Those people, who used to move freely around the world, who have the opportunity and desire not to become attached to one place of residence, often think of having multiple citizenships (or nationality in the case of a monarchy), and with it the second passport of another state.
Pros and cons of multiple statuses
Let’s understand what dual citizenship gives. First, the status of a citizen of different states simplifies, or even cancels, the process of obtaining visas, facilitates relocation in the event of a terrorist threat, civil war, the unstable political situation in one of the countries of residence, etc. Second, the alternative status can be interesting for business owners due to tax optimization. The duty of paying taxes remains in any case, but the process becomes more variable and attractive for the citizen.
However, there is a downside:
- In the absence of international agreements, there can be problems with the taxation of income received by a person in different countries.
- Many states require passing of the military service on their territory, regardless of the civil belonging to one more state. There can be a situation when you will have to serve in the army twice.
- There may be problems with the polygamy which is usual for Muslim bipatrides in countries where people adhere to the traditions of monogamy. The issues of inheritance, legal status, etc. will become complicated.
- No state will diplomatically defend its citizen against another state of which he is also a citizen.
Is it possible to have dual citizenship in Russia
Straightway to make it clear that the status of second and dual citizenship is not the same thing. The article 62 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation answers the question whether it is possible to have dual citizenship in Russia. You can be a citizen of as many countries as you want, herewith not forgetting to fulfill his civic duties.
Dual citizenship status is given to a citizen of two and more countries, provided that they have concluded international agreements on his legal status and the resolution of disputes related to this status. Thus, a person has the rights and carries out the duties of a citizen of the country in which he is currently located, and is relieved of duties in another. Today, there is one state which has concluded an international agreement on the legal status of persons with dual citizenship with Russia – it is Tajikistan. Earlier, an agreement on dual citizenship also was existing in relation to citizens of Turkmenistan, but in 2017 the agreement was canceled unilaterally.
However, regardless of whether a citizen has dual citizenship in Russia or only Russian, he is considered by the state as a citizen of the Russian Federation (Federal Law No. 62, Article 6).
Restrictions on getting a second passport
The situation with a cautious attitude towards the multiple civil statuses has internal and external causes.
The internal causes include the fact that every state is interested in taxpayers and the national army.
The external causes are in the migration processes. People leave places with high social and economic tension for where it is safer and easier to live. Often this causes negative reactions not only from the state but also from the local citizens of the host country.
We advise you to study carefully the migration legislation of the country where you are planning to move, as you can get a second passport of some states, including Russia, only in exchange for an existing one. There are more than fifty that kind of countries, and the list is constantly changing. For example, Denmark in 2015 allowed foreigners to become citizens without renouncing their native citizenship, but at the same time made more severe the naturalization procedure.
In many countries, this requirement has reservations related to birthrights. Upon reaching a certain age, children with dual status have to choose the citizens of which state they want to become.
In some states, the ban is formal: a double status is not welcomed, but it does not lead to criminal prosecution.
Restrictions on getting double status
Can a citizen of Russia have dual citizenship? In Russia, only certain categories of citizens are prohibited from having alternative civilian status:
- being in public service, including the president of the country. A draft law is under consideration that provides for the same restrictions for family members of public servants;
- media staff, founders and owners of more than 20% of shares.
How to get dual citizenship
The question of how to obtain dual citizenship in each state depends on domestic legislation.
Generally, the process takes for about ten years, as it is possible to obtain second citizenship only after passing through several stages:
- to open an entry visa;
- to obtain a residence permit;
- to be completely reliable, that is, not to have problems with the law;
- to have a legal source of income;
- to pay regular taxes as prescribed by the law;
- to have a rental or own housing;
- to know a state language, laws, history and cultural traditions of the country of residence;
- to stay permanently and legally in the territory of the country;
- to pass the exam for naturalization.
If all these conditions are fulfilled, you can apply for obtaining the citizenship status.
The scheme presented above is fair only in the most general case — with naturalization. Economic emigration, marriage with a citizen of another country, family reunification, emigration by roots assume absolutely different procedure for obtaining citizenship and time limits of the application consideration.
How can Russian citizen get a second citizenship
There are many legal ways to do this, but there are no simple and inexpensive.
There are 195 states in the world, and more than half of them provide the possibility of obtaining a second civil status. So the question where to get second citizenship for Russians is not in the foreground.
Variants of emigration based on ethnic roots and family reunification are popular, but these are rather particular cases.
Many highly developed countries have programs to attract migrants. As a rule, qualified employees, specialists in the field of high technologies, doctors are required. In any case, you need to prove your profit for the economy of the chosen country, to collect the necessary number of points depending on education, experience, age, knowledge of the language, specialty, and you can begin the process of emigration.
Obtaining the double status through investments
One more option, how to make dual citizenship, is the investment programs. Thus, the target is reached faster, but it is a quite expensive way. Its main point consists of investing a certain amount in the economy of a selected country. This method should not be considered as an opportunity to save on visas. It rather allows traveling without being distracted by paperwork and the political situation. In most cases, investment programs are extended to all family members.
It is cheaper to become a citizen of the CARICOM countries (Caribbean community), for example, in the Republic of Dominic, the cost of obtaining citizenship by investing starts from $ 100,000.
If you are interested in how to get second citizenship in the EU countries for Russian people, then you will have to invest $ 1-2 million in their economy. Bordering options are widespread connecting with the purchase of real estate and the systematic passing a way of gradual naturalization and legalization.
How to issue the status of a citizen of another state correctly
Russians have to notify the Directorate for Migration Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russia Federation about the status of a citizen of another country within 60 days. It can be done at the place of registration or stay. Those who live abroad for a long time have to submit information within 30 days after crossing the border.
Citizens permanently residing abroad and not having a permanent residence in Russia should not submit information. Citizens themselves or their legal representatives submit the documents. The procedure is statistical in nature, additional taxes, fees, charges for dual status holders are not provided by law. Underreporting provides administrative or criminal liability. The fine can be up to 200 thousand rubles or be replaced by 400 hours of correctional labor.
Features of legislation of countries, popular for immigration
Canada provides one of the strongest documents for visa-free travel, giving the right to enter 164 countries. To obtain the status of a citizen of Canada it is required at least three years in a row to be in the territory of the state. Possession of documents of two states is allowed. Suitable for those who think how to get dual citizenship and dream of living in Canada.
The USA is one of the most popular and attractive options for immigration, it has strict tax laws. In particular, it states that taxes must be paid from all sources of income, wherever they are in the world. Moreover, in case of refusal from the status of a US citizen, this provision is remaining for another 5 years.
Bulgaria is the most attractive of the available countries for relocation. Recently, the immigration program to this country has gained popularity among the retirees. Between Russia and Bulgaria, there is a provision on the transfer of pensions. Permanent resident status can be obtained in five years.
Cyprus can provide a second civil status in the period from 6 to 8 months for an investment of $ 2 million. Despite the impressive amount, the soft tax climate makes this country very attractive for immigration. Modes of naturalization or marriage with a citizen of Cyprus, of course, also exist, but they take much more time.
Malta has approximately similar conditions with Cyprus. Distribution of payments may vary: in Malta, except donations, it is necessary to purchase the real estate, and the period for consideration of documents is approximately 12-14 months. Citizenship status provides an opportunity to live and work in the countries of the European Community and the UK.
In Spain, the status of a citizen for the Russians is granted in exchange for the refusal of the Russian document, it is required to live in the country for at least 10 years. Settlement legalization schemes for illegal migrants are losing popularity due to tougher immigration laws.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a Caribbean community country that was the first to apply a model of economic immigration. The other CARICOM countries’ investment programs are built on this model. With the documents of this state, you can visit 133 countries, including the Schengen zone, the UK, Ireland.
After the hurricanes of 2017, the cost of economic migration programs in CARICOM countries was almost halved to attract investment for recovery. This caused the withdrawal of visa-free agreements from some first world states.
The German authorities categorically do not welcome the fact that their citizens have any other status than the title. Exceptions to this rule are few and exotic. Nevertheless, the German documents regarding visa-free travel are inferior only to certificates issued to citizens of the UAE and provide entry into 166 countries.
Ukraine issues a citizen the status of his country only in exchange for the rejection of the Russian. The imperfection of the legislation allows in some cases to become the owner of the documents of both countries.
Belarus categorically does not accept from citizens the presence of two or more statuses.
For your own peace of mind, keeping up a reputation, protection against financial risks, we strongly advise against using “gray” emigration schemes. Very often, at the stage of replacing documents after the expiration date, flaws in legalization appear. In this case, you can lose the civil status of the country, which is not easy to restore.