What is Permanent Residence: A Complete Guide with Pros and Cons

What is Permanent Residence?

Permanent Residence is a status that allows you to live permanently in another country. It also means you can work, receive medical services, access education, and enjoy many rights and privileges similar to those of the country’s citizens.

What Does it Provide?

  • Right to Permanent Residence.
    This means you can live in the chosen country indefinitely, without the need to renew a visa or temporary residence permit.
  • Right to Work.
    This means you can work for any company or run your own business without the restrictions that temporary residents might face.
  • Access to Education.
    This means your children can attend public schools under the same conditions as everyone else.
  • Medical Services.
    Access to public healthcare, which means the ability to use free or subsidized medical services.
  • Social Benefits.
    The right to social security, which means pensions, unemployment benefits, maternity benefits, and other social payments.
  • Right to Purchase Property.
    In many countries, you can buy property under the same conditions as citizens, which might mean tax benefits or the absence of additional taxes.
  • Freedom of Movement.
    You can freely cross the border: enter and leave the country without fear of losing your status.
  • Family Rights.
    This means you can bring your family to the country: spouses, children, and sometimes parents.
  • Path to Citizenship.
    Permanent Residence is an intermediate step towards citizenship. This means you can apply for citizenship after meeting certain conditions.
  • Legal Stability.
    This means you are protected from deportation, except in cases of serious offenses.
  • Financial Opportunities.
    You can open bank accounts, take loans, and use financial services under the same conditions as citizens.


    Permanent Residence grants many rights and privileges but also imposes duties and requirements. Adhering to these obligations means maintaining your status and continuing on the path to naturalization.

    1. Obeying Laws
      You must comply with all the laws and regulations of the country. This is a simple requirement that must be met.
    2. Paying Taxes
      You must pay taxes like all other residents of the country.
    3. Military Duty
      In some countries, you may need to fulfill military service or alternative civilian service.
    4. Financial Solvency
      You must have a place to live and an income in the country, proving your financial solvency.

    It’s also important to know that violating conditions or prolonged absence (usually 1-2 years) from the country can lead to the loss of this status.

    How Does it Differ from a Residence Permit?

    A residence permit is issued for a limited period, usually from one to three years, and must be regularly renewed. Permanent residency has no expiration date. You will only need to renew the card occasionally (every 5-10 years), which is a simple reissuing process, not a status review.

    Permanent residency grants more rights — you can work without restrictions and access medical and social services like citizens of the country. A residence permit often limits some rights of a foreigner.

    To extend a residence permit, you need to confirm each time that you meet the conditions under which it was issued (e.g., employment or study). Permanent residency requires meeting conditions only at the time of issuance. The word “permanent” is key here.

    Holders of a residence permit often need to obtain permanent residency before applying for citizenship.

    Who Can Obtain It?

    • Workers.
      People working in the country on the basis of a long-term work visa or contract. They need to confirm official employment and stable income.
    • Investors and Entrepreneurs.
      People investing significant funds in the country’s economy, opening businesses, or creating jobs.
    • Family Migrants.
      Spouses, children, and parents of citizens or permanent residents have the right to apply for permanent residency based on family reunification. They need to confirm family ties.
    • Long-term Residents.
      People who have lived in the country on the basis of a residence permit for a certain period.
    • Property Owner.
      In some countries, purchasing real estate for a certain amount can be a basis for obtaining permanent residency.
    • Students.
      Graduates of local universities who have completed their studies and found a job in the country.
    • Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
      People who have received refugee status or asylum in the country can apply for permanent residency after a certain period.
    • Retirees.
      Some countries grant this status to retirees who have sufficient funds for living and can prove their financial independence.
    • Highly Qualified Specialists.
      People with rare skills or high qualifications in demand on the labor market can obtain permanent residency through a simplified procedure. For example, scientists, engineers, doctors, and other professionals.

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