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Russian Expats Hit With Dual-Citizenship Law Caveat

  • RFE/RL

A senior Russian migration official says Russian expatriates must declare their foreign passports or residency permits if they maintain a residency registration in Russia.

Russian expats worldwide have been scrambling to understand whether they are excluded from a new law criminalizing failure to declare foreign passports or residency permits.

The law, which critics call a sign of the Kremlin's escalating siege mentality, states that Russians permanently living abroad are exempt.

But Russian Federal Migration Service official Nikolai Smorodin said in an August 19 Facebook chat that Russians who maintain a Russian residency permit are subject to the law, even if they physically reside abroad.

The declarations must be filed inside Russia.

Russians who cannot return in time to meet the October 4 deadline can make their declarations without penalty on their next trip to Russia, Smorodin said.