×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Draft Legislation Foresees Russian Citizenship for $290,000

French actor Gerard Depardieu getting ready to embrace President Vladimir Putin, who granted him Russian citizenship, in January 2013.

The government is considering easing rules on granting citizenship to foreigners who have studied and worked in the country or invested in the economy, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Draft legislation initiated by the Economic Development Ministry and migration authorities envisions streamlining the citizenship application process for graduates from Russian universities that have worked in the country for at least three years. The bill is headed for the State Duma "soon" a source said.

Foreign businessmen earning at least 10 million rubles ($290,000) annually and that have worked in Russia for at least three years, as well as entrepreneurs who own at least a 10 percent stake in legal entities here that have at least 100 million rubles in assets, will also qualify for the expedited process.

One flaw in the program is that it does not provide preferential treatment for family members of such "investment-citizens" who might also want citizenship. As such, some estimates put the total number of such emigrants at only several hundred per year.

The criteria for student emigrants would be grandfathered to those who graduated from July 1, 2002.

"Overall, foreigners make up between 20 and 25 percent of post secondary students. As a rule, we are talking about citizens of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Moldova," said Pavel Chernikh, Russia's delegate to World Skills, an international organization dedicated to developing youth employment. It is estimated that there are between 1 million and 2 million possibly qualified candidates.

Currently, only foreigners married to a Russian citizen or those who were born in the former Soviet Union and are stateless qualify for the fast-track procedure.

Nearly 136,000 foreigners obtained Russian citizenship in 2013, according to the Federal Migration Service. That was up from about 96,000 in 2012.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more