I have been working as an academician in a EU country. I am planning to complete my 5 years to apply for permanent residence. However, later in my career I want to return back to my home country, which is non-EU. I am worried that in this case my permanent residence will be canceled after a certain period of time if I continue to live outside of EU (link to the information). And, the same thing applies to the ownership of EU Blue Card (more info here).

From this, I conclude that it is not possible to maintain permanent residence in EU if one eventually plans to live in his/her home country that is non-EU. Only way seems to having citizenship of a EU country. I wonder if I have a lack of information on this. Anyone has something to add and share?

  • 1
    The whole point of permanent residence, no matter where it's at, is that you have made that place your center of life permanently and are primarily residing there. If that is not your intention, does it matter if you 'lose' that status for the EU? It would seem not to matter unless I'm misunderstanding your question.
    – ouflak
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 0:54
  • Yes, I understand @ouflak. I just though I could just keep it as a backup plan if one day I choose to go abroad. As I see, this does not seem to be possible.
    – renakre
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 8:27
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    As an example, you lose "indefinite leave to remain in the UK" automatically if you leave the UK for more than two years.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, permanent residence is only valid for duration of your continued residence in the country in question. If you were to resettle abroad, you would lose your permanent residence after a period of time. Depending on the country, there are likely to be some exceptions, such as working abroad for a company headquartered back home, government employees (i.e. working in an embassy or consulate), or if you're on active duty in the military.

As you've already touched on, the only way I know for sure to keep permanent residence indefinitely in Country A while living abroad in Country B is to acquire citizenship of Country A. Careful though, as some countries do not allow their citizens to have multiple nationalities. They may force you to renounce all other citizenship before granting theirs.

  • Whether that "renouncing" means anything depends on the other country's laws. If I "renounce" my USA citizenship in front of witnesses in some other country, USA still considers me a citizen. (Especially if I have resources they can tax.)
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:35
  • @WGroleau why would you expect any different? It wouldn't make sense for the renunciation to be meaningful if no officer of the relevant country were involved. In any event, countries that require renunciation of other nationalities as a condition of naturalizing typically require the renunciation to be valid under the law of the other country.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 0:24
  • Well, I wouldn't have said it if I expected it to be different! I can't vouch for the accuracy of what I read, nor can I remember which country, but they claimed it had actually been done.I am a few years away from being able to test it. :-)
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 5:19
  • If someone can afford to maintain two houses, I suspect most countries can't be bothered to spy on your local house and then if you leave it for a while to track down where you went.of course, you have to ask your own conscience whether you were lying about the renunciation.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 5:27
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    @WGroleau Really strict country would then strip you of their citizenship (the new one in this scenario) if you cannot prove you effectively renounced the earlier one. Note that some countries (e.g. Morocco) do not allow you to renounce your citizenship, period (i.e. it's not simply a matter of following the right procedure, it's just not possible at all).
    – Gala
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 12:04

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