Difference between Permanent Resident and Citizen

Key Difference: A person who holds a permanent resident status is lawfully allowed to remain in that particular country in which he holds that status. He will be allowed to reside and work in that country, but other than that he doesn’t have any more rights. A person who is a citizen has far more rights. In addition to staying and working in that country, he can also vote in the elections and hold a passport of that country.

 Permanent residency and citizenship are two words that come up when a person is trying to leave their own country and move to another country. If a person lives in the country in which he is born, he need not worry about these terms as he will be a citizen of that particular country. A person is often a citizen of a country in two ways: by birth or by being sworn in.

There are many differences between someone holding a permanent resident status and a citizenship. It is utmost important to understand the privileges that come with being a permanent resident as opposed to being a citizen of that country. However, one should understand that although some privileges remain same world wide, some minor ones will change depending on the country.

A person who holds a permanent resident status is lawfully allowed to remain in that particular country in which he holds that status. He will be allowed to reside and work in that country, but other than that he doesn’t have any more rights. He can file taxes and avail the social security benefits offered by the country. The residency is offered for a limited status and it must be renewed, although the person will retain the status for life. However, if a person leaves the country for a long period of time, his residency status can be in trouble, so in order to retain his residency, he must live in the place for which he has residency for a stipulated time. A person can lose their residency status if he commits a crime that can cause his status to get revoked.

 A person who is a citizen has far more rights. In addition to staying and working in that country, he also has a voice in how the country is run. The person can vote during the elections, can stand for office positions, will hold the passport of that particular country and can never lose citizenship to that country, unless he becomes a citizen in another country (although, he can apply for dual citizenship if both countries allow dual citizenship). Additionally, the person also has other rights such as right to own real estate, legal protections against the country's government, and protection through the military or diplomacy. A citizen may also be subject to certain duties, such as a duty to follow the country's law, to pay taxes, or to serve in the military.

There are many ways for a person to become a citizen: Parents are citizens (any one or both), born within a country, marriage to a citizen, being granted political asylum, lived in the country for a specific amount of time, and renouncing their prior citizenship to accept a new one.

Comparison between Permanent Resident and Citizen:

 

Permanent Resident

Citizen

Definition

A person who holds a permanent resident status is lawfully allowed to remain in that particular country in which he holds that status.

A person who is a citizen has far more rights.

Rights

  • Allowed to work
  • File taxes
  • Reside in the country
  • Purchase property
  • Drafted for military service (some countries allow permanent residents to get drafted)
  • Allowed to vote
  • Hold that country’s passport
  • Stand for public office
  • Apply for public sector employment
  • Apply for employment Involving national security
  • Can own certain classes of real estate
  • Have access the country's consular protection
  • Drafted for military service

Image Courtesy: educationquizzes.com, uscis.gov

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