Belarusian parliament amended the Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Belarus”. The document has already been published on the National Legal Portal. It will enter into force on June 18, 2021. According to it, the terms for acquiring Belarusian citizenship are reduced, but cases of its loss for extremism are prescribed.
About the terms for obtaining citizenship
According to Anton Gashinsky, now it has become easier to acquire Belarusian citizenship. Persons over 18 years of age have the right to apply for this status. At the same time, they can be both permanently residing in Belarus and arriving here for permanent residence. Also those who have received higher education in Belarus and have worked here for at least three years.
“In addition, children can acquire citizenship by registration without observing the conditions of permanent residence – both those born and permanently residing in Belarus, and those who are here if guardianship is established over them,” the interlocutor said. – The same opportunities exist for children born outside Belarus and who are stateless.
Previously, in order to acquire Belarusian citizenship, a person needed to permanently reside in our country for seven years. Now only five.
“Previously, the period from seven years could also be shortened,” the interlocutor clarifies. – In the new edition it was fixed up to five years, and it cannot be reduced. The exception is situations where a foreigner or stateless person marries a citizen of the Republic of Belarus and they have a common minor child – a citizen of the Republic of Belarus. Then, in order to acquire citizenship, this foreigner is enough to permanently reside in Belarus for three years.
On restoration of citizenship
The new document introduces the concepts of restoration in the citizenship of the Republic of Belarus and the conditions for restoration. Thus, a person who has reached the age of 18 if he permanently resides in Belarus can apply for restoration of citizenship. In this case, however, he needs to fulfill several conditions. For example, he should be able to communicate in one of the state languages, as well as observe and respect the Constitution and other Belarusian laws.
“In addition, adults who were previously citizens of Belarus can apply for restoration of citizenship, but for one reason or another they have lost their citizenship,” says Anton Gashinsky. – Among these reasons, for example, a statement by parents who at one time renounced the Belarusian citizenship of the child, since the son (or daughter) at birth could become a citizen of another country.
On the loss of citizenship
The document also expands the list of grounds for the loss of Belarusian citizenship.
“It is possible to lose citizenship due to the presence of a court verdict that has entered into legal force (and the like), which confirms a person’s participation in extremist activities or causing them serious harm to the interests of Belarus,” Anton Gashinsky explains. – This concept is specified by the list of articles of the Criminal Code. This includes articles 124-126, 130-133, 287, 289-290.5, 293, 356, 357, 359-361.3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, regardless of the place of the crime.
The lawyer emphasizes: only those who have acquired Belarusian citizenship or reinstated in it can lose citizenship on this basis. This does not apply to people who are Belarusian citizens by birth.
– I note that citizenship may be lost in connection with the entry into force of a court verdict of the Republic of Belarus, a court decision in a criminal case of a foreign state, a sentence or other decision of an international tribunal (court), a mixed tribunal (court) confirming the participation of this person in extremist activities or causing them serious harm to the interests of the Republic of Belarus, the interlocutor lists.