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Once their application was approved, they were required to sell all possessions, give up their apartments and settle all financial accounts.

Only when all of this was completed and documented could they apply for a visa to Israel.

In October 1989, the United States reversed a long-standing policy of "freedom of choice." Previously, Soviet Jews had been free to choose their ultimate destination from processing centres in Rome and Vienna, and those choosing to go to the United States were automatically granted refugee status there.

Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.As one recent analysis points out, immigration has subsequently been the "great equalizer" ( 1992b, 92).The former Soviet Union contains the world's second largest Jewish diaspora community and, more important to Israeli politicians and strategists, the largest group of Jews likely to emigrate ( with the United States, the Soviet government allowed increasing numbers of Jews to emigrate.It also indicates that those who left after 1 July 1991 and retained their Soviet citizenship, could have their Russian citizenship "restored by submitting an application." Article 13 of the law states that: All citizens of the USSR who were domiciled in the RSFSR [Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic] on the day the said Act came into force are considered to be citizens of the RSFSR if they do not submit an application to renounce their RSFSR citizenship within a year from this day ( 6 Feb. Articles 3 and 4 add that citizens of Russia "who hold another citizenship cannot be subjected to limitations of their rights because of this" and that Russian nationals "domiciled beyond the borders of the RSFSR [do] not lose [their] citizenship" ( from that republic who have emigrated since mid-November 1991 -- by which time the republic's citizenship law was in force -- can retain their Ukrainian citizenship.Article 2 of the law states that those permanently resident in Ukraine when the law comes into force are considered to be citizens of Ukraine.

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