Difference between Residence and Domicile

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the word Domicile (mool pramana patra) basically means the place where a person lives whereas the word Residence (samanya niwas patra) means the place where a person permanently lives since a long-term. If we carefully look at the meaning of both the words, we can deduce that Residence is a time-based term that is to be called a resident of a particular place, you must be currently living at that place whereas on the other hand Domicile means a place where you originally belong. It doesn’t matter that you currently live at that place or not but if you have ever originally belonged to that place, you will always be called a domicile of that place.

In a line we can say that, Domicile is a constant while Residence is variable in nature. You can have your Residence in more than one state but only one state can be your Domicile.

Importance of Domicile

As students, we have often come across the word Domicile, while fee submissions of our school/colleges. Mostly state colleges charge less fees or give concessions to the students who belong to their own domicile. Whereas the non-domiciled students are charged more than them. Apart from this, there are various other examples where the state government have made it their priority to give certain benefits to the people belonging to their own states. This is purely legal and may be in-practice due to certain reasons like making people stay and serve in their own domiciles and to promote the feeling of state patriotism in general public.

Let us have a keen look at 3 major benefits that are given to the people who are domiciled in a particular state:-

  • Priorities and Preference in Government related jobs and employment
  • Preference in Educational Institutions like schools, colleges, universities and coaching centres
  • Availing benefits of the various schemes of the state government

Kinds of Domicile

  1. From birth;
  2. By Self-Interest;
  3. Changed by law like change situations where there is a change in the domicile of parents or the domicile of spouse(s) after marriage

Distinction at a Glance

  • Residence is Temporary while a Domicile is Permanent
  • Any place where you own a property or live for a prescribed period can be your residence but only the one location where you intend to make your permanent home and remain indefinitely can be your domicile
  • You can have many residences but you can have only one domicile
  • Your domicile is your residence but your residence need not necessarily be your domicile
  • Your domicile carries legal consequences while your residence does not
  • Your domicile affects the circumstances under which you pay state taxes. Residence in a country or state limits the reach of taxing authorities to tax income you earn within its borders.
  • Residency is a more flexible concept than domicile, and permanency is not a requirement for residency.

Conclusion

Both Domicile and Residence are similar yet very different concepts. The importance of both the concepts vary according to the context in which they are used. Hence, you should be very careful when you encounter any of these terms in legal documentations because both the words alone are capable of changing the entire meaning of the context and lack of knowledge of the same may have drastic and unintended consequences.

Aishwarya Says:

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