Permanent Resident vs Citizen
Permanent Resident and Citizen are two different status of an individual in a country he/she lives, but there exist only a few differences between permanent resident and citizen when it comes to the privileges attached to each. However, the difference between permanent resident and citizen is an important topic to discuss since immigration is a common occurrence in the present days. Permanent resident, as the name implies, refers to a citizen of another country who has immigrated to the country of concern permanently with the intent of living and working in that country. Citizen, on the other hand, is a person who has been born in the country of concern or has been awarded citizenship in that country. It is clear from these two arrangements that there are clear distinctions between a permanent resident and a citizen of the country. Let us understand the differences between these two terms with more information.
Who is a Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident still remains the citizen of the country he hails from and owes allegiance to that country. A permanent resident is not allowed to vote in general elections. A permanent resident can work in the country of concern, but he cannot hold a job in a government office. The law is stricter in the case of a permanent resident, and there is even a provision for the deportation of the permanent resident, if he commits a serious crime. Let us say, a permanent resident commits an act of terrorism. After committing this crime, in general, the person serves prison. But, it is also possible that the permanent resident is stripped of his status and deported back to the country where he or she came from.
Who is a Citizen?
People who are naturally born in a country are citizens of that country. Then, if someone comes from another country and wants to get citizenship then that person has to take an oath of loyalty to the country he has moved to when he finally applies for citizenship after a period. This period changes from country to country. It is three years in US. In Canada too this is three years. In Australia, it is four years. The requirements also vary from country to country.
Coming to the rights and privileges, voting in general elections is a right of a citizen. A citizen can work in the country wherever he is qualified to. That means he can even work in a government office. That is a common thing for a citizen. To understand the situation better, let us take an example. Think you are a US citizen. You marry a girl from another country, she may come and live here as a permanent resident, but she cannot become a citizen until a period of three more years. During this period, she cannot ask her immediate family to come and live in the US though they can still come on a tourist visa. It is easy to bring in family as permanent residents after the expiry of 3 years when she applies for citizenship of the country.
What is the difference between Permanent Resident and Citizen?
• A permanent resident is a citizen of another country who immigrates to a different country and is allowed to live and work in that country permanently. A citizen, on the other hand, is a person born in the country. However, a permanent resident can become a citizen through the legal process of a country. One such way is naturalization.
• A permanent resident has lesser rights than a citizen such as he cannot vote in an election and cannot work in government jobs.
• A permanent resident can apply to become a citizen after a prescribed period. This period changes from country to country. In US and Canada, it is three years. In Australia, it is four years.
• There is also adifference in the eyes of the law for a permanent resident and a citizen when it comes to committing acrime. In the case of crime, a permanent resident can be deported from the country but a citizen merely loses some of his citizenship privileges.
Images Courtesy: Permanent resident card USA via Wikicommons (Public Domain)