The State Duma on Friday passed in its second and third readings a bill that will make it quicker and easier for Russian speakers to get Russian citizenship.
The amendments simplify the application procedure for Russian speakers whose direct relatives lived in Russia, including territories that once made up the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, on the condition that they reject their foreign citizenship and commit to living permanently in Russia.
Applicants will be interviewed by a commission formed by the Federal Migration Service to check that their level of Russian is of a high enough standard.
The processing time for this type of application will drop from six months to no more than three.
Vladimir Pligin, the chairman of the Duma committee for constitutional legislation, said the law will also apply to Russia's new subjects — Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
The amendments also cut the processing time for Russian passport applications from six to three months for people who join the program for the repatriation of Russians and their families.