In a discussion with travel buddies the following issue came up as the result of a Russian trip planning.

The situation of the person is as follows:

  • Born in Azerbeidjan (former Soviet state).
  • In the possession of a Dutch passport.
  • Due to being born in a former Soviet state he is also registered as having the Russian nationality (I found this causality weird, but that's how it was explained). He doesn't have a valid Russian passport though.
  • In the Dutch passport it's obviously stated that he is born in Azerbeidjan.
  • For some reason (the person was not really clear about this) obtaining a Russian passport is not an easy option. He said it involves a large amount of money, a lot of time and hassle.

Is it possible for this person to obtain a Russian visa in The Netherlands on his Dutch passport?

The story goes that this is not possible as the Russians will note the country of birth and then conclude that the person needs to be in possession of a Russian passport, hence denying access on another (in this case Dutch) passport.
I could not find any hard facts supporting this story, that's why I decided to ask this question here.

  • 4
    If he has the Russian nationality, (why) gan't he get a Russian passport?
    – gerrit
    Aug 13, 2013 at 18:20
  • Yes, that was my first reaction too. I'm not sure, he said it was difficult involving a considerable amount of money. I'll update the question accordingly. Aug 13, 2013 at 19:45
  • It is now a lot easier to renew an expired passport in New York consulate than before, however still takes a lot of time and paperwork. I was told too officially you can't get a visa if you are Russian citizen. Another option is to give up your citizenship.
    – Vitalik
    Aug 13, 2013 at 21:50
  • @Vitalik This sounds a bit like what the guy was telling me. He was against the plan of getting a Russian passport, so could you please elaborate on the other option(s) in an answer? Do you have some source, preferably online, that forbids issuing a visa to Russian citizens on a non-Russian passport? Aug 13, 2013 at 22:01
  • My only source is a phone conversation i had with the Russian Consulate a couple of years ago.
    – Vitalik
    Aug 14, 2013 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


Your friend seems to be out of luck. The Russian Consulate in San Francisco states quite clearly that former citizens of the USSR or successor states need to prove they are no longer Russian citizens:

Former USSR and Russian citizens

Applicants who used to be citizens of the USSR or of the Russian Federation and then emigrated from the USSR or from Russia must submit: one of the documents which confirms that they are no longer citizens of the Russian Federation (so called "Visa to Israel" or stamp in their passport saying that they left for "permanent residence abroad" before the 6th of February, 1992 or official document certifying that their Russian citizenship was abrogated), otherwise the applications will not be accepted.

And in the FAQ:

13. Although my passport says that I was born in the Soviet Union (USSR) or Russia, I knowfor sure that I am not a Russian citizen, but all the documents which confirm this fact got lost long time ago. What do I do?

You can send a special request for confirmation of the absence of Russian citizenship to the Russian authorities through the Consulate. It takes time (approximately 1-6 month), so, please apply in advance. Upon receiving the answer, the Consulate will issue you official document confirming that you are no longer a Russian citizen.

So they will need to either apply for Russian citizenship (and probably lose Dutch citizenship in the process, so not necessarily a good move...) or formally renounce their Russian citizenship.

  • 2
    sounds like that person already has Russian citizenship so no need to apply for it. It really sounds it's easier just to renew the passport even if it takes a lot of time and paperwork.
    – Vitalik
    Aug 14, 2013 at 3:56

For what I understand 'Russian nationality' means Russian ethnicity here (a common confusion, национальность in Russian should be translated as 'ethnicity' rather than 'nationality'), so it doesn't really give him any preferences, unless he wants to get Russian citizenship, which is also not easy.

That other answer is unrelated to him because he never held Russian or Soviet citizenship.

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