The Difference Between Residency and Citizenship

“The terms ‘citizenship’ and ‘passport’ are often incorrectly interchanged, so it’s important to establish the difference between them.”

If you are looking to expand your horizons internationally, chances are you have come across the terms like ‘Residency’ and ‘Citizenship’. However, there remains a marked tendency to confuse the two. So, what’s the difference?

Residency is the act of establishing and maintaining a residence in a given nation. On the other hand, the concept of citizenship is the process through which one attains nationality either through birth, marriage, immigration, or other avenues like investments. Many nations allow their citizens a second nationality as well.

Being a citizen offers many of the same benefits as being a permanent resident, including gainful employment, education, and access to healthcare, but you do not automatically receive a passport. Nonetheless, successful applicants of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programmes can go on to apply for a passport of their new country of citizenship.

“The terms ‘citizenship’ and ‘passport’ are often incorrectly interchanged, so it’s important to establish the difference between them. Legally, citizenship represents the relationship between a state and an individual, granting them human rights and responsibilities in that state. Meanwhile, a passport is a travel document that allows you to move between states,” says Paul Singh, the Director of CS Global Partners.

What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)? 

The traditional acquisition of citizenship usually centres around birth in a country, descent from a parent, marriage to a citizen or naturalisation. CBI Programmes, however, offer an attractive alternative with a variety of benefits, allowing the applicant to gain a second passport by investing in the country for which they wish to gain citizenship.

You might have come across many of the well-known CBI Programmes, with some of the best on offer in the Caribbean nations, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia.

Dominica, in particular, has been rated the best CBI program four years in a row by the CBI Index, a publication by the Financial Times’ PWM magazine. The island offers applicants with clean track records and good moral characters citizenship in exchange for a contribution to a government fund, or investment in pre-approved real estate. Thus, the island’s CBI Programme attracts many global-minded individuals who are looking to gain second citizenship and expand their businesses and horizons. Dominica has no language or visitation requirements but offers travel benefits and mobility, safety and security, and an assurance of knowing you can pass your prestigious citizenship onto future generations.

Another firm favourite among investors is St Kitts and Nevis. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, St Kitts and Nevis is one of the most idyllic locations in the Caribbean. Its CBI programme stands as the oldest, most trusted and successful programme of its kind, offering individuals and families not only second citizenship but visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry to nearly 150 destinations.