russian citizenship to simplify citizenship-granting procedures to Russian speakers.

The bill simplifies the procedure and shortens the term of application consideration for Russian speakers, whose direct relatives lived in Russia, including the territories that once constituted the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, in case they are ready to move for permanent residency in Russia and waive their citizenship in foreign states. A person will be recognized as a Russian speaker after an interview with a competent commission to be formed by the Russian Federal Migration Service.

A foreign citizen living in Russia and waiving his foreign citizenship will not have to comply with such requirements as at least five-year residency in Russia and the confirmation of his or her good command of the Russian language to be granted a Russian passport. The term for the consideration of such applications will be reduced from six to three months.

According to Yekaterina Yegorova, the first deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, a special commission will include specialists working in the area of education and philologists. “The commission will not be tasked to assess a person’s grammar skills, but will focus on the fluency in the use of the language in everyday life,” she said.

Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma committee for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, said he hoped the Duma would pass the law by the end of April. “It means that very soon representatives of the Russian world will be able to receive Russian passports without long and complicated procedures,” he noted. “This law is a milestone decision promoting the consolidation of the Russian world.”

Vladimir Pligin, the chairman of the Duma committee for constitutional legislation, noted that the “institution of Russian citizenship” was very attractive. “Removing certain obstacles is what many residents of foreign states and persons without citizenship have been waiting for a long time,” he said. “In a certain sense, it will a restoration of historic justice.

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