Russia Simplifies Migration Process for War Refugees, Ukrainians

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MOSCOW, Russian Federation – Today Tass reports that the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a bill that makes changes to the law “On Citizenship of the Russian Federation”, said to simplify the process, which experts claim will have an impact on the process for Ukrainians.

The Russian government, according to the bill, will be able to categorize foreigners aiming to obtain Russian citizenship under the new simplified system. “The President of the Russian Federation for humanitarian purposes has the right to determine the categories of foreign citizens who have the right to apply for citizenship in a simplified manner, as well as the procedure for filing relevant applications,” the bill says. 

According to Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Russian Federation Igor Zubov, the list of these categories will include “both compatriots and people who have suffered distress in some countries, and people coming from regions of inter-ethnic conflicts.” 

As for the procedure, citizens applying for citizenship “by simplified payment” no longer need to “live in the territory of the Russian Federation”, that is, the rule on the availability of a residence permit or permission with a seal of registration is now defunct. Now a person can “temporarily live” on the territory of Russia, that is, have only a migration card, which is issued at the entrance to the Russian Federation. The norm on compulsory employment for citizens applying for Russian citizenship is also abolished.  

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The changes introduced by the draft law will not allow mass distribution of passports to residents of Donbass in the territory beyond the control of Ukraine. However, if desired, Donetsk residents and Lugansk residents will be able to travel to the temporary consular offices and take part in this simplified program. The main points that make it possible now are that mandatory work and registration in the Russian Federation are no longer requirements under the simplified process.

It was also reported that the  Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia offered to give citizenship to Crimeans who left before 2014 .

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