The Funny Thing About Citizenship....

ProACT Sam looks at what Citizenship Means for Expats

Have you ever pondered why nationals called ‘citizens’ and not ‘nationzens’?

Why do you come from a ‘country’ but are not a ‘countrizen’?

The contradictions come from a previous time, a time when people travelled and relocated overseas.

The term citizenship comes from the status and right to live in the City going back into the history of the great city states of Rome, Athens, Carthage, Babylon. 

In modern times citizenship of a country is the right to live, work, own property or business, vote and pay taxes.


Normally at birth we acquire the citizenship of our parents, but not automatically the country of birth for Expat families.

Citizenship can be acquired through historic birth rights, or by marriage or special rules of a country including for refugees.

Expats Living Abroad

Expats may be Living and Working Abroad for lifestyle reasons, retirement, tax efficiency, temporary work. These periods may be short term or last longer.

An Expat being legally tax resident in country for more than 6 months a tax year doesn’t in itself give them a right to remain or other rights of citizens including to vote.

First Step to Citizenship

An Expat being registered has taken the first step that could lead to a permanent residency and citizenship of their new country. 

Only if an expat chooses to ‘naturalise’ and acquire a new or duel citizenship do they acquire equivalent citizen rights to live, work, own business and property, vote and pay taxes!! 

Expat Residency Rights

Find your more about securing Expat Residency Rights in the guide below.

Get your copy of the residency guide

ProACT Know How

ProACT Expat Experts are here to help, if you need any help and assistance securing your EU Citizen rights Living and Working Abroad in the UK or EU, contact-us for residency, tax registration, starting a business and protecting assets plus stay in touch with the latest EU Brexit for Expats developments.