Russian Citizens Must Notify Authorities About Foreign Citizenship
Starting from 4 August 2014 Russian citizens will be required to notify the authorities about acquisition of a foreign citizenship or the right to permanently reside in a foreign state.
This measure was introduced when, on 4 June 2014, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Federal Law No. 142-FZ “On Amending Articles 6 and 30 of the Federal Law ‘On Russian Citizenship’ and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” (the “Law”). The new Law comes to force on 4 August 2014.
Implications for Russian citizens
Starting from 4 August 2014 Russian citizens will be required to notify the Russian Federal Migration Service (the “FMS”) about acquisition of a foreign citizenship or of the right to permanently reside in a foreign state. Failure to comply with the new rules can result in administrative or criminal liability.
What the law says
Notification on Foreign Citizenship
Under the Law, Russian citizens, including citizens under age of 18 and citizens with limited capacity, but except those who permanently reside outside Russia, are required to report the acquisition of a foreign citizenship, a residency permit or any other right allowing them to permanently reside in a foreign state within 60 days from the moment of such acquisition.
This rule also applies to Russian citizens (except those permanently residing outside Russia) holding a foreign citizenship, a residency permit or any other right allowing them to permanently reside in a foreign state as of the date of entry into force of the Law. Citizens who already hold foreign passports or residency permits when the Law comes into force must notify the FMS within 60 days from the date the Law comes into force (i.e. by 2 October 2014).
The notification may be filed personally or by post with the presentation of a Russian passport or other documents confirming the identity of the applicant or through a legal representative. The latter option is available only for children under the age of 18 and persons with limited capacity.
Liability for Non-Compliance under the New Law
Administrative Liability. The violation of the procedure of notification on the acquisition of a foreign citizenship, a residency permit or other right allowing them to permanently reside abroad in a timely fashion (e.g. delayed or incomplete notification, submission of false information) will result in an administrative fine of up to RUB1,000.
For further information please contact
Alexander Chmelev +7 495 787 27 00 firstname.lastname@example.org Sergei Zhestkov +7 495 787 27 00 email@example.com Igor Kuznets +7 495 787 27 00 firstname.lastname@example.org
Maxim Kalinin +7 812 303 90 00 email@example.com
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2 Legal Alert June 2014
Criminal Liability. The failure of a Russian citizen to notify the Russian authorities on the possession of a foreign citizenship, a residency permit or other right allowing them to permanently reside abroad will result in a fine of up to RUB200,000 or equal to a person’s total salary or other income for a period of up to a year or compulsory community service of up to 400 hours.
The Law does not draw a clear line between the situations when the non-compliance with the reporting obligations under the Law is subject to administrative or criminal liability. One of the possible interpretations of the Law may be that filing of the notification with the violation of procedure (deadline, completeness of information, etc.) is subject to administrative liability, while non-filing of the notification at all is subject criminal liability.
Actions to consider
– Check whether family members or relative persons hold any foreign passports or residency permits abroad;
– Obtain or prepare the necessary documents confirming acquisition (possession) of a foreign citizenship and/or the right to permanently reside in a foreign state in order to notify the FMS within the established deadlines.
In addition to the Law there are other pending amendments to Russian legislation that will also affect the status of Russian individuals. In particular it is expected that a law introducing controlled foreign company (CFC) rules, the beneficial ownership concept and some other anti-tax avoidance measures will be adopted by the end of the year. For more information about these prospective amendments please see our Legal Alerts of March and May 2014.
We will continue to provide you with timely information on amendments to Russian legislation.
This LEGAL ALERT is issued to inform Baker & McKenzie clients and other interested parties of legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The comments above do not constitute legal or other advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for specific advice in individual cases.