Data leaker Edward Snowden, who fled the United States, has received a permanent residence permit from Russia, Snowden's lawyer said Thursday.

Snowden has lived in Russia for years, but so far his permits have been temporary.

According to the lawyer, it was possible to obtain a permanent residence permit now that Russia has changed its entry laws.

Snowden applied for a permanent residence permit as early as the spring, but its processing was delayed due to the coronavirus.

The United States has searched Snowden for espionage.

He has said he wants to return to the United States but will only do so if the charges against him are dropped.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is considering pardoning Snowden but has not returned to the matter since.