Source: The Economy

Russia has recently made a significant change in its citizenship application process, announcing that headscarves and hijabs will now be permitted in passport photographs for foreign nationals. The decision, announced by the Russian Interior Ministry. Comes as part of efforts to ease regulations surrounding citizenship applications.

New Regulations

Effective from May 5, the new law will allow applicants whose religious beliefs require them to wear head coverings to submit photographs with appropriate attire. However, it’s worth noting that scarves covering the chin entirely or partially will not be accepted. Ensuring that the face remains visible for identification purposes.

Russia Allows Headscarves on Passport Photographs
Source: TIO

This move aligns with Russia’s commitment to religious freedom while also prioritizing state security. Biysultan Khamzaev, a member of the State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee, emphasized that while respecting religious traditions, it’s crucial to maintain the ability of video monitoring systems to identify individuals.

Evolution of Passport Photo Regulations

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Russia has adjusted its regulations regarding head coverings in passport photos. In the Soviet era, such coverings were not allowed. However, after the dissolution of the USSR, Muslim women began using photographs with hijabs until a ban was imposed in 1997. This ban was later overturned by the Russian Supreme Court in 2003.

President Vladimir Putin has emphasized Russia’s diverse and inclusive nature, highlighting its status as a “multinational and multi-religious country.” With over 190 ethnic groups residing within its borders, Russia recognizes the importance of respecting different cultures and traditions.

A Step Towards Diversity

This decision reflects a broader trend of accommodating religious practices within governmental procedures. Russian citizens have been allowed to use photographs in hijabs for various official documents, including passport applications, driver’s licenses, work permits, and patents.

Putin's war will soon reach Russians' tax bills - The Japan Times
Source: The Japan Times

The relaxation of regulations regarding head coverings in passport photos represents a step towards greater inclusivity and accommodation of diverse religious beliefs in Russia. It shows the country’s commitment to respecting individual freedoms while maintaining security measures essential for public safety.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.