Russian law on dual citizenship comes into force

Holders of multiple citizenship must report to the authorities within 60 days.

A law on penalties for concealing dual citizenship took effect in Russia on August 4.


Not reporting another citizenship to migration authorities is punishable with a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($4,170) or up to 400 hours of community service.

Under the law, which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on June 4, only Russian citizens living within Russia’s have borders to declare any foreign passports or residence permits they possess to the authorities, while passport holders permanently residing outside the country are exempt from it, RIA Novosti reports.

The procedure necessary for declaring dual citizenship remains unclear. Russia’s Federal Migration Service, which is tasked with collecting the disclosures, has yet to issue any formal guidance on the law, and Russians affected by the law have 60 days after that date to report foreign passports and residence permits.

Hundreds of thousands of Russians living abroad, however, may be forced to choose between either disclosing these foreign ties or formally canceling their Russian residency – a step some say they are hesitant to take because of potential bureaucratic hassles should they return home, Radio Free Europe writes.

Russian lawmakers estimated in 2010 that around 1.6 million Russian citizens permanently live abroad, more than half of them in the European Union, Israel, and the United States.

For residents of Crimea, Russian authorities will begin enforcing the law on January 1, 2015.