Russian Residence Permit Might Be Given to Lottery Winners

PHOTO by Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

Deputies of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Oblast have created a draft bill that offers foreigners the opportunity to win a residency permit in Russia through a lottery, RIA Novosti reported.

“A residency permit for the Russian Federation may be issued to foreign citizens who won the electronic lottery,” according to an explanatory note. “Winners would be selected randomly by a computer system.”

If this initiative goes through, the federal law “On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation” will have to be amended. It is not yet known when the proposal will be submitted to the State Duma.

According to legislators, foreigners older than 18 and with at least a secondary level of education could participate in the lottery. In addition, the proposal calls for the creation of a special list of countries with low rates of emigration, whose citizens will be allowed to take part.

Participation in the lottery will be free, the deputies said.

On Dec. 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship should be simplified, especially for immigrants from former Soviet republics and cultural professionals.