Investment Citizenship

Citizenship by Investment and Residence by Investment: What is Different?

Updated: 11 July 2021

There are two options that can help investors to channel their life styles and economic activities into another country, namely citizenship by investment and residence by investment. These two frequently get mistaken for each other, because of the similar names and vague definitions online. However, the distinction actually is quite simple and easy to understand. In this guide, the line between citizenship by investment and residence by investment is drawn clearly to help applicants looking to be economic citizens or residents understand what they are or are going to be dealing with.

Investor Immigrant: Citizen or Resident?

There are several clear differences between citizenship by investment and residence by investment, but still these categories often get linked together as investor immigration. However, economic citizenship often does not include residence, and economic residence definitely does not include citizenship. So, it is crucial to grasp the difference in-between.
First of all, citizenship means that it is for lifetime. Citizenship by investment programs form a link between the country of application and the economic citizen that lasts a lifetime. The core purpose of these programs is to receive citizenship. After an applicant receives citizenship, they also gain the civil, economic and political rights that are assigned to the members of the nation under whose legislation the application was made. These rights, unlike residency, are permanent.
Economic residents’ relationship with the state of residence does not last a lifetime. Economic residents’ rights that come with the residence by investment program they applied for are temporary and fluid, meaning that they are changeable and not permanent. The most essential of these rights are the right to live and work in a country which is the basic definition of economic residence.

How Can You Lose These Rights?

Unless there are extreme situations that are forbidden under the law of the state of the country of citizenship, like mentioned earlier, citizenship is a bond between the individual and the state that lasts a lifetime. It is permanent, and it comes with concrete, unchangeable rights. Economic residence, on the other hand, comes with a real possibility to lose it in case the resident fails to abide by the rules of their program. These rules often involve continued physical presence in the country, requirement of investment, consistently good behaviour, and so on.
Hence, it is important to know the difference between citizenship by investment and residence by investment, because they are different. Essentially, they can both be labelled as investor immigration, but it does not make them the same. It is crucial to be able to detect the differences during the process of application to either citizenship by investment programs or residence by investment programs.

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