To answer the question: “How does one obtain Russian citizenship?” first of all, you would have to note the documents which you absolutely must submit with your application, regardless of which type of naturalization you qualify for:
- Proof of good command of the Russian language
- Proof of a lawful source of income
- Application to relinquish the current citizenship
While proof of income is easy to obtain, good command of Russian and an application to relinquish the current citizenship are a serious hurdle (or even a deal-breaker) for many foreign nationals. For example, many US citizens and nationals of other countries decide to stay permanent residents of Russia, stopping short of a citizenship application.
There are always exceptions to the general rule: some foreign nationals may obtain Russian citizenship by direct presidential decree for their extraordinary merits, or for providing exceptional service to the Russian Federation. They do not have to obtain a temporary residence permit, become permanent residents, provide proof of income or of their mastery of Russian, etc, prior to that. Obviously, individuals who can take this path towards citizenship are extremely rare. They are usually renowned scientists, entrepreneurs and public figures, as well as top athletes, who have achieved outstanding results and excellence in their sports.
Naturalization is clearly a long, challenging process that requires a lot of effort and consists of many steps. Our experts will be happy to advise you on every one of them and, if necessary, provide comprehensive assistance, at every stage of the application process.