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Obtaining a PR is crucial for numerous individuals interested in becoming Canadian citizens. However, citizenship and permanent residency are two different things, somewhat similar yet very different in terms of rights, responsibilities, and limitations.

As you strive toward the future goals of moving to Canada, it is critical to understand the fundamental distinctions between being a naturalized citizen and a permanent resident. In this blog post, we shall discuss three of the most significant differences.

1. Rights and Privileges

  • Residence and Travel

Canadian Permanent Residents: Anywhere in Canada is legal for a person to live, work, and study as long as they have a permanent resident (PR) card. In contrast to citizens, their travel rights are relatively limited. Consequently, to maintain their status, permanent residents must ensure that they meet their residency obligation to live in Canada for a minimum of 730 days or two years within the space of a five-year period. A PR who wants to go to Canada again must either have a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) or hold a valid permanent resident card. One of the likely outcomes of not meeting the residential requirement is being stripped of one’s permanent residency.

Citizens of Canada: Now, no Canadian national is threatened with having their citizenship revoked if they relocate and live abroad. They can get a Canadian passport, which will enable them to visit more countries without a visa or obtain one on arrival, increasing the number of places they can visit. To a further extent, there is no impact on Canadian citizenship in case the individuals have been away from Canada for an extended period.

  • Engagement in Politics

Canadian Permanent Residents: Another thing that differentiates a citizen from a permanent resident is the right to engage freely in politics. This implies that they cannot vote in local, provincial, or national elections or contest political office themselves. This limitation reduces their ability to influence the democratic procedures and laws that control their life in Canada.

Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens, on the other hand, enjoy full political rights. They are able to run for public office and cast ballots in elections at all levels. By participating, they may guarantee that their opinions are heard in national governance and help to shape Canada’s future. One of the main incentives for permanent residents to pursue citizenship is the opportunity to participate completely in the political system.

2. Legal and Social Perks

  • Safety and Protection

Canadian Permanent Residents: Permanent residents are entitled to most of the social advantages that are accessible to Canadian citizens, such as the right to work in Canada and the public health system for healthcare. However, their level of security and legal protection is not the same. For example, deportation may occur to permanent residents for major offences or noncompliance with residency conditions. For many immigrants, this legal vulnerability is an important factor to consider.

Canadian Citizens: Citizenship provides a greater degree of security and safety. No matter how serious the crime, Canadian residents are protected from deportation as long as they reside in the country. This legal protection extends a sense of stability and permanence, offering a level of peace of mind that is not available to permanent residents.

  • Opportunities for Employment

Canadian Permanent Residents: Although most employment opportunities in Canada are readily accessible to permanent residents, some are exclusively open to Canadian citizens, particularly within government organizations and other security-sensitive sectors. These roles usually require high-level security clearances, which can only be obtained by citizens.

Canadian Citizens: Citizens possess access to a wider range of work options, particularly in government positions and jobs that contribute significantly to national security. For permanent residents thinking about becoming citizens, this might be a crucial consideration because it can improve their economic stability and employment opportunities.

3. Responsibilities and Civic Duties

  • Military Service

Military service is one place where responsibilities vary. Although military duty is not required in Canada, inhabitants of the country are welcome to enlist in the armed forces. Although they can also enlist, permanent residents must adhere to stricter guidelines and have fewer roles. They also frequently need to become citizens in order to have greater access to military prospects.

  • Jury Duty

Jury duty is another civic obligation that sets citizens apart from permanent residents. One of the main tenets of the Canadian legal system is the obligation of all citizens to serve on juries when called upon. This responsibility is not applicable to permanent residents, indicating a distinction in civic duties and involvement.

  • Dual Citizenship

Dual or multiple citizenship is permitted in Canada, allowing citizens to maintain their Canadian status while holding citizenship in another nation. Because of this flexibility, people can still benefit from Canadian citizenship while keeping close ties to their home country.

Even though they may be citizens of another nation, permanent residents are not guaranteed the same level of permanence in Canada as citizens are. It might be a constant source of worry for them to be aware of their residency requirements and the possible consequences of not meeting them.


While living, working, and studying in Canada is possible with permanent residency, citizenship offers greater security, more rights, and complete integration into Canadian society.

Seeking full citizenship status is the best choice for individuals who want to establish themselves completely and unconditionally in Canada. With professional guidance from Citizenship Lawyer, you can safeguard your route to Canadian citizenship. Our immigration attorneys safeguard your rights while ensuring you receive this life-altering status.