Press release №1927


  • Asked about possible changes in the procedures to apply for the Russian citizenship for the CIS migrants, one-third of Russians (35%) support the current procedures, a further 36% would strengthen the procedures.

Simplification of citizenship procedures for the CIS immigrants as well as an initiative to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants were not supported by Russians.

MOSCOW, February 10, 2017. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey describing the Russian opinion on migration policies related to the CIS states.

Most of Russians (71%) do not approve of the idea to simplify the Russian citizenship procedures for the CIS immigrants including one-third of those who would make the requirements even tougher (36%); 35% would preserve the procedures as they are today. Nineteen percent of Russians would support the idea to simplify the procedures, however, most of them are aged 60 and over (27%), and they have experienced a long-term “Soviet co-existence”. 

An initiative to grant amnesty to CIS illegal immigrants is not appreciated much too: 59% oppose it; 36% support it. According to those who support the initiative, this measure would help legalize illegal immigrants (63% - “they will have their legal rights”; 46% - “they will pay taxes”; 28% - it will help decrease the crime levels).

According to the Medialogia Company analysis, the migration topic was raised more than 400 ths times in the Russian media in 2016. The migration topic was discussed as part of European migration processes and refugee incidents. As to Russian migration news items, an incident at the Moscow Khovanskoye cemetery was often discussed.

The VCIOM survey was conducted on December 17-18, 2016, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1600 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The Russian mass media analysis and monitoring of publication were carried out by the Medialogia Company using the Medialogia database including 37200 sources such as television, radio, newspaper, information agencies and online media. The period of study took place from January to December 2016.

In your opinion, should the Russian citizenship procedures for the CIS immigrants be simplified, strengthened or be the same? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
They should be strengthened 36 27 38 40 37 34
They should be the same 35 49 44 34 33 23
They should be simplified 19 17 13 15 21 27
Don’t know 10 7 5 11 9 16
Do you support an initiative to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants from the CIS countries?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Moscow and St.Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area
I definitely support 11 9 6 8 9 13 15
I am likely to support 25 19 28 22 28 24 26
I am unlikely to support 28 36 31 33 26 30 23
I definitely do not support 31 30 30 31 34 30 31
Don’t know 5 6 5 6 3 3 5
Why do you think that granting amnesty to the CIS residents is necessary? (closed-ended question, not more than two answers, % of those who definitely or are likely to support the amnesty)  
  Total respondents
They will have their legal rights in Russia; the state will know who they are 63
They will pay taxes 46
The crime levels will decrease 28
They will be able to defend their rights 8
They will be able to participate in political life 4
They will get higher salary 2
Other 3
Don’t know 5

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory! The use of the Medialogia system content, fully or partially, must be accompanied by the reference to the Medialogia Company.

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