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Insightful Details About Country of Residence
Image of the American flag waving at the back of the picture of green card and US Visa in passport.

In this blog, we have explained the following in detail:

  • Country of Residence
  • Country of Usual Residence
  • Country of residence versus citizenship

What is the Country of Residence for H1B?

Some immigration terms can be confusing to understand. "Country of Residence" is one such term that confuses most foreigners arriving in the US. Many foreign immigrants get confused between their own nationality and the term "country of residence." What does it mean?

The country where you are allowed to live permanently in your country of residence. A true country of residence is also one in which you have resided for the majority of the last 12 months. Other countries you may have visited for business, pleasure, or a short-term basis cannot be called "country of residence."

There is also another similar term that you ought to know about. It is called "Country of Usual Residence." A country of usual residence is one in which you have a home and spend most of your days. It may or may not be the same as your legal or voting residence. Countries you visit for business, pleasure, and short-term purposes cannot be considered the "Country of Usual Residence."

Understanding such terms can be frustrating, especially if you are a foreign national applying for permanent residency in the US. The confusion can be greater for those who are also constantly moving between countries.

Here's a simple way to put it: If you live in the same country, your country of residence can also be your country of citizenship. In contrast, if you have a visa or foreign residency permit that gives you the right to live permanently in a different country from where you were born, that country will then be your country of residence.

For example, if you have acquired a Green Card to live permanently in the US after having lived in here on a valid H1B visa, then the US is your "country of residence." As an immigrant, it is important to understand the key differences between "Citizenship" and "Country of Residence." Let's now read insights on H1B Visa Process & Other Must-know Details to deeply get involved in this topic.

Also Read: A Detailed Look Into the H1B Visa Benefits

Country of Residence Versus Citizenship: The Key Differences

  • By definition, "Citizenship" is the country where you were born, and the Country of Residence is where you currently live.
  • You will hold the citizenship of the country indicated in your passport.
  • Your nationality is considered based on your country of origin. As a citizen of this country, you are protected by its laws and regulations.
  • If you live in a country other than the one mentioned in your passport and apply for a visa or permanent residency, that nation is also considered your country of residence.
  • To call a country your "Country of Residence," you:
  1.  1.  Need not Live in the nation for a certain period.
    2. Can use the country as your residential mailing address.
    3. Can imply your intention to live in this country for the future.
  • One of the main differences is the voting right. You have full voting rights only if you have lived in the country for a certain period and applied for citizenship. Citizenship gives you the right to vote in national elections if the age criteria is met.
  • You are not eligible for a passport and the benefits that might come with it if you only reside in the country where you work.

The following table will also help you understand the differences between both terms.

Citizen Resident
Can elect candidates for public office and has the right to vote. Can neither vote nor run for public office posts.
Citizenship is permanent and cannot be canceled. Cancellation of permanent residency is possible.
Residency is not a requirement. Is required to live in the country for a certain period.
A person's citizenship lasts their entire lifetime. Renewal of the residency card is required on a regular basis.
Citizenship can be passed down from generation to generation. Inheritance of residency depends on the children's eligibility and circumstances.

What Should an H1B Visa Holder Do to Attain Permanent Residency

H1B holders who have temporarily lived and worked in the US for a six-year period can apply for their Green Card as long as their H1B status is still valid. The Green Card is an employment-based migration visa that allows H1-B holders to become permanent citizens of the US.

There are two ways to attain Permanent Residency in the US:

  • Through family members who are US citizens and enjoy legal permanent residency.
  • To apply for the Green Card through employment.

If you are confused between these terms, it is always wise to consult your immigration attorney or an experienced immigration expert.
Visit TechFetch H1B for more information on all the US non-immigrant visas.

**Disclaimer: All immigration policies and rules are subject to change. Kindly refer to the USCIS official website for the latest information.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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