On 17 August 2014 the procedure for the notification by Russian citizens of foreign citizenships and permanent residency rights abroad (the “Notification”) came into force. This procedure implements the notification requirements introduced by Federal Law No. 142-FZ “On Amendments to Articles 6 and 30 of the Federal Law ‘On Citizenship of the Russian Federation’ and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” dated 4 June 2014 (the “Law”) which came into effect on 4 August 2014. 

The Notification procedure is provided by Order No. 450 of the Federal Migration Service of Russia dated 28 July 2014, which contains the forms to be used to that end and clarifies certain aspects of this filing.

Who needs to send a Notification and when?

General requirements 

Russian citizens over the age of 18 who as at 4 August 2014 hold (i) the citizenship of a foreign country or (ii) a valid residence permit or other document confirming the right of permanent residence in a foreign country (“Foreign Citizenship or Residency Rights”) must file a Notification with the Russian migration authorities by 2 October 2014 at the latest.

The legal representatives of Russian citizens who as at 4 August 2014 have not attained the age of 18 years or are legally incapacitated and hold Foreign Citizenship or Residency Rights also have until 2 October 2014 to file a Notification. 

If a Russian citizen obtains any other Foreign Citizenship or Residency Rights after 4 August 2014, then Notification will have to be filed in respect of each within 60 days from the date of acquisition of the citizenship or receipt of the document giving rights of permanent residence in a foreign country. The same applies upon the renewal of each previously notified document giving rights of permanent residence in a foreign country.

Exemptions

There is no need to file a Notification:

  • when a Russian citizen resides outside the Russian Federation; or
  • in the cases provided for in international agreements (such as those in force in respect of the citizens of Tadjikistan and Turkmenistan) or federal law.

Phased entry into force of the Notification requirement

For Russian citizens who acquired Russian citizenship as a result of the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation, the obligation to provide Notification will apply from 1 January 2016.

How to file a Notification?

The notifier may file a Notification:

  • in person with the territorial body of the Federal Migration Service of Russia (the “FMS”) of their place of residence in Russia (if they have no place of residence, then by reference to their place of stay, and if they have neither a place of residence nor a place of stay, to their actual location in Russia); or
  • by mail via the Russian Post, which will also require the notifier to go to the post office in person and present their passport to the postal worker who will confirm the notifier’s identity.

No state duty is payable for the filing of a Notification with the FMS or for the provision of the Notification form itself.

Whichever option is chosen, the notifier will need to submit the following documents:

  • the relevant Notification form duly completed (click here for the official form – in Russian – when the applicant is an adult and here when the form is being submitted on behalf of a child under the age of 18 or an incapacitated person);
  • a Russian passport (if this is not available, then any other document evidencing Russian citizenship); and
  • the foreign passport or any other document confirming the holding of a foreign citizenship or the right of permanent residence in a foreign country.

If the notifier represents a Russian child or incapacitated person, additional documents confirming the notifier’s authority to file the Notification will also need to be provided. 

All passports and other supporting documents must be shown in original to the FMS officer or postal worker, and a copy of each of such document must be attached to the Notification form. 

What sanctions may be imposed for failure to comply with the Notification obligation and procedure?

Administrative or criminal liability may be entailed as follows:

Click here to view table.

Comments

The recent publication of Order No. 450 has finally brought some clarity as to the steps and paperwork that Russian citizens who fall within the ambit of the Law need to go through in the coming weeks to avoid being held criminally or administratively liable.

That said notifiers may be faced with difficulties when interpreting certain provisions or terms used in the Order. For instance, it is not clear which Russian citizens can be considered “residing outside the Russian Federation”. This concept is not entirely clearcut under Russian law and may lead to different interpretations by the Russian migration authorities. 

For compliance purposes, we recommend Russian citizens temporarily living or working abroad to double-check whether they have, unknowingly to them, automatically acquired a foreign citizenship or a permanent residence permit, or any other status or document evidencing the right to reside permanently in a foreign country.