In the modern world, the notion of citizenship is not necessarily associated with birthplace, ethnicity or cultural ties. Many individuals choose a second citizenship as a form of relationship between them and the country’s government. The individual undertakes certain obligations. In return, the government offers this person privileges and protections enjoyed by the country’s citizens. Pursuing their life or business goals, people may opt for a second citizenship if they meet its criteria. In most cases, they don’t even need to give up their citizenship by birth.

Resident or Citizen: The Key Differences

Now, how are the terms ‘residence’ and ‘citizenship’ different? At first sight, they seem equal. Both define your opportunities to live and work in a country of choice. However, there are a bunch of differences that you need to know about.

Rights of Residents

  • Reside, work, study and move freely around the country
  • Tap into manifold job opportunities requiring permanent residential status (or Green Card in the US)
  • Exit and re-enter the country of residence, yet with due attention to your residence conditions
  • Keep a foreign passport as well as Resident’s travel document
  • Boost your status and apply for citizenship

Resident Restrictions/Obligations

  • Stay clear of any criminal record or ongoing prosecution, otherwise your status may be revoked
  • Provide biometric data
  • Meet the minimum stay requirements, otherwise your status may be revoked

Rights of Citizens

  • Enjoy the full rights and responsibilities according to your country’s law, get access to education, work, healthcare, voting and other privileges
  • Spend as much time in the country as you deem appropriate (or never even come to visit your ‘second homeland’)
  • Hold the country’s passport and travel without a visa to all nations that have a respective agreement with your country
  • Keep the citizenship for your entire life
  • Transfer the citizenship to your children as inheritable
  • Request diplomatic assistance when travelling abroad
  • Enjoy stability and clear future prospects

Many nations provide the flexible option of dual citizenship. That means you can have multiple nationalities without having to reject your first citizenship. A born citizen of one country, you have the opportunity to obtain a second passport based on different grounds: residence, kinship, descent or investment. The world is your oyster!

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices worldwide. We offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in Europe and the CaribbeanFor further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].