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The Difference Between Permanent and Temporary Residency | Must Read

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Date Published: February 23, 2024 | Date Updated: February 23rd, 2024
By February 23, 2024 No Comments
What Is The Difference Between Permanent and Temporary Residency? Full Guide

Between the two legal residency statuses, the difference between permanent and temporary residence permits are subtle but can make a big difference depending on your objectives and preferences.

Throughout investment migration, there is a lot of mention of permanent residency and temporary residency permits, how they function and their perpetuity.

In this piece, we will be discussing the differences between permanent and temporary residency and what you need to know when considering a program that offers either one.


What Is A Residency Permit?


Before diving into the nuances of permanent and temporary residency, it is important to understand what a residency permit is.

A residency permit is a legal status given by a government to a foreign national that allows them to live, work, or study in the country.

Residency permits differ depending on the issuing country, immigration route, and objectives of immigration. Every residence permit has a validity date and is bound by time.

Residency permits grant their holders specific rights and bind them to specific responsibilities.


What Are Temporary Residency Permits?


Temporary residency permits are time-limited permits that allow foreign nationals to live in the country and pursue specific objectives.

Temporary residency permits are always reliant on a specific function, such as work, investment, family reunification, or otherwise.

As soon as the function seizes, the residency permit cannot be renewed.

They also typically require their holder to physically reside in the country for at least six months a year, although there are exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of Golden Visas.

Temporary residency permits come in all shapes and validities. Work permits allow people to live and work or even open a business, depending on the permit.

Study residence permits are given to students in graduate and post-graduate learning and, in some rare cases, are available for undergraduate students.


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Retiree visas are residency permits that allow people with pensions to live in a country without the right to pursue any gainful activity.

While independent means visas allow people with sufficient income to reside in a country without the right to work, but in many cases, they can establish a business.

Temporary residency permits typically have a validity of one or two years and can be renewed depending on whether the function they are based on is maintained.

For example, a one-year work permit can be renewed if the person maintains their job.

Some Golden Visas, such as the Greek one, offer long-term residency permits only linked to the investment.

The five-year residency permit can be continuously renewed as long as the investment is maintained.

Temporary residence permits typically offer less rights than permanent residency permits, as they may restrict a person’s activity rights, add residential locality limitations, or otherwise.

Study residency permits offer international education opportunities for graduate and post-graduate students.


What Are Permanent Residency Permits?


Permanent residency permits (PR) is a perpetual right to residency in a country. PRs are not linked to any function, but they may require physical residence depending on the issuing government.

A permanent resident typically has all the same rights as citizens except for political rights such as voting or running for office.

They usually enjoy the same benefits as taxpayers, such as healthcare and education, but that may only apply if they reside as tax residents (normally six months a year), although this has exceptions as well.

In short, PRs offer more rights and fewer restrictions and are perpetual in nature, and only the PR permit card has to be renewed, not the status itself.


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Some Golden Visas, such as Malta’s Permanent Residency Program, offer a direct route to PR. In other cases, a person with a temporary residence permit must reside for a specific number of years before they can apply for permanent residence.

In most countries, naturalization through residence requires people to obtain a PR before applying for citizenship. However, there are also exceptions here, as Argentina.

For example, requires two years of residence on any permit for naturalization, while it takes three years to apply for PR. In this case, citizenship comes before PR.

Permanent residents share citizen rights. They access healthcare and education but must meet tax residency rules.


The Right One For You


Different Golden Visas offer temporary or permanent residency options, and some have simplified routes to obtaining PR. Thus, understanding your overarching goals and aligning them with the best option is the optimal route, and Savory & Partners can help you do that. All you need to do is contact us today to book a comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.


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Before considering migration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different residencies offered by different countries. If not large, there will always be slight variations in what each government has to offer. Similarly, when considering a second citizenship, there are certain nuances to consider. Don’t forget to read about the six most important things to know before applying for a second citizenship.


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Jeremy Savory

About Jeremy Savory

Jeremy Savory, the founder and CEO of Savory and Partners, runs one of the world’s leading HNW citizenship by investment firms. The second passport company has coverage in over 20 jurisdictions including Europe.

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