Expedited Russian Citizenship for Military Personnel under Putin’s New Law

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The Fast Track to Russian Citizenship

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, signed a decree on Monday that will expedite the process of obtaining Russian citizenship for foreigners who serve in the Russian Army during the military campaign in Ukraine, and their direct family members.

The presidential provision, published in the state legal information portal, specifies that in order to qualify for fast-tracked citizenship, foreigners must sign a contract for one year of military service. This provision applies to parents, spouses, and children of the foreigner who also sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

The express procedure for citizenship processing entered into force on the day of the decree’s publication.

The Rationale Behind the Decree

The decree is part of Russia’s effort to attract more volunteers to its military forces, particularly in light of its ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Additionally, providing citizenship to foreigners who serve in the Russian Army signals the country’s appreciation for their contributions.

The fast-track citizenship process also aims to facilitate the integration of foreigners into Russian society. By becoming citizens, foreigners who serve in the Russian Army can enjoy the benefits of Russian social services and a more secure legal status.

Foreigners’ Path to Russian Citizenship

For foreigners who do not serve in the military, the process of obtaining Russian citizenship typically involves several steps. These include:

  • Living in Russia for at least 5 years with a valid residency permit
  • Passing a Russian language proficiency test
  • Passing a history and law test on Russia’s constitution and legal system
  • Providing proof of financial stability and absence of criminal records
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Once these requirements are met, the foreigner can apply for Russian citizenship and wait for it to be processed.


The new decree signed by President Putin is a significant development in Russia’s immigration policies. It provides a faster path to citizenship for foreigners who serve in the military, and their families. This measure aims to attract more volunteers to the Russian Army while facilitating their integration into Russian society. For those who choose to take advantage of this opportunity, Russian citizenship can offer significant benefits and a more secure legal status in the country.

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