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xt-tsi
28-08-2009, 10:59
Have done some research on Russian citizenship (having had a residency status and Russian wife for several years).
To obtain a Russian passport I need to provide a statement showing I renounce my US citizenship (along with preparing the full application) plus be married, have a permanent residency status.

Found out my US citizenship can only be annulled if I apply in person, submit the correct forms and get acceptance by the US State Department. Once cancelled, US citizenship cannot be renewed. US citizenship won’t be cancelled based on a letter given to the Russian migration authorities. This is based on a conversation I had with the US Consulate in Moscow.

Before renouncing citizenship, tax implications need to be studied. The US has exit laws for citizens who renounce citizenship. Assets above 600 TUSD are taxed based on their fair market value.

With dual citizenship, laws in both countries need to be adhered to. However: a permanent resident and citizen are both subject to Russian law equally with the exception of military service and voting which are the rights and obligation of a citizen only. Thus in terms of being accountable to Russian law, being a citizen and permanent resident is the same.

Whether the US embassy will come to the aid of someone holding but US and Russian passports, in the event of legal problems, is a gray area. Haven’t nailed down a definitive answer about it yet.

Over time the Russians have placed more and more restrictions on extending these permanent residency permits. I think this gradual process will continue, one factor in favor of citizenship.

Another factor is the requirement to live in Russia six months to keep the permanent residency. Thus I am required to renew the residency or risk its cancellation if I move outside Russia. Could happen…

A word to the wise about renewing residency permits upon expiry. Per Russian regs, the application for a five year renewal has to begin six months before expiry. The local registration (propiska) needs to be verified, a process that takes 30 days. In sum, renewal should begin 7 months before expiry. The passport (US, etc.) should have a term longer than 5 years, thus a new passport should be obtained with a long term. Keep this timing in mind if you want to renew your residency permit…

Any other comments?

tgma
28-08-2009, 12:52
Thank you for this informative post. Just confirms my view that I shouldn't plan to stay here long term, even when I get my TRP and Permanent Residency!
Another issue would be tax - depends on your employment status, but the US IRS will go after you for your worldwide income, and seem to be cracking down on foreign bank accounts and companies, so you have all that hassle if you keep your citizenship, even if you don't set foot in the US.
On the other hand, in theory, the Russians also tax you on your worldwide income. At the moment foreigners in Russia are such a minority, I doubt you would get much attention, but I can imagine them demanding something asinine like proof that you don't have a foreign bank account.
Obviously both bureaucracies are horrible, but I'd rather deal with the US IRS - I've never forgotten the time when I overpaid my Russian tax, and was threatened with a full audit (because their own records proved that they owed me money), which would have required endless notarised translations of all my bank accounts etc. At least there would be some hope of a fair hearing in the US.

SV1973a
28-08-2009, 14:29
Thanks for sharing this with us.
However, as I understand, you don`t have to prove that you renounced your US-citizenship. You just have to provide proof that you have send a letter to your Embassy, in which you say you want to renounce your citizenship.
If they say `no`, then it is not your fault that you are still a US-citizen.

One thing is for sure, if you are a Russian citizen with also US-citizenship, there is no way the US Embassy can help you (on Russian territory at least).

IGIT
28-08-2009, 16:19
With dual citizenship, laws in both countries need to be adhered to. However: a permanent resident and citizen are both subject to Russian law equally with the exception of military service and voting which are the rights and obligation of a citizen only. Thus in terms of being accountable to Russian law, being a citizen and permanent resident is the same.


This is not exactly so moreover, A foreigner is always FOREIGNER. The PRP only allows you to basically;
-move in and out of the country without a visa
-a work permit is not needed
In other words, you are still a foreigner and will be treated and seen as such. The PRP is for those that are NOT willing to give up their citizenship (why would anyone want to give up his/her citizenship?) but want to continue staying in the country and for longer periods.

Note that asides the fact that you cannot vote and be voted for, be called for or serve in the military and other security agencies, you also cannot be in the judiciary. Likewise, you cannot I think go to border cities as you will need a special permission for this.
Also, Can you take credit from russian banks with a PRP?



A word to the wise about renewing residency permits upon expiry. Per Russian regs, the application for a five year renewal has to begin six months before expiry. The local registration (propiska) needs to be verified, a process that takes 30 days. In sum, renewal should begin 7 months before expiry.
Your propiska (the stamp in your blue looking vid na jitelstvo) is "permanent" and will remain so but you need to renew your permit. Strange but that's how it works. However, it is true that the earlier you start the renewal process, the better.

xt-tsi
29-08-2009, 10:38
True. With the PRP you are always a foreigner. At the same time you are subject to Russian law, without the voting, military, travel rights you mention. When I recently renewed my PRP, the Migration office reminded me about it. It's one of the disadvantages of the PRP.

Credit can be obtained from a bank with a PRP and land can be purchased.

With a Russian passport a bank account should be a local one, which requires money transfers sent in and out of Russia to be reported in a certain way. Apparently a PRP holder should also have a local account. This is something I am trying to check out. I opened an account with my US passport instead and am not subject to currency transfer restrictions placed on citizens. Anybody heard anything?

When buying land or property the notaries and bureaucrats ask for a passport to verify docs and signatures. They are often not familiar with the PRP and don't easily accept a translation of a foreign passport as proof of identify. This can delay land purchases but can usually be overcome in the normal Russian ways, by having a friendly notary, ability to express and show gratitude for doc acceptance and so on.

Yes, the propiska is permanent but the Migration authorities want to see proof that it is current before renewing the PRP. For proof of the propiska they now require a more laborious application process. A form is submitted along with verification of registration (vypiska iz domovogo reestra), plus a tax id no. The applicant needs to show what taxes were paid in the previous year. Various agencies, presumably including the FSB and tax authorities, review it. Then a form is obtained showing the applicant is propisan (registered) and goes to the migration officials. Officially takes a month.

This is one way that complexity is being added to the PRP renewal process. Various "lawyers" in Moscow can shorten this process, for a costly fee. You get the picture. Makes me wonder what hurdles will come next, simplification now seemingly not the trend, and the impact on fees if help is "outsourced".

Next steps: I want to look at land registration, protection or help available from the US embassy in the event of legal problems, what bank account I can have and restrictions on money transfers if any, check our your credit question (good point) in comparing the PRP and Russian passport.

Agree?


This is not exactly so moreover, A foreigner is always FOREIGNER.

The PRP only allows you to basically;
-move in and out of the country without a visa
-a work permit is not needed
In other words, you are still a foreigner and will be treated and seen as such. The PRP is for those that are NOT willing to give up their citizenship (why would anyone want to give up his/her citizenship?) but want to continue staying in the country and for longer periods.

Note that asides the fact that you cannot vote and be voted for, be called for or serve in the military and other security agencies, you also cannot be in the judiciary. Likewise, you cannot I think go to border cities as you will need a special permission for this.
Also, Can you take credit from russian banks with a PRP?



Your propiska (the stamp in your blue looking vid na jitelstvo) is "permanent" and will remain so but you need to renew your permit. Strange but that's how it works. However, it is true that the earlier you start the renewal process, the better.

IGIT
01-09-2009, 10:11
Credit can be obtained from a bank with a PRP and land can be purchased.

Certainly not from Sberbank. Even folks with russian passports not permanently domiciled in, say, moscow for example are denied credit from banks. Interesting to know which banks you are talking about that gives such (credit) with a PRP?



With a Russian passport a bank account should be a local one, which requires money transfers sent in and out of Russia to be reported in a certain way. Apparently a PRP holder should also have a local account. This is something I am trying to check out. I opened an account with my US passport instead and am not subject to currency transfer restrictions placed on citizens. Anybody heard anything?
You can open local accounts even with a TRP. It does not matter but you will be classified as a non-resident (in banking terms) and with that, NO bank will give you credit or make a mastercard credit card for you. Blimey! not even citibank.
And what restrictions you talking about? russian banks (infact ALL banks) monitor your transaction in and out of the country. You can transfer any amount you wish but you have to indicate the purpose. Again, it also depend on how you want to send it. Western Union or through normal bank transfer?



When buying land or property the notaries and bureaucrats ask for a passport to verify docs and signatures. They are often not familiar with the PRP and don't easily accept a translation of a foreign passport as proof of identify. This can delay land purchases but can usually be overcome in the normal Russian ways, by having a friendly notary, ability to express and show gratitude for doc acceptance and so on.

If the notaries, bureaucrats et all are not familiar with the PRP then I wonder who should? Strange country I'd say or maybe it depends on the notary? The first thing they normally ask for is your national passport and its translation. Most notaries are actually very ok with that.



Yes, the propiska is permanent but the Migration authorities want to see proof that it is current before renewing the PRP. For proof of the propiska they now require a more laborious application process. A form is submitted along with verification of registration (vypiska iz domovogo reestra), plus a tax id no. The applicant needs to show what taxes were paid in the previous year. Various agencies, presumably including the FSB and tax authorities, review it. Then a form is obtained showing the applicant is propisan (registered) and goes to the migration officials. Officially takes a month.

That has always been the case. Things haven't changed. Actually, the prospiska is permanent and it is ALWAYS current as it has no expiry date. What expires is the PRP itself. (Sorry I have to use that word again) STRANGE! but that's how it is. It is the date on the PRP (the blue looking thing called a VID NA JITEL'STVO:-)) you renew and NOT the propiska itself.



Next steps: I want to look at land registration, protection or help available from the US embassy in the event of legal problems, what bank account I can have and restrictions on money transfers if any, check our your credit question (good point) in comparing the PRP and Russian passport.
Agree?
It's comes very strange to me that a US citizen would happily give up his citizenship for a russian passport? It comes very odd in fact that anyone would give up his/her citizenship for any other country for that matter and to think it's for a russian passport? Strange. Very strange. A PRP will do unless you want to stay here forever and never go back home and what about your kids (if any)? won't you be denying them their heritage?

SV1973a
01-09-2009, 11:22
Certainly not from Sberbank. Even folks with russian passports not permanently domiciled in, say, moscow for example are denied credit from banks. Interesting to know which banks you are talking about that gives such (credit) with a PRP?


You can open local accounts even with a TRP. It does not matter but you will be classified as a non-resident (in banking terms) and with that, NO bank will give you credit or make a mastercard credit card for you. Blimey! not even citibank.
And what restrictions you talking about? russian banks (infact ALL banks) monitor your transaction in and out of the country. You can transfer any amount you wish but you have to indicate the purpose. Again, it also depend on how you want to send it. Western Union or through normal bank transfer?

Even without TRP you can open a bank account. I opened my accounts when I was here on my work visa. But they asked plenty of other documents (registration, immigration card, work permit, notarised translation of passport, copy of my contract,... and maybe some other docs I have forgotten to mention). Also, you need to spend a couple of hours filling in an application form.
The banking system in Russia is very complex, and I still haven`t managed to understand completely how things are organised. It is amazing how many work is still done on paper. A simple transaction, which in my home country I can do in 5 secs over the internet, needs at least 2 documents to be signed.
Another problem is recurring payments. I wanted to pay automatically from my Russian account 500EUR a month to the account of my parents in law.
Apparently as a non-resident this is not possible.


It's comes very strange to me that a US citizen would happily give up his citizenship for a russian passport? It comes very odd in fact that anyone would give up his/her citizenship for any other country for that matter and to think it's for a russian passport? Strange. Very strange. A PRP will do unless you want to stay here forever and never go back home and what about your kids (if any)? won't you be denying them their heritage?

I would be happy with the PRP, were it not for these two big disadvantages :
- it is not permanent
- it gets cancelled if you are out of the country for more than 6 months a year.
RF Citizenship really is for life, and it does not get cancelled.
Indeed, giving up one`s own citizenship is a sacrifice. The Russian law only says that you should send a letter, stating that you want to give up your citizenship. It does not say anywhere that you must prove that you have given up your citizenship. Your embassy is free to do what they want with your request. Many countries say that it is impossible to give up your citizenship.
And even if I do loose my citizenship, I can get it back, because my Russian wife also holds my citizenship.

xt-tsi
04-09-2009, 12:48
Certainly not from Sberbank. Even folks with russian passports not permanently domiciled in, say, moscow for example are denied credit from banks. Interesting to know which banks you are talking about that gives such (credit) with a PRP?

You can open local accounts even with a TRP. It does not matter but you will be classified as a non-resident (in banking terms) and with that, NO bank will give you credit or make a mastercard credit card for you. Blimey! not even citibank. And what restrictions you talking about? russian banks (infact ALL banks) monitor your transaction in and out of the country. You can transfer any amount you wish but you have to indicate the purpose. Again, it also depend on how you want to send it. Western Union or through normal bank transfer?

IGIT: Became curious, went to my bank: Raiffaisenbank.

They give personal loans, car loans and credit cards to PRP holders who have been employed six months, have a trudovaya knizhna (work book) and tax records showing wage and tax payments, INN no. All of which I have. Thus a loan with a PRP possible legaly but obtaining credit - depends on the bank. Rates are 23%/annum for a 3 year loan, if paid back in year one fines are payable. Ouch. I try to avoid Sberbank, find it painful to do business there...so I wouldn't know their terms or regs.

Ruble accounts: both residents and non residents can be asked to justify debits and credits up to 600 TRuR. Above 600 k, all debits and credits need to be justified. Includes source of the funding, shown as earnings, sale of assets, and so on.

Hard currency accounts: Residents (PRP and passport holders) can be asked to justify credits or debits of hard currency up to 5000 USD equivalent amounts. Residents are required to justify all debits and credits above 5000 USD equivalents. Non residents account holders have no restrictions from the bank's perspective on hard currency transfers.

This info came from Raiffaisenbank...

If the notaries, bureaucrats et all are not familiar with the PRP then I wonder who should? Strange country I'd say or maybe it depends on the notary? The first thing they normally ask for is your national passport and its translation. Most notaries are actually very ok with that.

IGIT: I've met notaries who do not accept the US passport and PRP when I was buying land. They also don't accept the US passport with the notarized translation Had to hunt around for a notary who was willing to do business with me. So yes, it depends on the notary. With a Russian passport, this is not an issue. Don't know if this is a strong argument in favor of having a Russian passport.

Actually, the prospiska is permanent and it is ALWAYS current as it has no expiry date. What expires is the PRP itself. (Sorry I have to use that word again) STRANGE! but that's how it is. It is the date on the PRP (the blue looking thing called a VID NA JITEL'STVO:-)) you renew and NOT the propiska itself.

IGIT: True, but extending the PRP is becoming more complicated, in one way by adding extra steps to prove you are propisan (not become propisan). This step was not required in the past, FE when I last extended my PRP in 2004.

It's comes very strange to me that a US citizen would happily give up his citizenship for a russian passport? It comes very odd in fact that anyone would give up his/her citizenship for any other country for that matter and to think it's for a russian passport? Strange. Very strange. A PRP will do unless you want to stay here forever and never go back home and what about your kids (if any)? won't you be denying them their heritage?

IGIT: most foreigners who apply for Russian passports do not give up their original citizenship. The letter to the Migration office saying you renounce original citizenship is not accepted by the US government, thus US citizenship is not renounced. My question, could this non-renunciation of US citizenship someday put my US citizenship at risk. Seems unlikely.

Ironically, I might want Russian citizenship if I left the country, in which case I would lose my PRP after being out of the country six months. Thus I would in theory get the passport to leave the country, rather than to live in it.

As for my children's heritage...this is a discussion about taxes, citizenship, residency regulations, travel privileges and documents. My children have US and Russian citizenship. If I were ever foolish enough to revoke my own citizenship, theirs would not be cancelled. But being a Russian citizen is one thing that does hold me back. Crossing the rubicon and so on...

CaliforniaChic
14-09-2009, 15:47
Actually, opening a bank account is no problem even on a long term visa. I recently inquired about getting a credit card on a joint account and while on a visa, all that is needed is a valid passport that is translated into Russian and registration. So surprisingly its not a very complicated process.

tgma
15-09-2009, 16:08
I asked at Raiffeisen, and applied for a loan, and my being foreign, on a one-year visa, was not an issue at all. I didn't get the loan in the end, because my official contract at my employer's was only three months old (long story), but being on a multi-entry was not an issue at all. Although, in retrospect, you can see why it would be...

dwandsv
16-09-2009, 02:57
Have done some research on Russian citizenship (having had a residency status and Russian wife for several years).
To obtain a Russian passport I need to provide a statement showing I renounce my US citizenship (along with preparing the full application) plus be married, have a permanent residency status.

Found out my US citizenship can only be annulled if I apply in person, submit the correct forms and get acceptance by the US State Department. Once cancelled, US citizenship cannot be renewed. US citizenship won’t be cancelled based on a letter given to the Russian migration authorities. This is based on a conversation I had with the US Consulate in Moscow.

Before renouncing citizenship, tax implications need to be studied. The US has exit laws for citizens who renounce citizenship. Assets above 600 TUSD are taxed based on their fair market value.

With dual citizenship, laws in both countries need to be adhered to. However: a permanent resident and citizen are both subject to Russian law equally with the exception of military service and voting which are the rights and obligation of a citizen only. Thus in terms of being accountable to Russian law, being a citizen and permanent resident is the same.

Whether the US embassy will come to the aid of someone holding but US and Russian passports, in the event of legal problems, is a gray area. Haven’t nailed down a definitive answer about it yet.

Over time the Russians have placed more and more restrictions on extending these permanent residency permits. I think this gradual process will continue, one factor in favor of citizenship.

Another factor is the requirement to live in Russia six months to keep the permanent residency. Thus I am required to renew the residency or risk its cancellation if I move outside Russia. Could happen…

A word to the wise about renewing residency permits upon expiry. Per Russian regs, the application for a five year renewal has to begin six months before expiry. The local registration (propiska) needs to be verified, a process that takes 30 days. In sum, renewal should begin 7 months before expiry. The passport (US, etc.) should have a term longer than 5 years, thus a new passport should be obtained with a long term. Keep this timing in mind if you want to renew your residency permit…

Any other comments?
Hello xt-tsi -
The following is from a post I made a few weeks ago, hope it helps.

The following is from a webpage regarding dual citizenship and is from the US State department's travel & citizenship pages, specifically citizenship_778.html publication.
ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARD OF EVIDENCE
As already noted, the actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to a declaration of allegiance to a foreign state, serve in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government.
DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS APPLICABLE
In light of the administrative premise discussed above, a person who:
1. is naturalized in a foreign country;
2. takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign state;
3. serves in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or
4. accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government,
And in so doing wishes to retain U.S. citizenship need not submit prior to the commission of a potentially expatriating act a statement or evidence of his or her intent to retain U.S. citizenship since such an intent will be presumed.
When, as the result of an individual's inquiry or an individual's application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. citizen has performed an act made potentially expatriating by Sections 349(a)(1), 349(a)(2), 349(a)(3) or 349(a)(4) as described above, the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if there was intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person's intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship.
As for me I fully intend on gaining Russian citizenship, whatever it takes.