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Registration of Russian passports, powers of attorney and pensions: a lawyer responded to questions from ForumDaily readers about receiving documents for Russia and the USA

How to get a Russian passport or issue a Russian pension, while in the US? How to recover documents or get their copies from Russia and the countries of the former USSR? How to issue various kinds of powers of attorney for all occasions and issue notarized translations of official documents into any language. ForumDaily answered these and other questions from readers Karina Duval, a lawyer licensed in the United States as a foreign consultant, with more than 20 years experience.

Karina Duval, a lawyer licensed in the United States as a foreign consultant, with more than 20 years of experience. Photo courtesy of Karina Duval.

Karina Duval is an experienced litigation lawyer with extensive judicial practice in Russia and abroad. Most of her clients live in the United States: they are both citizens of the United States and green card holders, asylum applicants, brides, wives of American citizens, parents of minor children, in general, all those who somehow need help from abroad. In addition, Karina provides assistance to citizens living in Russia who need to obtain various legal documents from the United States.

Reader question: I have an overdue Russian passport. How can I update it?

Karina Duval: The Russian Consulate in New York and the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Washington are currently receiving visitors by appointment. Registration of a foreign passport to those citizens of the Russian Federation who have expired, are missing or invalid foreign and internal passports of a citizen of the Russian Federation, is carried out only after checking that they have citizenship of the Russian Federation.

The applicant’s citizenship of the Russian Federation is checked if he does not have valid Russian documents proving his identity and citizenship. To do this, you must fill out an application and a questionnaire, provide the consulate with copies of Russian passports that have expired, or passports of a sample of the USSR; copies of birth, marriage, name change certificates; passport-size photographs, any other documents confirming the identity of the applicant, his RF citizenship relevant to the issue, for example, a certificate from Russia confirming that the applicant is registered in the Russian Federation as of February 6 1992.

The conclusion on the presence of Russian citizenship is issued by the consular department on the basis of information received from the Russian consular foreign institutions and territorial bodies of the GUMV of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, after which documents for the issuance of a foreign passport are accepted. The term for issuing a passport by the consulate under the regulations is three months, although in practice this period is longer.

An alternative to a long wait for the results of the inspection and the issuance of a passport is to obtain a certificate of return, which is issued by the consulate on the same day. According to this testimony, a person can return to the Russian Federation and obtain an internal passport at the place of his residence or stay in the territory of the Russian Federation, and then receive a passport. In this case, the duration of all procedures usually does not exceed two or three months, but time will have to be spent in Russia, while filing documents through the Russian consulate in the United States, although it takes much longer, it will allow you to stay in the United States all the time and keep normal lifestyle.

A reader's question: Is it possible to restore Russian citizenship after 30 years in America, and if so, how and for how much?

Karina Duval: In your case, we are not talking about the restoration of Russian citizenship, but about its confirmation or receipt on new grounds. If you left Russia 30 years ago, that is, in 1989, it matters whether you left for permanent residence or temporarily. The legislation of that time required, when leaving for permanent residence, an extract from a permanent place of residence and renunciation of the existing citizenship. In this case, the citizenship of the USSR was lost by you, but the citizenship of the Russian Federation was not acquired. It is currently possible to obtain Russian citizenship if you have reason to go through simple immigration procedures, which includes obtaining a temporary residence permit, a residence permit, and Russian citizenship itself. You will be able to obtain a temporary residence permit in the Russian Federation without a quota if you were born in the Russian Federation, or are married to a citizen of the Russian Federation, have parents or children of Russian citizens, as well as in some other cases.

Фото: Depositphotos

A reader's question: How to get a pension, while in the US, without going to Russia?

Karina Duval: You can get a pension without traveling to Russia, you can by proxy through a representative in Russia. The representative, acting in your interests and on your behalf, will collect the necessary documents and apply to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation.

You will need the following documents:

  • Russian passport;
  • Employment record (in the absence of it is restored);
  • Certificate of average monthly earnings for any 5 years;
  • Diplomas;
  • Military ID (for men);
  • Certificates of marriage, divorce, birth of children (for women);
  • Documents confirming the change of surname;
  • Help confirming the benefits.

In the power of attorney, it is imperative to provide for the right to open a bank account in your name, and provide bank details to the pension fund, which will allow you to receive money on your Visa card, and withdraw them through any American ATM.

The power of attorney is notarized with an apostille, or at the consulate, at your choice.

Reader question: Hello, I live in Istanbul, I have a tourist visa on 10 years to America, but I know that I have no right to be there for more than six months. Please give advice so that I can work and give my daughter to school.

Karina Duval: You probably know that you cannot work in the United States on a tourist visa. As well as violate the deadlines of stay in the country. In order to legally live and work in America, you need to change your immigration status. An American immigration attorney will help you find a basis for this. As for the child, children should not suffer from the fact that their parents do not have documents. Your daughter will be taken to public school regardless of the immigration status of her parents.

Karina Duval, a lawyer licensed in the United States as a foreign consultant. Photo courtesy of Karina Duval.

Reader question: Hello, dear Karina! A daughter permanently residing in the USA gives her mother in Russia 1 / 3 a share of an apartment owned by both of them. Will the mother in Russia be able to write out her daughter upon completion of the process of donation and re-registration of property by proxy to herself? After all, she actually becomes the sole owner of the apartment. They asked this question on the websites of Russian lawyers, the answers were contradictory: some answer that after taking possession of the said share, the mother can discharge her daughter without her presence, others answer that the daughter must personally come to Russia to check out her mother's apartment. What can you say about this? Thank.

Karina Duval: Your daughter and now, as the owner, can leave the apartment on a personal application without having to travel to Russia. She will be able to do this even after the completion of the donation process, having filled out an application for removal from the register, handing you her passport, and providing the power of attorney the right to receive a passport after discharge. On the other hand, the mother, having become the sole owner of the apartment, is entitled to write out the former members of her family, who have lost their right to property, on the basis of a court decision. Therefore, if there is no possibility to transfer the daughter’s passport (or if there is no passport, or it is overdue), or there are other difficulties, including the daughter’s unwillingness to cooperate, then the matter can be successfully resolved in court.

Фото: Depositphotos

Reader question: Hello. I'm going to move to the United States on a bridal visa. I have a Russian higher education, I work as a programmer. I am going to work in the United States also in the specialty (I do not need to finish my studies). Do I need to translate my Russian diploma and make an apostille?

Karina Duval: Answers to your question depend on the requirements of a particular employer. Although I have never faced a situation where an apostille would be required for a diploma of higher education in America. Well, the translation, of course, is better done. However, you can make the transfer upon arrival in the States; there is no need to arrange the transfer in advance. In the event that you decide to continue your studies, most American universities do not take diplomas into account: they require that the university where you studied give an extract from the test record, seal it in a sealed envelope, and in this form are asked to submit documents in American universities, in order to avoid fakes.

Reader question: I have had a green card for four years. I lived in Los for a year. Can I qualify for help or some kind of pension? My daughter made a greenhouse, but she cannot help in any way - the second marriage, three children, works, but there are difficulties. Should I go and where?

Karina Duval: Unfortunately, your question does not apply to my specialization. I can advise you on how to get a Russian pension, but not an American one.

Reader question: Is it possible to get a passport of the Russian Federation in the United States? My passport is received in 1986 year.

Karina Duval: If your passport is received in 1986 year, then this is a passport of a citizen of the USSR. Passport sample 1974 year long out of circulation and must be replaced by a passport of the citizen of the Russian Federation. Of course, provided that your Russian citizenship is confirmed. I could evaluate the prospects for exchanging your passport for a Russian if you have sufficient information. First of all, I need to know where you were registered as of February 6 1992. If in Russia, the passport will most likely be given to you. If in another republic or did not have registration at all, then in this case you do not have the Russian citizenship so clearly, and it is quite possible, you cannot replace your passport with a Russian one.

Reader question: The term for extending the green card has passed, and I am not in the US, what can I do?

Karina Duval: You need to contact an American immigration lawyer.

Reader's question: I have an apartment in Kiev, and I am the sole owner. It is also spelled out only me. Can I, without arriving in Ukraine, issue some kind of power of attorney for my mother so that she can write me out of this apartment and register herself there? And how much will such a power of attorney cost?

Karina Duval: Withdrawal from registration is possible on a personal application. However, the power of attorney will also be needed so that your mother, after removing you from the register, could receive your passport. The application and power of attorney can be issued in America, notarized with an apostille, and in this form used in Ukraine. Notarized and apostilled documents are equal to documents issued at a consulate. I draw up documents for their further use in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries of the former USSR, and also, if necessary, certify them notarially and draw up an apostille. Question about the cost of services you can send me a private message.

Фото: Depositphotos

Reader question: I am a green card holder, my husband and child are Americans. How to issue a power of attorney if I am going to go to Ukraine with a child? And do I need a separate power of attorney if I'm going to travel by train in Ukraine? Should this power of attorney be in English or in Ukrainian?

Karina Duval: Perhaps you do not know, but in accordance with Art. 7 Part 1 Law of Ukraine No. 2235-III of 18.01.2001, Your child has acquired the citizenship of Ukraine by birth, if at least one of the parents is a citizen of Ukraine. You did not indicate your citizenship in the question, but from the context I can assume that you have the citizenship of Ukraine. If so, then your child is a citizen of Ukraine. Consequently, the child will enter Ukraine, and leave Ukraine, and stay on the territory of Ukraine, as a Ukrainian citizen, not a foreigner. As a general rule, for departure from Ukraine of a minor citizen of Ukraine, the consent of the second parent is required. If you declare a child as a foreign citizen without issuing him a national Ukrainian passport, then the consent of the second parent will not be required for a foreign child.

Reader question: I received US citizenship. My husband is also a citizen. I filed documents so that my children from their first marriage (they are younger than 18, they have green cards) also received citizenship. 3 has passed a month, but there is no answer. Could this mean that the documents are not accepted? Can children be denied citizenship due to the fact that their birth father is not a citizen and not a green card holder? How can I find out what stage of the review the documents are at?

Karina Duval: As far as I know, in order for your children to acquire US citizenship without the consent of their own father, you need to confirm that you have the only custody on your children, that is, you and only you have the right to make any decisions on children. If your ex-husband lives outside the US, then you may not have such a decision. I, as a Russian expert, can, on the basis of the documents and information you have, prepare for you a legal opinion on who actually has custody of children. I have made legal opinions for USCIS many times, and my conclusions are accepted there, and the children successfully acquire American citizenship. But in any case you should receive a letter on the status of your documents.

Фото: Depositphotos

A reader's question: Karina, hello! They recommended you to be treated as a lawyer with experience in working with the States. All right My ex-husband married to me in the name of his company several apartments in the United States, namely in New York and Florida. We divorced five years ago in Russia. Since then, he has submitted a second time for the revision of penny alimony. We both live in Russia, only business links it with the United States. How can you make a request to the States to get an answer for the court, does he have real estate there now or does it work where or receives income from renting out apartments, being a co-owner or owner of a company? Is there a bank account and is there any movement of money through it? I have his old account number. The ex-husband hides everything and hides, voluntarily paying or sharing does not want anything. In 2015, I received documents for these apartments and information that he was simply the manager of the company that owns these apartments. That he is just an employee. It was not possible to use this info in Russia. All that concerns foreign property is unfamiliar and frightens the judges. It would be nice to share what he owned at the time of the divorce and collect decent child support for the children. From open sources last year I was told that they are now co-owners of this company 50 on 50. We do not live together, and I don’t know what happens after the divorce. What document and where to ask the RF to make a court in the framework of the next process on reducing the amount of alimony?

Karina Duval: In the case of reducing the amount of alimony, in your situation, I would suggest to file a counter-claim for their increase, referring to the fact that the debtor has additional income abroad, which were not taken into account when determining the amount of alimony. The reason for going to court in your case, as in the case of your ex-husband, is Article 119 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation, which provides that if the financial or marital status of one of the parties changes, the court is entitled to any of the parties to change the established amount of alimony. When changing the amount of alimony or when exempting the court from paying them, the court may also take into account another noteworthy interest of the parties. At the same time, Article 83 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation establishes that if a parent obliged to pay child support has an irregular, changing income, or if that parent receives income in whole or in part in foreign currency, the court has the right to determine the amount of child support charged monthly in a fixed amount of money or simultaneously in shares and in a solid sum of money. Types of income that parents receive in rubles or in foreign currency and from which alimony is held are determined by the RF Government Decree No. 841 of 18.07.1996, including the income from leasing the property (paragraph 1 "and"), and from income from participation in the management of the property of the organization (paragraph 1 "k").

In accordance with the law, each party must prove the circumstances to which it refers as based on its claims and objections. At your request, the court is obliged to invite your ex-husband to submit additional evidence, in your case it is:

- a document from the US tax authority about whether your ex-husband is registered as a taxpayer? If yes, then his tax number;

- tax returns for the last 2-3 years or a certificate of their absence.

Documents submitted from the United States must comply with Art. 71 CPC ch.4 Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation, namely, that a document obtained in a foreign state, is recognized as written evidence in court, if its authenticity is not refuted and it is legalized in the prescribed manner.

When the party evades the presentation of evidence, the court has the right to recognize certain facts as established or refuted.

Information on the ownership of which companies are your ex-husband, as well as information about his property, in the US you can get in open sources. Information on firms and businesses is available on the Secretary’s website of the relevant state, information on property is available at the county clerk’s office at the location of the property. You need to remember that the fact of owning apartments does not prove the existence of income. The company may have significant costs. Therefore, I would not focus my attention on this, and would not spend significant funds on obtaining this information.

As for information on bank accounts, this information is quite difficult to obtain. Even if a Russian court could make a direct request to US banks, then getting a reliable answer is almost unrealistic due to the huge number of banks operating in the United States. In addition, based on the source data, he personally does not own anything, which means all the money passes through bank accounts owned by the business. I think that this information will not be useful to you. However, you can petition the court for the court to obligate it to provide information on an account about which you have information. Of course, if this account still exists and money is stored on it.

I believe that you need to focus the personal income of the ex-husband, insisting that he should submit his tax returns to the court. Fundamental to the correctness of the resolution of this case is the fact that your ex-husband, having income in foreign currency, concealed this information from the court. As a result, the court, when making the decision, did not take into account the facts and circumstances of significant importance.

And one more arch-important detail. Apartments, as you indicated, were acquired in marriage. This means that you have the right to demand the division of property. For the section of American apartments you need to go to court at the location of these apartments, to the American court through an American lawyer. You will have complete freedom in this court, as the American judge, within the framework of the consideration of the case in his jurisdiction, can request absolutely any information that you, in turn, can later use in the Russian court within the framework of the alimony case, In addition to the fact that through a US court you will receive your share in the marital property.

Фото: Depositphotos


A reader's question: I ask you to inform, whether consultation on a question of divorce in the following circumstances is possible. My daughter, a disabled 1 group, married a US citizen in 2015. Marriage registered in Finland. Waiting for his wife's visa, lived with us in Moscow. Married acquired a house in the suburbs of New York. In November, 2017’s daughter’s husband left Moscow for Dubai with the intention of returning, but did not return. In January, 2018, in our Skype conversation, he confirmed his intention to part with my daughter. The last financial aid from him was received in March 2018. Currently he does not get in touch. There is reason to believe that he sold the house in New York and lives in Dubai. I would be grateful for any help in resolving the issue of divorce with material requirements from our side, primarily interested in the initial procedure. I am waiting for your message about the possibilities and conditions of our cooperation.

Karina Duval: Your question consists of several components:

  • Divorce;
  • Spousal support;
  • Property division.

Being a citizen of Russia, your daughter can file for divorce in Russia. For this, she needs to have a Finnish marriage certificate with an apostil.

She can arrange a divorce separately from the recovery of alimony and the division of property or jointly.

Article 24 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation establishes that if a marriage is dissolved in court, the spouses may submit to the court an agreement on how to pay funds for the maintenance of the disabled spouse, on the amount of these funds, or on the division of the common property of the spouses. on the above issues, the court is obliged, at the request of one of the spouses, to divide property in their joint ownership; at the request of the spouse who is entitled to receive maintenance from the other spouse, determine the size of this content.

Art. Art. 89-91 Family Code of the Russian Federation provides for the obligation of spouses / ex-spouses to support each other. In case of refusal of such support and the absence of an agreement between the spouses on the payment of alimony, the disabled needy spouse has the right to demand the provision of alimony in court from the other spouse who has the necessary funds for this. In the absence of an agreement between the parties on the payment of alimony, the amount of alimony collected by the court is determined by the court on the basis of the material and family status of the parties and other noteworthy interests of the parties in a fixed amount of money payable monthly. In my opinion, the court will take into account remittances transferred by your daughter's husband up to March 2018. If these were regular, not episodic transfers, then the amount of these amounts and their frequency can be used by the court as a basis for making the decision.

However, you need to bear in mind that the daughter's husband has no income in Russia, therefore, you will have to submit this decision abroad. Practice shows that it is necessary to collect alimony in the jurisdiction where in the future you will require the execution of the court decision, that is, where the defendant has a stable regular income. If your daughter receives the decision of the Russian court, then there will be practically no leverage on her ex-husband. In my practice, there was a case when my wife married 1 disability in the vision group, divorced and collected alimony for her maintenance in a Russian court. However, the former husband, who lived in America, did not obey the decision of the Russian court, in connection with which the former wife filed a petition for the enforcement of a court decision in a US court. I participated in this matter as an expert from my husband, and I managed to convince the court that the differences between the laws of Russia and the state of New York are so great that it is absolutely impossible to adapt the Russian court decision to American legal standards. As a result, the ex-wife was a fiasco. Denying her claim, the court explained to her the right to file an independent claim in an American court. I'm not sure that she subsequently went to court again, given the high cost of the process and three years wasted. Therefore, I believe that financial issues should be resolved in the jurisdiction where the defendant has an income, and where he can be pressured, armed with the law.

The same situation is common property. A house acquired in a marriage in the suburbs of New York is marital property. If the husband has sold this house, the wife has the right to demand payment of 50% of her market value to her. If we assume that the court agrees with her arguments and will charge the spouse half of the market value of the apartment, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the Russian court’s decision, given that in Russia the husband does not have property or income to be punished. border this decision is unlikely to be recognized.

What can be done in any case in Russia is to dissolve the marriage. The Russian decision to dissolve the marriage will be recognized in other jurisdictions, and there should be no problems recognizing this decision. However, it is better not to solve the financial component in Russia, since your daughter will not be able to monetize such a court decision. Depending on how quickly she wants to get a divorce, she may be more interested in divorcing her marriage abroad, particularly in New York. I know that the laws of many countries of the Anglo-Saxon legal system, despite the fact that they tie the place of consideration of the case to the place of residence of at least one of the spouses, in exceptional cases allow to apply to the court of their country even if neither the plaintiff nor the defendant lives there if the plaintiff can prove that this is his only opportunity to achieve justice. Obviously, in a situation where a Russian court decision is likely to remain unenforceable, and the UAE court cannot deal with the sale of marital property in New York, a court in New York represents the most favorable jurisdiction for a fair resolution of the case. If necessary, I will be able to prepare a legal opinion for the court, showing that applying for property and financial requirements to a Russian court has no practical perspectives.

Reader question: Hello. How can you deprive your ex-husband of reunification status?

Karina Duval: I believe you do not have control over your ex-husband and, accordingly, there is no possibility of depriving him of the status granted by the state. However, to get a reliable answer, you need to contact an immigration lawyer.

Reader question: I have a green card, I want to reunite with my mother (87 years), I have the right to receive citizenship. How to do it?

A similar reader question: I want to be reunited with my mother after three years, having obtained citizenship, and almost the same age ... It would be interesting to find out similar statistics, how things go, whether there are failures. How do older people tolerate all these changes? What do you think about that?

Karina Duval: You need to contact an immigration lawyer who will tell you in detail the order of your actions.

Reader's question: Please advise how you can get a visa to Canada. I have two citizenships - Russia and Turkmenistan. Previously resided in the United States from 2002 to 2011.

Karina Duval: I do not practice in Canada and do not have the right to comment on your question. Please contact a Canadian lawyer and / or use the search for information in open sources.


Questions answered Karina Duval - lawyer, notary, expert in international law,

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

You can ask your lawyer by mail:

or get advice by phone:
in USA: +718 704 8558
in Russia: +7-921-946-0582

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