Sometimes there is quite a lot of confusion when it comes to the words “residency” and “citizenship”. Some people use them interchangeably, others furiously favour one option when choosing between the two. But the reality is that each of them has its own benefits and disadvantages.


A residency is basically a permit issued for a certain period of time that grants a person the right to enter and stay in a certain country. After the expiration of this period, this person shall renew such permit. Depending on the regulations of the country, residency also can grant the right to work, purchase property, obtain medical insurance, and enroll children in educational facilities in that country.


Citizenship is the status of allegiance of a person to a state and is granted for lifetime.

Citizenship can be obtained by various ways: by birth, by descent, by naturalization, by marriage, etc., it all depends on the regulations of a certain country. Some governments also offer citizenship by investment programs.

With citizenship come lots of benefits: the right to vote, to education, and medical insurance, as well as legal protection. However, together with these benefits come responsibilities such as military service and payment of taxes.

In certain jurisdictions, passport holders might also pass this right to citizenship onto their children or parents. Many nations also allow for dual citizenship.

Key differences between residency and citizenship:

  • Duration;

Residency is usually temporary, while citizenship is granted for life

  • Documents;

Residence permit or an ID card vs. passport

  • Conditions;

To renew residency, one must comply with certain terms, while the passport is renewed automatically;

  • Travel;

A person who has citizenship can travel without visas to any destinations with whom the country of citizenship has a travel agreement with, whereas with residency there is no such freedom, and all the limitations apply

  • Work;

Citizenship implies the right to work, while in the case of residency, it depends on the regulations of the country and type of residency. The same applies to conducting business.

Our team of international specialists at Astons can give you expert advice on both of these options, including all available programs for residency and citizenship by investment.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.