Civic Education

Differences between Residence and Citizenship

Biola Emmanuel - 07th February, 2019 @ 07:05 PM


Not everyone is a resident. On the other hand, each person must be a citizen of at least on country. Being a resident of a country is not the same thing as being a citizen in that country, although both are legally allowed to live and work in the country. For instance, In the US, think of being a resident as having a green card. You have the legal right and access to live in the country for a duration of time. Your duration of stay will differ based on the country you find yourself. Being a resident is one of the processes on your path to becoming a citizen in a country. A person will not be able to make international travels with his residence permit or card but can only do that with his passport (that is, the passport from his country of citizenship).

As a legal resident of a country, a person has the following attributes:

  • Must provide bio-metric information.

  • Can enter his or her country of residence on many occasions but when they break any of the residents’ status, they may be denied further entry into the country of residence.

  • Able to freely live, study, work and travel within their country of residence.

  • They will still utilize their international passport (from the country of which they are a citizen) for travels (but not their resident card or permit).

  • They can become a resident after fulfilling their stay requirement (for instance, you may become a resident when you live for 10 years in a country without any issues).

  • They can only naturalize (become a citizen) after faithfully living as a resident throughout the required number of years.

  • They can lose their residence status when convicted for serious crimes.

Note: A person may not be a resident in any country.

Being a citizen is your status and fundamental human right. You are a member of a nation/country. You are a citizen of a country by one of the followings:

  1. Birth

  2. Naturalization

  3. Marriage


Everyone is a citizen of at least one country. As a citizen, you have the right to request for your passport from your country and it will be issued to you. You also have the right to vote and be voted for. Unlike being a resident, a citizen does not need to fulfill any minimum stay requirements (You may not even set your foot into a country and yet you remain a citizen of that country)

If you wish to be a citizen of another country, you will be able to achieve it in 2 ways:

  1. Becoming a resident at first: For some countries, you may be given a resident permit for 5 years, 10 or 15 – 20 years. If you obeyed the laws of the land during your stay, you will become eligible to apply for citizenship in the country

  2. Investing your money in your country of choice: Not many countries offer this sort of citizenship, but for those that do, all you need do is to become an investor in the country.


A citizen has the following rights:

  • No one can take away your citizenship.

  • You can hold a passport from your country of citizenship.

  • You can pass your citizenship to your children.

  • You don’t have to fulfill any minimum stay to become a citizen.

  • Provided you have the passport of your country of citizenship, you are free to travel to any country with whom your country has travels agreement with.

  • You have the entire right and privileges as defined in your country’s law.

  • You can have dual citizenship.

Amazing facts in Civic Education


All human beings are entitled to their rights (Human Rights); but the truth is, we still have got some limitations to some of these Human Rights. Below are 4 limitations:

  1. Soldiers have the right to life but when duty calls, they must be willing to die for their nation if need be.
  2. Although human beings have the right to movement, an insane person may be deprived of this right.
  3. Right to owning a property can be taken away; for instance, if a person is convicted of owning a property through corruption, stealing or another illegal means, such person will be punished in accordance with the law. Their right to those properties will be taken away.
  4. One who uses the right to freedom of speech in bringing about chaos in a democratized society will be penalized by the court of law.

Please on the fundamental human rights here

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