How to renounce Russian citizenship if you live in the USA: step-by-step instructions from a lawyer - ForumDaily
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How and why people renounce Russian Citizenship

The renunciation of Russian citizenship is a difficult and complex process. It requires lots of time and effort. In my office this request is made quite often, so let's look at everything in order.

Photo: IStock

The first condition to begin this process is that a person must possess another citizenship or a guarantee of eligibility for another citizenship. For me, almost every client that brings up this request is already a United States citizen.

The second condition to begin this process is the existence of a valid Russian passport. In the event of an expired Russian passport, you must get a new Russian passport.

Here are a few common reasons why people decide to renounce their Russian citizenship.

Before you begin the process of renouncing Russian citizenship, think about the question: why do you need this? For what big purposes are you willing to spend time, nerves and money, and what exactly does a Russian passport hinder you from?

Many of our clients say that they fear getting drafted into the Russian army. This risk is justified only in case of traveling to the Russian Federation or intentions to travel there in the future. If you live in the U.S. and have no intention to travel to Russia, you have no risk of getting drafted.

The second reason why people want to renounce their Russian citizenship is the legal requirements of the country where a person has the intention to get new citizenship. For example, in the Netherlands to get Dutch citizenship the petitioner must renounce their existing citizenship. But even the Netherlands has exemptions for some categories of applicants. However, the United States tolerates dual and multiple citizenships. Many Americans have citizenship of another country. This is very convenient as it gives more benefits than drawbacks.

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The third reason is government employment. Some government jobs do not allow dual or multiple citizenship. Many people pick employment over their original citizenship and for this reason, they start the renunciation process.

Some of Our New York office clients are American parents who adopted Russian kids before 1 (when Law Dima Yakovlev was enacted, Americans were no longer allowed to adopt kids from Russia). Most of these kids have become adults by now and are concerned about their Russian citizenship, so they want to renounce it due to ideological reasons. However, most of these people don’t have a valid Russian passport. To have the opportunity to start the process of renunciation, they need to obtain a valid Russian passport. For this reason, they need to prove their Russian citizenship.

How to get a passport at the Russian consulate

To be able to apply to the consulate to obtain a Russian passport, you must confirm your Russian citizenship. Previously, Russian legislation required that a child adopted abroad be registered consularly with the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation, therefore all previously adopted citizens of the Russian Federation are consularly registered. This fact makes verification of Russian citizenship simpler and faster.

The Russian Embassy or local Consulate initiates the confirmation procedure of Russian citizenship at the request of the petitioner, who files the appropriate application. In this application, the petitioner states their current name, their previous names, date, and place of birth, current address, and the circumstances that prove their Russian citizenship. After confirmation, the person can file a Russian passport application.

Together with the filing of a standard passport application, I would recommend filing another two applications:

An application verifying the preferred spelling of the first and last name of the petitioner, according to their existing American documents;

A request to receive a Russian passport by USPS Express or Priority Mail, to avoid the extra trip to the consulate.

What documents are needed to renounce Russian citizenship?

After receiving the new Russian passport, the Petitioner may begin the process of renunciation.

The renunciation process is performed by the free request of the Russian citizen.

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The following documents are required:

  1. Renovation application. It is filled out on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs entirely in Russian in one copy.
  2. Valid Russian passport., original and copy with personal data. There must be at least six months left before the passport expires. If its validity has expired, you must issue a new passport. The international passport must reflect the current last name, first name and patronymic.
  3. Internal Russian passports if exists. Original and copies of pages with personal data and marks on registration at the place of residence or deregistration.
  4. Birth certificate (original and copy).
  5. Certificates of name change, if applicable (originals and copies of all pages of such documents).
  6. Documents confirming residence abroad (US passport or US permanent residence permit). The specified documents are provided in the original with a translation into Russian (an apostille is not required). The accuracy of the translation is certified by a notary in Russia or at the Russian consulate. Originals of other documents issued by foreign authorities and drawn up in a foreign language must be certified by an apostille and translated into Russian, including an apostille. The translation must be certified by the competent authorities of the Russian Federation (Russian notary or consular officer). Translations prepared in a homemade manner and certified by local American notaries are not legitimate on the territory of the Russian Federation and are not accepted for consideration.
  7. Proof of termination of residency in Russia. (a stamp in the internal passport of a Russian citizen confirming deregistration; OR original and copy of the departure address sheet; OR certificate of deregistration, extract from the house register.
  8. Certificate from the Russian Tax Authority confirmation of no tax debt. (original).
  9. Three passport pictures. (full face, against a light background).

The application process may begin when you personally file the application and submit all necessary documents. Any applications filed by mail are unacceptable.

After completing the renunciation process, if the application is approved, the petitioner will be given a Certificate of Renunciation. Then, the petitioner is required to turn in his or her Russian passport to the Russian Consulate.

Material prepared in partnership with

Karina Duval - lawyer, notary, expert in international law

Russian registration: #78/857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542

tel: + 7 (921) 946-0582 (in Russia) / + 1 (718) 704-8558 (in USA)

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Documents, terms and conditions: who and how can renounce Russian citizenship

lawyer Russian citizenship loudspeakers notary Karina Duval renunciation of citizenship
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