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Home > Countries > North America > US > Immigration > Permanent Resident and Citizen Compared

Difference Between Permanent Resident and Citizen

Permanent Resident vs Citizen

Permanent Resident and Citizen are the status a person holds in the country he/she lives. Permanent resident, as the name implies, refers to a citizen of another country who immigrates to the US permanently with the intent of living and working in the US. Citizen on the other hand is a person who has been born in the US. 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.

While a permanent resident still remains the citizen of the country he hails from and owes allegiance to that country, he has to take an oath of loyalty to the US when he finally applies for citizenship after a period of three years. A permanent resident is not allowed to vote in general elections while this is a right of a citizen. A permanent resident can work in the country but he cannot hold a job in a government office which is a common thing for a citizen.

If you are a US citizen and 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.

There is also difference in the eyes of the law for a permanent resident and a citizen when it comes to committing crime. The law is more strict in the case of a permanent citizen and there is even a provision for the deportation of the permanent citizen if he commits a serious crime. While both a permanent resident as well as a citizen serve prison after committing a crime, while a citizen loses some of his citizenship rights, permanent resident is stripped of his status and deported back to the country where he or she came from.

In brief:

• A permanent resident is a citizen of another country who immigrates to the US and is allowed to live and work in the US while a citizen is a person born in the country

• A permanent citizen has fewer rights than a citizen such as he cannot vote and work in government jobs

• A permanent citizen can apply to become a citizen after a period of three years

• In case of crime, a permanent resident can be deported from the US while a citizen merely loses some of his citizenship rights


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  5. Difference Between Immigration and Migration

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