How to get Russian Citizenship for a Child Born in the USA

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Rush In
Max  3min read

Do you have a child born outside the Russian borders? In this case, there are several circumstances you need to understand when processing the child’s Russian citizenship. The Russian government has clear guidelines on specific conditions and requirements the parents must fulfill.


Below, we discuss the basic information you need to know when seeking your child’s citizenship in Russia, together with added reminders. Read on to learn more about what you should expect during the process. 

Is my child a Russian citizen if he was born in the USA?

If a child is born outside the Russian borders, there are two conditions by which they can secure Russian citizenship: 

Russian citizenship by descent

Citizenship by descent means that both or one parents of the child are bonafide Russian citizens. However, the process differs if one of the parents is a non-Russian citizen.


If both parents are Russian…
The child automatically obtains Russian citizenship at the moment of birth, even if it’s in a different country. This is regardless of the birth country’s laws. Good thing in America, they recognize citizenship both by right of birthplace (jus soli) and by blood (jus sanguinis).

With this, the parents no longer have to go through the rigorous process of naturalization. By default, their child is a Russian citizen, but they need to process a few documents, including a Russian passport.


If only one parent is Russian…
For a child with one Russian parent and one foreign citizen parent, the process is slightly different. Both parents must issue legal consent agreeing that the child becomes a Russian citizen.

If one parent refuses, then the citizenship process will not push through. In these cases, the right of birthplace will prevail by default.


NOTE: Whether both or just one of the parents are Russian citizens, the process for citizenship application is quite simple. Legal problems can be avoided with the help of a documentation expert.

Russian citizenship by naturalization

If both parents have Russian ethnicity but are not officially Russian citizens, the child may have to seek naturalization to become a Russian citizen. Another option is for one or both parents to renounce Russian citizenship, which can take months to accomplish.


The process on how to become a Russian citizen through naturalization can take years. This depends on the circumstances of the child and the parents. It’s advisable to seek the help of a lawyer specializing in citizenship applications.


In the case of naturalization, the following are the general requirements: 

  • Proof that the person has lived in Russia for at least 5 years
  • Basic knowledge of the Russian language
  • Proof of financial stability and ability to support their family in Russia
  • Willingness to renounce nationality of origin, except with countries where Russia has entered an agreement (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan).
  • Agreement to abide by the Russian Constitution

How to get Russian citizenship for a child born in a different country

For citizenship by descent, Russian parents need to secure several documents for the application.


But before we go through the list of requirements, it’s important to note that a Russian birth certificate isn’t necessary. In fact, it’s impossible to obtain a Russian birth certificate for a child born in a different country.


There’s only one certificate of birth, which will be issued by the country where the birth took place. In this particular case, your child will only have an American birth certificate.

Russia citizenship requirements

The requirements for the application differ on whether both or one parents are Russian citizens. Below is a quick outline:


NOTE: All these documents must be duly stamped by the Russian consular officer. Also, if neither of the parents doesn’t have a Russian passport, one or both should secure it before the application process.


If both parents are Russian citizens: 

  • Your child’s birth certificate with an apostille (need an apostille? Click here)
  • A certified translation of the birth certificate
  • Passport photo of the child
  • Copies of Russian Internal passports of both parents
  • Physical Russian travel passports of both parents (if one parent doesn’t have one, the internal passport can do)
  • Information of the parents’ current employment/school
  • If applicable, all documents supporting previous name changes of parent/s
  • Processing fee payment
If only one parent is a Russian citizen:

How to get the Russian citizenship if only one parent is Russian? Start by preparing these requirements:

  • Your child’s birth certificate with an apostille
  • A certified translation of the birth certificate
  • Passport photo of the child
  • Copy of the Russian travel passport of the Russian parent
  • Copy of the Russian citizen parent’s proof of US residency (green card, visa, etc.)
  • A copy of the international travel passport of the non-Russian parent
  • Copy of the non-Russian parent’s proof of US residence (green card, visa, etc.)
  • A copy of the child’s US passport, if there’s any
  • Copy of marriage certificate if the parents are married (if married outside of Russia, the marriage certificate must come with an apostille)
  • If applicable, all documents supporting previous name changes of parent/s

Does Russia allow dual citizenship?

According to the Russian constitution, Russian dual citizenship is allowed. However, there are very specific conditions as to who is eligible for this privilege.


So far, Russia only allows dual citizenship to countries where they have an agreement. As of today, there are only two: Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.


So how come some US-Russia citizens are also American citizens? In this case, it’s called ‘second citizenship’. Others use it interchangeably with Russian-US dual citizenship.


In this case, Russians who wish to seek foreign citizenship don’t have to legally denounce their citizenship. Still, they need to inform the Ministry of Internal Affairs of this intention.


Some countries that recognize second citizenship include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Cyprus.

Tips to make your child's Russian citizenship application easier

Already know how to become a Russian citizen? To speed up your application process, you must remember these general reminders:

1. Double-check all documents

Before the start of the application, make sure that you furnish all necessary documents. Check it properly to avoid any errors that could slow down the process.


For this part, Rush In Documentation can help. Our team can double-check all your requirements and provide all your legalization needs. We’ll make sure that all your child’s citizenship application documents are legally sound.

2. Translate all the documents

Aside from apostille, the Russian government will also require that all your child’s documents be translated professionally.


For this, you need an American Translator’s Association-certified translator to vouch for the accuracy of the translation. This can be accompanied by an apostille and official translation certification.


Are you looking for a legitimate translator? Check our document translation services here!

3. Consult a lawyer

Seeking Russian citizenship for your child is not a DIY project. It’s crucial to discuss this with a lawyer who has specialization in Russian citizenship laws. This way, you’ll get legal advice on how to proceed with the application and what requirements you need to prepare.


With a professional guiding you, the process will be faster. This is much so if only one parent is a Russian citizen.


Aside from a lawyer, you can also contact the US Embassy in Russia to get more information. They can give you a list of requirements and inform you how the process works.

4. Keep your lines open

You should expect follow-up questions and requests as your child’s citizenship application is rolling. The consulate may demand more documents, or you may have to give them more information.


Make sure you communicate clearly to prevent confusion. Take note that putting off a response to legal communications will only slow down the process on your part.

5. Be patient

Depending on your circumstances, your child’s application for Russian citizenship may take weeks to months. In some cases, it could take years to make a decision.


While waiting, be patient and respond promptly when government representatives contact you. Also, be honest and transparent to avoid potential legal entanglements.

6. Be aware of the fees

Seeking Russian citizenship for your child comes at a cost. Make sure you’re aware of all the expenses it will incur so that you can prepare ahead. A lawyer or citizenship specialist can advise you of the application’s financial aspect.

7. Follow-up regularly

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of citizenship applications at a time. So to ensure that your child’s application is being processed, you should make gentle follow-ups with the General Directorate of Migratory Affairs. 

Need help with your child's document legalization? Call us today!

Are you applying for your child’s Russian citizenship? Rush In Documentation can help by providing apostille services and translation services for all your legal documents.


Since 1994, we have been providing these services in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. We also take pride in our fast turnaround time – send your documents to us, and we’ll legalize it faster than any other provider.


On top of that, we also have a licensed immigration consultant. If you have questions about Russian citizenship, call us, and our specialist will discuss it with you!  

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