Russian lawmakers are seeking to boost incoming migration offering permanent residence permits as prizes in a free lottery for foreign citizens, similar to the “green card lottery” held annually by the United States.
Members of the legislature prepare a bill for presentation to the federal parliament, which, if passed and signed, will introduce amendments to the federal law on the status of foreign citizens. Proponents say it would be part of stimulating immigration
“According to the project prepared foreign citizens who are recognized as the winners of a special lottery conducted by an electronic random number generator can be granted permanent residence permits in the territory of the Russian Federation,” reads in a note explanatory memorandum prepared with the bill.
The current project provides that participation in this lottery must be free, but only for citizens of certain nations and especially African countries, whose list must be approved annually by the Russian government.
The authors of the paper argue that the main candidates for inclusion must be countries with low rates of outward migration. In addition, the government should approve annually a quote on the amount of residence permits that will be drawn as a price.
Current Russian laws allow foreign citizens to receive temporary residence permits if they prove that they have the means to support themselves for the required period and to have a place of residence. Residence permits are also granted to spouses of Russian citizens. People holding a residence permit enjoy the same rights as Russian citizens, except those who have the right to vote and stand for election.
In recent years, the Russian authorities have drafted several bills simplifying the rules for granting citizenship to certain groups of foreigners, especially investors and people of Russian origin – those who speak Russian and have at least one ancestor who resides state within the borders of the present Russian Federation.