In most cases, adopted children remain citizens of their birth country as well as being citizens of New Zealand. We encourage adoptive parents to keep their child's birth country passport up to date, respect their heritage and if possible, make return trips.
Visas - Adoptive parents will need visitors visas for a return trip to Russia. Visitor visas require you to have an "invitation" from your Russian hotel, an official receipt showing accommodation at the hotel and your itinerary showing entry and exit from Russia. You complete an online visa form (in English), print this, sign, date, attach a passport photo (matt, on white or light background) and send with your passport with the fee, to the Russian Embassy in Wellington. See the Embassy website for details. Apply early - up to 3 months before travel - in case there is an error you need to correct.
Remember that adopted Russian children or young people won't be given a visa in their New Zealand passport, but must have a valid Russian passport on which to enter Russia. These need to be renewed every five years.
Passports - Read our link on Renewing a Russian passport which can take up to 6 months or more and requires a visit to Wellington after first applying on-line. If you let the passport expire, you may face an additional step, confirming Russian citizenship, requiring extra time (often another 6+ months) and cost.
The adopted person also needs to be Registered with the Russian Embassy if this hasn't already been done.
While in Russia, keep your passport with you at all times. It's a legal requirement to carry a passport or Identity Card and visa and migration card at all times. Police can stop you to check your documents at any time, and failure to provide proper documentation can result in detention or fines.
The New Zealand Embassy in Moscow advises : Russia does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of New Zealand authorities to provide consular assistance if required. Male Russian/New Zealand dual nationals between the ages of 18-27 may be subject to military conscription. Dual nationals should seek advice from the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of travel.
Thailand permits dual citizenship. Thai adopted children can enter Thailand on either their New Zealand or their Thai passport, but need to re-enter NZ on their NZ passport. We recommend renewing your child's Thai passport.
Lithuania now permits dual citizenship, but many adopted children from Lithuania lost their Lithuanian citizenship at the time of adoption. You can now regain your Lithuanian citizenship and renew Lithuanian passports, which are EU passports. You will hold New Zealand citizenship and passports as well. Contact the Lithuanian Embassy.
The Philippines permits dual citizenship. See the Embassy website to enquire about renewing passports.
The Indian Constitution doesn't permit dual citizenship, but does issue OCI certificates as official evidence of an alternative which applies to those who originated from India, up to 3 generations; adopted children can gain OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) certificates . These Registration Certificates are not passports, but give travel and residency privileges. People who've been citizens of Bangadesh or Pakistan are not eligible. Apply to the Indian High Commission in Wellington for these Registrations.