Permanent residency is a person's resident status in a country of which they are not citizens but where they have the right to reside on a permanent basis. This is usually for a permanent period; a person with such status is known as a permanent resident. Permanent residency itself is distinct from right of abode, which waives immigration control for such persons. Persons having permanent residency still require immigration control if they do not have right of abode. However, a right of abode automatically grants people permanent residency. This status also gives work permit in most cases. In many western countries, the status of permanent resident confers a right of abode upon the holder despite not being a citizen of the particular country.
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.
Permanent residents may be required to fulfil specific residence obligations to maintain their status. In some cases, permanent residency may be conditional on a certain type of employment or maintenance of a business. Many countries have compulsory military service for citizens. Some countries, such as Singapore, extend this to permanent residents. However, in Singapore, most first generation permanent residents are exempted, and only their sons are held liable for NS.