On August 15, at the site of the Russia Today MIA, a press conference of Valentina Kazakova, head of the migration department of the Russian Interior Ministry, was held. She raised the main issues regarding the improvement of Russian migration legislation. Kazakova paid special attention to the citizens of Ukraine who lived in the south-east of the country, but because of the military conflict decided to move to Russia.
According to Kazakova, since 2014, more than 350 thousand citizens of Ukraine have acquired Russian citizenship. At the same time, 593 thousand people issued temporary residence permits (RVP), 431 thousand refugees received temporary asylum, and 243 thousand received a residence permit (residence permit). Currently, according to the department’s calculations, there are about 1.8 million Ukrainian citizens in Russia.
According to Kazakova, presidential decree No. 183, which allows residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics to acquire Russian citizenship in a simplified manner and as soon as possible, as well as decree No. 187, which expanded the list of categories of Ukrainian citizens who can use the simplified scheme for obtaining a Russian passport , allowed us to significantly simplify the process of obtaining permits for citizens of Ukraine in Russia.
She also noted that about 3 million Ukrainians can use the simplified scheme for obtaining a Russian passport. Since the entry into force of the decrees, over 60 thousand applications have been filed, more than 25 thousand people have already received citizenship of the Russian Federation.
“We are not resting on our laurels,” Kazakova said.
The second important problem that the head of the migration department spoke about is the seizure of passports that were received before January 1, 2010 and were invalidated. Earlier, RT told the story of Denis Sosnin, an employee of a Moscow-based defense enterprise, who received a Russian passport, but there was no record of citizenship in the database.
Now, all foreign citizens and stateless persons who mistakenly received Russian passports, while not being citizens of the Russian Federation, before January 1, 2010, will be able to acquire Russian citizenship by January 1, 2025 in a simplified manner. At the same time, they will be recognized by Russian citizens from the date of issuance of the passport for temporary documents that were declared invalid.
“We have developed certain mechanisms that will allow, first of all, to inform the population in a timely manner about changes that have occurred in the legislation, as well as to monitor the very implementation of this norm,” commented Kazakova.
Now the migration department is considering the creation of an interdepartmental working group, which will include representatives of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and federal executive bodies, as well as employees of the Prosecutor General.
“All cases related to the seizure of passports when a citizen had a passport but did not have citizenship will be checked as soon as possible,” Kazakova promised.
Relaxation for specialists
On October 2, 2019, a law will come into force that will reduce the minimum period of labor in Russia for qualified specialists applying for Russian citizenship from 3 years to 1 year. The list of specialties was approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation. It included doctors, engineers, turners, electricians and many others.
“We hope that the changes introduced will help qualified specialists in demand on the labor market to acquire Russian citizenship as soon as possible. I note that a prerequisite for the realization of this right is the transfer by the employer of insurance contributions to the Pension Fund for his employee, ”said Kazakova.
Another important innovation concerns compatriots who apply for citizenship as part of the “Native Russian speaker” program. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the number of citizens recognized as native speakers of the Russian language has increased significantly in recent years. So, if in 2017 4,026 people were recognized as carriers, then in 2019 this figure increased to 19,435 people.
Recall that for this category of citizens, the validity period of a residence permit instead of three years has become unlimited. In addition, now the residence permit is not canceled if its owner did not submit an application for citizenship after two years.
In general, according to the head of the department, the migration situation in Russia remains stable, and the flows of foreign citizens practically do not change. Their structure also remains the same - there are two main categories: temporary labor migrants and citizens who have been living in Russia for a long time and want to apply for Russian citizenship.
Based on the results of the work done, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation prepared and sent a report to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. All instructions given by the president during the Direct Line are reflected in it. Now it is under consideration in the government.