The key difference between PR and citizenship is that PR holders cannot vote or own a passport of the country in which they reside, whereas having citizenship allows you both.
Both PR and citizenship are almost similar and have equal benefits. But, being a citizen of a country is more beneficial since it opens up more job opportunities and allows joining political parties. Permanent residents can usually sponsor only spouses and unmarried children, but citizens do not have restrictions like this.
What is PR (Permanent Residency)?
A PR is a document that permits a person to live in the country indefinitely. This means PR makes him or her a legalized permanent resident of that country. In the countries in the European Union, a PR can be obtained by living in a country legally for five to seven years. Generally, this period is almost the same for other countries as well. The PR document should be updated every five years.
When you have PR, you can permanently live in the country, work, do business, and study freely. But there may be some jobs that may be limited to you because of security issues. In addition, if you have a PR, you can bring your family to the country. In some countries, healthcare is free for permanent residents. And after several years, you can get citizenship there. Normally, having a PR gives you a safe and secure environment. Through a PR, what you cannot do is take part in elections, vote, join political parties, and hold public office in the country.
In the US, permanent residents are known as ‘Green Card Holders.’ They, too, enjoy almost the same benefits as the citizens in the country, with a slight difference. They are allowed to reenter the county within 12 months, even without a US passport, as long as they have a good moral character plus the physical residency requirement to renew the PR card.
Permanent residents cannot apply for a passport, and the PR cannot be passed on to your children unless there are special circumstances and it is considered based on their eligibility. Sometimes some countries cancel your PR if you live away from the country for some time.
Some countries offer residency through investment programs. Some examples are Greece Golden Visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Ireland’s residency by investment, The Tier 1 investor visa- the UK, Malta residency, and Spain Golden Visa. These programs have various conditions and many benefits. They aim to provide a PR after you invest the necessary minimum amount in the country. In this way, your whole family can be eligible for a PR.
What is Citizenship?
Citizenship is the position of being a legitimate member of a country. There are many benefits to being a citizen of a country. One such benefit is protection from deportation. Some crimes result in people getting deported, but being a citizen of that country, you are free from getting deported. Citizens have the opportunity to vote, join political parties and hold public office in the country.
In addition, citizens have a wide range of job opportunities, including working for government agencies, some of which are not available to permanent residents due to security concerns. Another advantage of being a citizen of the country is the ability to sponsor immigration. Citizens do not have limitations in sponsoring as permanent residents do.
What is the Difference Between PR and Citizenship?
PR or permanent residency status permits a person to live in the country indefinitely, while citizenship is the position of being a legitimate member of a country. The key difference between PR and citizenship is that PR holders cannot vote nor own a passport of the country in which they reside while having citizenship allows you both.
The below infographic presents the differences between PR and citizenship in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – PR vs Citizenship
A PR is a document that permits a person to live in the country indefinitely. Permanent residents do not have the right to vote, own a passport of the country in which they are residing, or join a political party to hold public office in the country. However, people who have citizenship, which is the position of being a legitimate member of a country, have the privilege to enjoy all these facilities. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between PR and citizenship.
1. “Permanent Residency.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Citizenship and Migration.” Migration Data Portal.