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Family Law: adoption, guardianship (Russia)
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Question

My wife, Sarah, and I (both citizens of United States) recently moved to Moscow. Sarah is pregnant and plans to have the child here in Moscow. We would like to obtain Russian citizenship for the child, if possible. (We will also be obtaining US citizenship for her). Would you be available to consult with me regarding this matter? If so, when might be a convenient time schedule a call?

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Answer

Unfortunately, to be born in Russia is not an absolute ground to get Russian citizenship. Child born in Russia from foreign citizens can get Russian citizenship by birth in one and only case (Article 12, part 1, paragraph “g” of Law of Russia “About Citizenship” – child gets Russian citizenship by birth if at the date of his birth both parents live in Russian and have foreign citizenship and the country of citizenship of parents cannot give the citizenship to child. So, in order to get Russian citizenship by birth in accordance with the above ground two conditions should be maintained: 1) Evidence that you cannot get citizenship of your country to your child; 2) Evidence of living of both foreign parents in Russia. If the above evidence is shown, a paper about citizenship would be issued to parents at place of living of their children in Russia. In accordance with Paragraph 4.1 of Direction about procedure and issuing of papers to birth certificate about Russian citizenship of child (order of MVD of Russia No 257 from April 18, 2003), in case of getting Russian citizenship by birth to child, the opinion about results of checking of conditions about availability of Russian citizenship by child is required”. Based on the above requirements, I think it’s unlikely to get citizenship to your child. About possibility of getting Russian citizenship in future -- in accordance with Article 6 part 3 paragraph 1 of Law of Russia “About legal status of foreign citizens in Russia”, without quote adopted by Russian government, a permission for temporary living can be issued to person born in Russia. After receiving of this permission for temporary living, the foreign citizen can get permanent residence in a year, and then living in Russia for required time and having permanent residence he gets Russian citizenship. But there is a requirement in this case that foreign citizen should address to proper body in his foreign country with application to reject his current citizenship. This rejection of other citizenship is not required if it’s provided in an international treaty of Russia, Russian Law about citizenship, or this rejection of other citizenship is not possible because of independent from the person reasons (Article 13, part. 1 paragraph ‘g’ of Russian Law “About Russian citizenship”).

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