Permanent residency refers to a person's visa status. The person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country of which he or she is not a citizen. A person with such status is known as a permanent resident.
Not every country necessarily has a facility for someone to be a 'permanent resident'. Rights and application may vary widely. All European Union countries have a facility for someone to become a permanent resident, as EU legislation allows an EU national who moves to another EU country to attain permanent resident status after residing there for five years. The European Union also sets out permanent residency rights for long-term resident third country nationals under directive (2003/109/EC). A novel approach was the granting of rights across the national borders of states adhering to the directive. People who are granted permanent residency in a country are usually issued some sort of documentary evidence as legal proof of this status. In the past, many countries merely stamped the person's passport indicating that the holder was admitted as a permanent resident or that he/she was exempt from immigration control and permitted to work without restriction. Other countries would issue a photo ID card, place a visa sticker or certificate of residence in the person's passport, or issue a letter to confirm their permanent resident status.
In Australia and New Zealand, a printout of permanent residence visa or resident visa is stuck to a page of the permanent resident's passport.
In Canada, permanent residents are issued a photo ID card known as Permanent Resident Card.
In Germany, resident permits (Aufenthaltstitel) have been issued as photo ID cards following a common EU design since 1 September 2011. Prior to that date, residence permits were stickers (similar to visas) which were affixed to the resident's passport.
In Japan and South Korea, all resident foreigners are issued a residence card, and for permanent residents this status is indicated.
In Malaysia, permanent residents are issued with a MyPR card similar to the MyKad issued to Malaysian citizens, the difference being the colour (red instead of blue) and additional information stating the cardholder's country of origin.
In Singapore, permanent residents are issued a blue identity card with their photograph, thumb print and other personal particulars similar to citizen's pink identity card
In the United States, permanent residents are issued a photo ID card - officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, but unofficially referred to as a "green card".
In the United Kingdom, the applicant is issued with a photo ID card known as a Biometric Residence Permit which states that the permit is a Settlement permit for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
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