MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian officials are looking to relax rules on granting citizenship to foreigners who have studied and worked in the country or invested in the local economy, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Kommersant business daily reported that a bill drawn up by the Economy Ministry and migration authorities envisions streamlining the citizenship application process for graduates from Russian universities that have worked in the country for at least three years.
Foreigners earning at least 10 million rubles ($290,000) annually and that have worked in Russia for at least three years, as well as entrepreneurs who own at least a 10 percent stake in Russian legal entities that have at least 100 million rubles in assets, will also qualify for the expedited process, the newspaper said.
Currently, only foreigners married to a Russian citizen or those who were born in the former Soviet Union and are stateless qualify for the speeded-up procedure.
Nearly 136,000 foreigners obtained Russian citizenship in 2013, according to the Federal Migration Service. That was up from about 96,000 in 2012.