Plans to simplify Belarusian citizenship acquisition procedure

REGIONAL NEWS Свежыя навіны

Belarus intends to simplify the naturalization procedure (citizenship acquisition procedure).

Access to Belarusian citizenship may be simplified for foreigners, who receive occupational education in the country. The provision is part of the amendments to the citizenship law, BelTA learned from Maria Vasilevich, a member of the Human Rights, National Relations, and Mass Media Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus.

The procedure for acquiring Belarusian citizenship will be simplified for foreigners, who study to get vocational training in Belarus. According to the MP, foreigners will have to continuously live in Belarus for five years instead of seven in order to become eligible for Belarusian citizenship.

Those, who have graduated from Belarusian higher education institutions and have worked in the country for at least three years, will also be eligible for simplified naturalization. The simplified procedure will also be applicable to foreigners, who have been married to Belarusian citizens for at least three years and have kids. “These novelties are designed to enhance the appeal of the Belarusian education system and attract new students for the sake of further formation of human capital,” the MP said.

The citizenship restoration procedure will be tweaked as well. People aged 18 and over, who have returned to Belarus for permanent residence, will be able to recover their Belarusian citizenship without renouncing their foreign citizenship.

The amendments also read that people, who have participated in terrorism activities or other kinds of extremism and have inflicted heavy damage to Belarus’ interests, will lose their citizenship. The norm will apply only to those, who acquired Belarusian citizenship by means other than birth. Such regulations are enforced in the USA, Austria, UK, and France, the MP noted.

The list of reasons for rejecting applications for the termination of Belarusian citizenship will be expanded as well. In line with the bill the new norm will apply not only to the accused but also to suspects as part of criminal cases. The MP believes it will prevent people being investigated from dodging their punishment by getting rid of Belarusian citizenship.

The amendments are supposed to be given the first reading during the spring session of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus.