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2 Differences Between Permanent residency and citizenship

2 Differences Between Permanent residency and citizenship


Moving from one country to another can be an exciting prospect. It means a new environment, new customs, and new people, but it also means navigating a complex system of immigration laws. In most places, there are two main ways to stay in the country for a long time: by acquiring permanent residency or by becoming a citizen. Both perm residency and citizenship have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to know the differences between them before making a decision. This article looks at two key differences between permanent residency and citizenship, both in terms of the legal rights and obligations they offer and the practicalities of obtaining them.

Difference 1: Legal Rights and Obligations

One of the most significant differences between permanent residency and citizenship is the legal status they confer on individuals. Individuals who obtain permanent residency in a country are able to live and work there indefinitely, but they are not considered citizens and do not have the same rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.

Rights of Permanent Residents

Permanent residents usually have similar rights to citizens in terms of access to healthcare, education, and social security benefits. They are also usually permitted to work and engage in other economic activities without restrictions. However, they are not able to vote or run for office in elections, and they do not have the right to hold some public sector jobs or to obtain certain types of public assistance. In addition, they may not be able to travel outside of the country without seeking permission from the authorities or obtaining a special travel document, and they may be subject to deportation if they break certain laws or become a threat to national security.

Obligations of Permanent Residents

Permanent residents are also required to fulfill certain obligations to maintain their legal status. In most cases, they must adhere to the country’s laws and pay taxes, even if they do not have the right to vote. They may also be required to register with local authorities and to keep their information up to date, as well as to fulfill any requirements related to language proficiency or other skills that may be necessary for their job or profession.

Rights of Citizens

Citizens, on the other hand, have all the rights of permanent residents plus the right to vote and participate in elections, the right to hold public office, and the right to travel with greater freedom. They are also not subject to the possibility of deportation, except under very specific circumstances. In addition, they typically have access to a wider range of public goods and services, including certain types of public assistance and government-funded programs.

Obligations of Citizens

Citizens are required to fulfill many of the same obligations as permanent residents, such as paying taxes and obeying the law. However, they also have additional obligations, such as the duty to serve in the military and to participate in jury duty. They may also need to obtain certain types of clearance or certification in order to hold certain jobs or engage in certain types of business, and they may be subject to additional regulations related to their behavior and conduct.

Difference 2: Practicalities of Obtaining Permanent Residency or Citizenship

Aside from the legal implications, there are also practical differences between permanent residency and citizenship when it comes to obtaining them. The application process can be complex and time-consuming, and may require significant effort and resources.

Obtaining Permanent Residency

The process for obtaining permanent residency can vary depending on the country and the individual’s situation. In most cases, applicants need to demonstrate that they meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a job offer or family ties in the country, or being eligible for a specific immigration program. They may also need to undergo a medical exam, provide documentation of their education and work experience, and pass a background check. The application process can take months or even years, and may require the services of an immigration lawyer or other professional.

Obtaining Citizenship

The process for obtaining citizenship is usually more involved than obtaining permanent residency. In most cases, applicants need to have been living in the country as a permanent resident for a certain period of time, usually several years. They also need to be of good character, demonstrate proficiency in the local language, and pass a civics test. Citizenship applications also require an in-person interview with immigration authorities or officials, which can add to the time and expense involved. In some cases, applicants may also need to renounce their previous citizenship in order to become citizens of their new country.


Permanent residency and citizenship can both offer a way for individuals to pursue their dreams and aspirations in a new country. However, the differences in legal status and obligations are significant, and it is important to weigh these carefully before making a decision. Permanent residency may be a good option for those who want to live and work in a country for an extended period of time, while citizenship is usually the preferred choice for those who want to fully participate in the political and social life of their adopted country. Whatever the choice, it is important to be well-informed and prepared for the application process, and to seek expert advice and guidance as necessary.

When it comes to immigration law and applications of permanent residency, it is important to understand that, while some terms are interchangeable, others are not and are subject to different material differences in American legal practice. For example, an immigrant to the United States is in most cases a permanent resident as well. Although, this would not include an illegal immigrant as they have no lawful claim to residency in the country, permanent or not.

However, to insinuate that the words “permanent resident” and “citizen” mean the same thing would be to make a grievous misjudgment of the situation. Although, for both classes of American resident, immigration law and potentially the presence of a immigration lawyer may come into effect (citizenship is processed by USCIS, even though this occurs after become a legal immigrant), these rights of status are very separate indeed. The following is a partial list of features that govern the divide between being a permanent resident and a citizen:

1. “Permanent resident” usually denotes someone who has immigrated – As people who grow up in the United States and anyone who fills out working papers will know, you do not have to be an immigrant to become a citizen. In fact, the majority of U.S. citizens become citizens of this country by virtue of being born in the United States. Meanwhile, to become a permanent resident most commonly means to leave a foreign nation and settle long-term on American soil. Effectively, those who fall under the category of citizen are part of the larger bloc of permanent residents, as citizenship through birth ensures that one cannot be refused by one’s own country of origin unless they have acted against the United States or formally waived their ties as a citizen.

2. The application processes follow different procedures – Regarding the immigration process, there are seemingly a million forms processed by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of HomelandSecurity.