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"Not allowed to go home": Crimean woman tries to get citizenship of Russian Federation in court of law. RT, 12 July 2018

Yelena Morozova who was born in Kerch is trying to get citizenship of Russia in the court of law. She moved to the Moscow region in the end of the 1990s when she was a child. In 2014 the woman was undergoing registration when Crimea became part of Russia. Morozova hoped to get the passport of the RF through a simplified procedure like the other peninsula residents. However, the law provides granting citizenship only to those who formally or as a matter of fact lived in Crimea in 2014. Due to this juridical interpretation Yelena is staying in Russia illegally and even can't go to her native Kerch because she doesn't have a temporary registration in the RF. Morozova intends to receive the citizenship in the Supreme Court. 

Yelena Morozova was born in Crimean Kerch in 1992. In the end of the 1990s she and her mother moved to the town of Klimovsk in the Moscow region in Russia. In 2011 the family withdrew from registration in the place of their residence in Kerch to meet the requirements for receiving international passports. Yelena finished school and entered a university in Moscow. However, she failed to get a diploma because the term of her temporary registration in Russia had expired — technically she was still a citizen of the Ukraine. 

On common grounds

Yelena started the procedure for receiving the citizenship of Russia in 2013. At that time she got a permit for temporary registration (PTR). A year after receiving a PTR Yelena got an opportunity to apply for a residence permit (RP). However, when the Crimea became part of Russia in 2014, its residents received the citizenship of the RF in a simplified way. The young woman sought advice from the General Department for Migration of the Ministry of Interior in Podolsk in order to understand how she could get the citizenship as a native Crimean. 

"However, I was told in the GDM that I was treated on common grounds", – said Yelena. 

In September 2015 the young woman appealed to the GDM again in order to get the residence permit. She received an explanation about the requirements for the matter. It followed from the answer that the woman had no right to receive the citizenship in the simplified way despite being the Crimean resident. Consequently, she could get the Russian passport only five years after receiving the residence permit. Then Morozova wrote a letter to the Administration of the President with a request to help her get the citizenship quicker. The AP advised her to appeal to the General Department of the Ministry of Interior. 

In March 2016 the woman brought the documents to the GDM again. Staff members of the migration service accepted her application but didn't inform her that there would be a deadline for applications in a fortnight, therefore Yelena wouldn't have enough time to get the required document. 

In the same month Yelena's PTR expired. As a result, she found herself without the documents necessary for staying in Russia and is still staying in the country illegally. 

"At present she is forced to cross the border with Belorussia because it is dangerous for her to come to the Ukraine with the Crimean passport. But the main thing is that she is not allowed to return home, to the Crimea", – says the young woman's mother Alla Morozova. 

Administrative offences 

Yelena tries to get in court the right for her citizenship of the RF according to the law "On acceptance of the Republic of the Crimea by the Russian Federation and the establishment of new subjects as part of the Russian Federation – the Republic of the Crimea and the city of the federal importance Sevastopol". Her mother has received the Russian passport together with the other Crimeans by this law. 

Nevertheless, as lawyer of the Moscow office of attorneys at law Pen & Paper Roman Kuzmin told the RT, a simplified procedure for getting the citizenship of the Russian Federation was available for those who were living in the Crimea at the time when it became part of Russia, according to the legislation passed after the unification and explanations of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. 

"In order to achieve this, formal confirmation of residence (registration in the place of residence) and also of actual stay (should be confirmed in the court of law) is enough, – explains the lawyer. – Since Yelena Morozova was not staying in the Crimea at the very moment of unification neither formally, nor actually, she had no right to receive the citizenship in a simplified way, which is provided for the residents of the Crimea". 

The press-center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs explained to the RT that the young woman had been refused to get the residence permit because she had been prosecuted twice for administrative offense (breaching regulations of stay in the Russian Federation) in 2016. 

Alla Morozova says that offences happened because Yelena didn't live and work in the place of registration. The young woman was registered in Klimovsk, but lived and worked in Moscow. 

At the same time, the Department for Migration points out that Morozova has the right to apply to be recognized as the speaker of the Russian language. 

"If she is recognized as the speaker of the Russian language, she will be able to apply for admission to the citizenship of the Russian Federation in a simplified way under part 2.1 clause 14 of the Federal Law 31 May 2002 N62-FL "On citizenship of the Russian Federation", after receiving the residence permit", – stated the MIA. 

Citizenship in simplified way

Yelena Morozova points out that last year representatives of the migration center offered her to get the permit for temporary registration. But, as she says, the permit for temporary residence won't be legitimate without a mark in the migration card. 

"If I cross the border in order to get the mark, I may be banned from entering for five years because of administrative offences", – explains Morozova. 

She thinks that the same will happen if she follows advice of the MIA and applies within the programme "Russian language speaker". 

However, lawyer Roman Kuzmin says that Yelena can receive citizenship in a simplified way because her mother is a citizen of the RF and lives in Russia. 

"This lessens strictness and does not require the permit for temporary registration or a residence permit, gives priority to the opportunity for reunification of a family. By the way, formerly this reason was applied only to disabled parents and then the criterium of disability was completely removed", – explained the lawyer. 

However, the family can't afford the application of documents. 

"Around ₽30 thousand are needed to submit documents for the residence permit, – comments the young woman's mother. – Since the permit for temporary residence expired my daughter can't get a job. I visit pawnshops to pay for a room in a communal flat. We literally have no money".

Also the woman pointed out that in 2015 a citizen of the Ukraine who had found himself in a similar situation, won the court case and had been recognized as a citizen of the RF. 

The young woman is sure that she will be able to defend her right to possess a Russian passport in the Supreme Court, and even in the ECHR. 

"A lot of efforts, time and money was spent on legal proceedings. I want to win the case in the court of law and receive the citizenship, for my case is unique. There are only two instances left for me – the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). If the Supreme Court rejects my claim, I will appeal to the ECHR", – declared Yelena. 

Alexandra Yermakova