Article 3 allowed dual citizenship or more than one citizenship. The central condition for naturalization was a permanent residence on the territory of the Russian Federation totalling a time of five years or three uninterrupted years before the beginning of the naturalization procedure. As Russia declared itself the legal successor of the USSR, this law also established a facilitated naturalization procedure for former citizens of the USSR residing in FSU countries, which meant that the same, by taking permanent residence in Russia, were granted Russian citizenship by registration. This procedure was particularly relevant for stateless persons who were residing permanently on the territory of the USSR before the 1 September 1991 and expressed their wish to naturalize within one year after February 1992.
A new Law on Citizenship of the Russian Federation was adopted in May 2002. It complicated the naturalization procedure for ethnic Russians from FSU countries. The explanation for this more restrictive policy was based on the fact that persons willing to become Russian citizens had been able to do so freely over a transition period of 10 years and, now that the transition time is over, the Russian state has to carefully examine the citizenship claims from the FSU countries. Nevertheless the citizenship acquisition was still much easier for former USSR citizens than for citizens of other states until 1 July, 2009.