An alien becomes naturalized by taking an oath of fidelity to the Emperor; but he can, if he wishes it, renounce his naturalization and return to his native country.1

Naturalization law of the 6th of March, 1864.2

A.—1. A foreigner must be domiciled in the empire before he can be admitted as a Russian subject.3

2. A foreigner wishing to become domiciled in Russia must inform the governor of the province in which he wishes to reside of his desire to do so, explaining the nature of his occupation in his own country, and the pursuits he purposes to follow in Russia. On the receipt of such declaration the petitioner is considered to be domiciled in Russia, but will nevertheless be accounted a foreigner until he shall have taken the oath of allegiance.

3. Foreigners already resident in Russia, distinguished in art, trade, commerce, or in any other pursuit, may prove their domiciliation by other means than those specified in § 2.

4. A foreigner, after being domiciled five years in Russia, may apply to be admitted to Russian allegiance.

5. Foreign married women cannot become Russian subjects without their husbands.

6. The allegiance, when sworn to, is merely personal, and does not affect children, whether of age or minors, previously born. Those born after the adoption of Russian nationality are acknowledged as Russians.

7. Specifies rule to be observed in petitioning the minister of the interior to be admitted to Russian allegiance, (documents and declaration required, &c.)

8. It is optional with the minister to grant the above petition or not.

9. An oath to be taken.

10. Mode of taking oath.

11. In special cases, the period requisite to constitute a domicile may be shortened.

12. Children of foreigners not Russian subjects, born and educated in Russia, or, if born abroad, yet who have completed their education in a Russian upper or middle school, will be admitted to Russian allegiance, should they desire to do so, a year after they shall have attained their majority.

13. The children of foreigners wishing to become Russian subjects will be admitted on the same terms as their parents.

14. Foreigners in the Russian military or civil service, or ecclesiastics of foreign persuasions, will be admitted to Russian allegiance without period of domicile.

15. A Russian subject marrying a foreign husband, and therefore considered a foreigner, may, on the death of her husband, or in case of her divorce, return to her former allegiance.

16. The children in the above case are treated as in § 12.

17. Foreign women marrying Russian subjects, and the wives of foreigners who have become Russian subjects, are admitted as Russian subjects without taking oath of allegiance. Widows and divorced wives retain the nationality of their husbands.

18. Special enactments relative to colonists, foreign agricultural laborers, Bulgarians, &c., remain in full force.

19. Foreigners admitted to Russian nationality are placed, in respect to their rights and obligations, on a perfect equality with born Russians.

20. Provides for the speedy transaction of business in connection with the adoption of Russian nationality.

B.—Transitional measures.

Foreigners who shall have already adopted Russian nationality may return at any time to their former nationality, on payment of all claims against them, whether government or private.
Those who throw off their Russian allegiance may either quit the country or remain in Russia, enjoying equal rights with other foreigners. They must provide themselves with national passports within a year, if resident in Ruropean Russia or belonging to a country in Rurope, or within two years, if residing in Siberia, or having to obtain such passports in any other quarter of the globe. On the lapse of those dates, without production of passport, the foreigner must either leave the country or resume his Russian nationality.
Exceptions in cases of deserters and Asiatics.
Annuls all enactments compelling Russian women married to foreigners to sell their immovable property in Russia, with the exception of certain kinds of property which, as foreigners, they still have no right to possess. With respect to the enactment concerning the payment of three years’ dues and export duties by foreigners wishing to leave their Russian nationality, that law is abrogated in respect to those countries which shall adopt a reciprocity in such matters.

C. Abrogating law by which a foreigner was obliged to take an oath of allegiance prior to his marriage with a Russian woman, and by which he was required to ask permission of the Emperor to contract marriage with a Russian woman of the orthodox faith.

  1. Fœlix, vol. 1, p. 100.
  2. For a full translation of this law, see the “Journal de St. Pétersbourg,” in closed in Lord Napier’s No. 207, April 13, 1864.
  3. Lord Napier, No. 186; March 30, 1864.