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Second and dual citizenship.

Very often Russian citizens enquire about acquiring a citizenship of a foreign country and are interested in the legitimacy of obtaining a second passport. It is unsurprising that the question has been raised as current law is very convoluted, and the peculiarities of the law are difficult to follow. The Constitution of the Russian Federation (Article 62) as well as the Federal Law “On the citizenship of the Russian Federation” (Article 6) clarifies the notion of dual citizenship. This term is often associated with “second citizenship,” which is not precisely correct. Dual citizenship is legitimate only if two countries have signed a corresponding international agreement. There is such an agreement “On the regulation of dual citizenship issues” with Turkmenistan (November, 25, 1994) and with Tajikistan (December, 12, 1996). International agreements are introduced primarily to resolve the issue of how a citizen with two passports may hold rights and bear responsibilities to both countries. In accordance with the agreement with Tajikistan, a bearer of two passports may “use all the rights and liberties, as well as hold the responsibilities of a citizen in the country where he permanently resides”. For example, military service responsibility is to be taken in accordance with the law of the country where the bearer of two passports resides permanently at the moment of the draft. In other words, it is not allowed that a person will have to serve in the army of two countries. The same principle is exercised on the issue of social security of a person with dual citizenship. Social welfare, education, and healthcare of citizens with dual citizenship take effect in the country of permanent residence. Although a citizen of two countries does have the right to seek protection and the auspices from both countries. When a Russian citizen acquires the citizenship of a country that doesn’t have an agreement about dual citizenship, the term “second citizenship” is applied. The term “second citizenship” is not used in either the Constitution of the Russian Federation or in other regulatory documents. However, the fundamental law of the State says that a Russian citizen can have second citizenship, but at the same time he still has the rights and liberties, as well as the responsibly to the Russian Federation. Hence, cases when a Russian citizen acquires the second citizenship outside of the above-mentioned international agreements are acceptable and are not prosecuted by the law. But neither the second citizenship, nor the documents received through it (passport) are not accepted by Russian law and are not valid on the territory of Russia. In other words, if a bearer of two passports (one of which is a passport of the Russian Federation) is on the territory of the Russian Federation, then the state will treat him purely as a citizen of the Russian Federation. That means that if you have already served in the army in other country, the Russian Federation can draft you again. However, if a second citizenship is acquired within the law of the citizenship of the country and is stated in the official registrar documents of the country, it does grant the citizen some rights that he can have both in the country of citizenship and in other countries. If you receive citizenship in most cases you don’t need to reject the other citizenship. Most European countries do not prohibit their citizens to have two or more citizenships. However, Denmark and Germany are the only two countries that do not accept two citizenships cases at all. For example, if you apply for German citizenship, Germany not only asks you to provide a petition for denial from your native citizenship, but also provides a notification of citizenship cancellation. Foreign countries do not usually inform consulate organizations of other countries that a citizen has received a new citizenship. Hence if a Russian Citizen receives another citizenship, this fact might not be recorded in Russia.


 

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