Whether you are looking for global mobility, family security, or just a different place to live, there are many different immigration options for people all around the world. These immigration options include different residency options, which vary from country to country, or citizenship, which allows individuals the same rights and privileges as any other citizen of the country. Before deciding on what programme or country you wish to apply for, it is important to understand the differences between the different types of residency and citizenships. 


Residency generally refers to when you are residing in a country either permanently or temporarily. This generally means living in a country for a minimum of six months or 180 days in total throughout the duration of a year. That being said, there are some important distinctions that should be made in regards to residency. Here we will discuss some of the main types of residency that exist, and the key differences between them. 

Temporary residency 

This is when an individual is living and/or working in a country, but are ordinarily resident in another country. There are often restrictions on residency which might include the type of work allowed, having enough funds to support dependents, passing due diligence checks, and/or investments of a certain amount. As well as this, a person usually has to spend a minimum of 6 months within the country.
Whilst only temporary, as long as you maintain the conditions of the visa, a temporary visa can often be renewed and are usually issued on a 3-5 year basis
Residency generally means that you are eligible to live, work and receive some of the benefits of citizens of that country. However, some of the main differences are that residents, as opposed to citizens, are unable to vote, take a government position, as well as other country-specific restrictions. In Europe, a residency visa allows a person to travel freely throughout the Schengen area, however, they are only allowed to live and work in the country where their visa was issued.

Permanent residency 

After living in a country on a temporary residency visa for a period of time, many countries allow residents to apply for settled status or permanent residency.
Alongside the conditions of temporary residency, in order to gain permanent residency, a person may have to pass a language test and/or a cultural integration test.
This also often means the person is eligible for citizenship. Take, for example, the UK. After living in the UK for five years, applicants are eligible for indefinite leave to remain, which means they have received settled status, with the UK being their permanent residence. Once you have received this status, you can apply for UK citizenship, where a language test and a cultural integration test will need to be taken.

Residency non-domiciled 

This is where you have residency status in a certain country, but you do not live there full time, or have a permanent residency somewhere else, for example, because you have temporary residence in another country. In having resident non-domicile status, you may not have to pay tax to the governments of both countries you have residency in. 

Residency by investment

One way to gain residency in a country is through investing in its economy. This may be through investing in real estate like in Portugal, a government-approved project like in Grenada,  or through specific economic funds like in Turkey. Gaining residency through investment is often a faster way of obtaining permanent residency in that country; however, there are often certain restrictions to this, such as holding an investment for a certain period of time. In the UK, investors can gain accelerated residency of 2-5 years when making an investment upwards of £2million. 


This is when you have a permanent residence of a country and become a recognised member of that nation. This can be done in various ways. The most common way of gaining citizenship is through birth or inheritance. This is when you gain citizenship from the country you were born, or from the citizenship of your parents. Children who were born to parents of different nationalities are often eligible for dual nationality. The different types of citizenship can primarily be obtained in three different ways.

Citizenship by marriage

People can also gain citizenship through marriage. When marrying someone of a different nationality, the spouse can often become eligible for that nationality also.

Citizenship through naturalisation

Citizenship through naturalisation is another common way of becoming a citizen of a country. After an extended period of time living in a country, residents are often eligible to apply for citizenship of that country. 

Citizenship by investment 

Citizenship can sometimes be gained through investing money into a country. Many countries are now offering citizenship by investment schemes. This is when an individual makes an investment or donation to a country and can subsequently can citizenship much faster and easier than through the above states routes. 
Citizenship by investment first started in 1984 when St Kitts & Nevis started offering a passport when individuals made investments of a certain level. It has since gained popularity with many other countries in both the Caribbean and more recently, Europe now offering various citizenship by investment programmes. These programmes often take less than 6 months and allow the individual the same benefits and opportunities as other citizens of the country. After gaining citizenship, it is often offered to the applicants immediate family members as well as being able to be passed on through the families future generations. Unlike residency programmes, citizenship by investment programmes often does not require the applicant to stay or even visit the country that citizenship is being issued. It is, therefore, an attractive option for those that require the benefits of a second passport quickly and easily.

As you can see, there are many different types of immigration types, with several different routes and programmes which enable individuals and their families to gain dual residency or a second passport. Whilst it may be seeming complex process, our experts will be able to talk you through the different steps needed to go through these different options, as well as helping you decide which route will be the best option for you and your family. 

Leave a Reply