What’s the Difference Between Residency and Citizenship? 

What’s the Difference Between Residency and Citizenship? 

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to this topic. Many people don’t understand the difference between residency and citizenship. 

A residency permit gives you the right to live and possibly work in a particular country.  

Citizenship gives you access to their passport, and also typically gives you the right to vote. It also might change what benefits your children receive as they might receive the citizenships by merit of your citizenship. 

When you’ve obtained citizenship you are typically no different than a person who was born and spent their life in that country. So, with citizenship, you have full rights. 

When moving abroad the first step is obtaining a residency. After that, you might get a citizenship at one point of time. In some cases, it takes 5 years, in some cases 20 years, in some case, it’s not possible to get a citizenship of a country as a foreigner.  

Residency is the first of many steps when getting a citizenship of a country unless you are doing a citizenship by investment.  

In simple words, citizenship by investment means that you are buying a citizenship (and passport). This means that you’re skipping all the time and hassle that you would otherwise have. Instead of waiting 5,10,20 years you will get citizenship almost immediately.  

Rules vary from country to country: some countries will ask you to invest some money into the local economy, some will require that you buy certain real estate, some will ask to hire locals, etc, but the principal is always similar.  

Getting a residency is much easier. You can usually get it via investing some money in the country, via going to school in that country, sometimes via work, sometimes via starting a business – it really depends on the country. 

We can help you with both residency and citizenship by investment.  

If you are interested in relocating in a foreign country or obtaining a second passport give us a call and we will explain what would be the best options for you and your family. 

We help clients change their residency to a better jurisdiction and obtain second passports to expand their options in life.  We also help legally reduce their tax through international tax planning, as well as help with company formations, bank account openings, and payment processing.  Have a question you want answered?  Book a consultation now! 

Author: Michael Rosmer

Traveler, researcher, entrepreneur... For years I've traveled the world with an insatiable lust for learning how the world works, how to find the greatest advantages, the little hacks, insights and opportunities. I've been frustrated by others not being diligent, missing details and as a result sharing subpar information so here we are to give you a holistic picture hopefully free of biases and just giving you the practical details that will make a difference to you.