After more than a year in the country under temporary asylum, Edward Snowden has received a 3-year residency permit in Russia.
Snowden's asylum came to an end July 31, but he was allowed to stay until a decision was made on his residency application.
RT quotes Snowden's lawyer who said in a press conference not only will he be able to apply for Russian citizenship in five years, but he'll also be able to travel throughout the country and even "stay abroad for not longer than three months."
This would be a big improvement on Snowden's current conditions.
According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, asylum seekers in Russia can be fined, detained, and even expelled without the difficult-to-obtain freedom of movement registration. Employment, healthcare, and education are just as hard to get, as proper registration is required.
Although according to CNN the former NSA contractor was able to secure a job in Russia only weeks after entering the country. One of his lawyers told the outlet he performs maintenance on a major Russian website.
Despite the charges being brought against him, Snowden told Brian Williams in May he'd return to the U.S. if ever possible: "If I could go any place in the world, that would be home."
Snowden has been charged by the United States with theft of government property and two violations of the Espionage Act.
This video includes images from Getty Images.