There are a number of different immigration options available currently. These are commonly referred to as Investor Visa’s, Golden Visa’s, permanent residency and Citizenship by Investment. Some of these programs offer a residency visa whilst others come with residency which can later lead to citizenship and many are direct citizenship programs.
The most obvious difference between Citizenship and Residency is that once you become a citizen of a country, you receive the passport whereas residency status is usually conditional and you can only apply for a travel document such as resident ID card. For example, residency in an EU country will enable you to travel more freely, a little like a Schengen visa, but you only have the right to reside in that specific country.
Citizenship in an EU country means you have the right to live, work and study in any other EU member country. This opens up access to all EU member countries, meaning more benefits and rights. If you are a resident your residency permit will be conditional and you must comply with the renewal conditions once your residency needs to be renewed. You will be eligible to reside and study within the country of residency without restrictions (though conditions can vary depending on the country). An added benefit is that you most likely will be eligible to work or conduct business in the country of residence.
If you obtain Citizenship which is for lifetime, you will have the freedom to travel visa-free, to any nations with whom your country has a travel agreement with. You will also have the rights and priviledges defined by your country’s law, including the right to vote, work, access education, and obtain healthcare. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that citizenship by invest programs can also include your whole family including your spouse and children, which will be passed down to future generations.