Skip to Content

“Place of residence” on a Job Application: Meaning & Context

“Place of residence” on a Job Application: Meaning & Context

Sharing is caring!

Applying for jobs can be intimidating. When hiring managers write advertise vacant positions, they often use Business English jargon and field-specific terminology, which can be difficult to understand. 

Fortunately, there’s plenty of advice available to help you get to grips with the professional lingo of application forms and job descriptions.

Maybe you are confused by what “security clearance” means on a job application, or would like to have an explanation of the meaning behind job application statuses

Whatever question marks exist in your mind about the application you want to submit, Linguaholic is here to guide you. 

And that’s exactly what this article will do for anyone who has encountered the term “Place of Residence” on a job application and isn’t sure what information they are being asked to provide.


The meaning of “Place of Residence” on a job application

Your place of residence is the place you are actually living. It is not your nationality, place of birth, or location at the time of writing. It is your habitual residence, which is defined as where you are spending most of your time. You should provide your address, including the street and street number, town, county, state, and country.

In the era of digital nomadism and cheap(-ish) air travel, an increasing number of people don’t have one fixed abode, which complicates questions about residency. 

If you are someone who spends time at multiple addresses throughout the year, you might wonder how specific you need to be about your place of residence when applying for a job. 

Well, the unhelpful answer is that it depends on the nature of your situation and on the specific application in question.

After all, even the legal definition of “residency” isn’t black and white and allows some room for discretion. 

Don’t worry if you’re still confused, this article will break the term “Place of Residence” down in a simple way now.

For a detailed run-through of what information to provide in a job application under “Place of Residence,” read on. 


Where is my place of residence? 

If you’re confused about where your place of residence is, you can use this helpful guide to figure out what you should be putting on your applications. 

Your place of residence is where you live, which may not be the same place as where you are a registered taxpayer. 

That said, you may still need to pay tax in your country or residence, even if it is not your legal domicile.

Make sure you are getting the legal advice you need before making any major decisions about whether to respond to an acceptance email for a job. 

Fun fact: You can have multiple places of residence, but you can only have one domicile. 

But to bring the question back to what information you should provide when you are asked for your “Place of Residence” on a job application, here’s your answer.

Ask yourself where the house or accommodation is that you actually spend the majority of your days sleeping in.

Once you’ve identified where you are actually living, you know what to write in your cover letter when applying for a job.  


The legal definition of “Place of Residence”

Many of us live in a country we are not citizens of. This complicates administrative matters when it comes to things like taxation, the right to work, and legal residency. 

Obviously, your potential employer will need to know where you are legally resident before they hire you.

This is because your current residency may affect whether you will need a visa to work for them. 

Where you are a resident will also affect how a business registers your employment with the government body responsible for collecting income tax.

It may also affect the nature of your employment contract if you get the job. 

So, what is the legal definition of a resident? A resident is someone who lives in a particular place and plans to do so for the indefinite future. 

And what is a place of residence?

The legal definition is this simple: “The place where one actually lives, which may be different from one’s domicile.”


Place of residence vs domicile 

Okay, this is all getting a bit complicated, right? 

At this stage, you might be wondering what the difference between your place of residence and your domicile is. 

Here is the answer: 

Your place of residence is a place you live with the intention of staying for the indefinite future. 

Your domicile is a place you live with the intention of making it your permanent residence.

You can think of the difference between the two as the difference between being in a relationship and being engaged. 

If you are resident somewhere, it’s like you are in a relationship with that place: You have no plan to break-up, but you haven’t committed yourself for life.

You might not yet be helping pay off your partner’s mortgage (just as you might not be paying tax in your place of residence) because you still have your own pad (or tax domicile). 

If you are domiciled somewhere, it’s as though you are engaged to it. You have promised to (and intend to) spend forever with it.

You’re paying your share of the mortgage (tax) because you are assuming you’ll be living there for life (even if you are temporarily resident somewhere else).

Of course, the test here is your intention…which can always change.

Just as you might end an engagement, you might also uproot yourself from your domicile and decide to live somewhere else permanently.

If you do this, your domicile will change once you have demonstrated that intention.

Different countries have different standards you must meet to prove your intention to stay permanently.  

All these technicalities are what make these definitions tricky.

But you don’t need to worry about all the legal thresholds and tests when you’re just filling out a job application. Just give the answers that best reflect what your life looks like now. 


Place of residence vs address 

If you don’t understand the difference between your address and your place of residence, don’t worry. 

At the end of the day, in simple English terms, your place of residence is the same as your address.

But Business English operates according to its own rules. After all, people don’t call all the convoluted terms in contracts legalese for no reason.  

Just think about it this way: In legal terms, the difference between your address and place of residence is a technical distinction. 

Even though you might provide your address when asked your place of residence, technically, the town/municipality/state/country you live in is your place of legal residence. 

Many employers may only need to know your county, province, state, or even country, depending on the employer in question and the country they do business in. 

However, to avoid any confusion, you should generally just provide your full address when a job application asks for your place of residence. 


Place of residence vs nationality 

When a job application asks you to provide your place of residence, they are not asking for your nationality.

In most countries, including the U.S.A., it is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of nationality during the hiring process. 

When a question about residency arises, it usually has to do with the right to legally work in the country your potential employer does business in. 

Recruiters and hiring managers are responsible for doing the necessary due diligence to make sure they are not hiring employees who do not have the right to work. 

When a legitimate question about your right to work is asked, it is important to answer it.

That’s why being as transparent as you can about your work and residency history is always a good idea. 

This, incidentally, is also why you should always say “yes” when answering the question “may we contact your current employer,” unless you have a compelling reason not to.


How important is “Place of residence” when applying for a job?

It is not uncommon for qualified professionals working for multinational companies to be living somewhere on the basis of a work visa when they apply for a job in a third country. 

For example, imagine you are living in Dublin as a U.S. citizen. Let’s say you are employed by a certain major search-engine company on a one-year, limited-term contract. You might decide to apply for a new job in Canada.

In this case, Dublin would be your place of residence, but the U.S. city you grew up in would probably still be your domicile. 

Now that most people know how to respond to a Zoom interview request, hiring managers can easily conduct a first round of interviews with international candidates.

The process doesn’t require interviewees to make any financial sacrifice by travelling, so international hires are becoming more common.

Being able to find top professionals around the world and request an interview on LinkedIn has also changed the hiring game. In most cases, employers have no problem getting work visas for qualified professionals who are earning above a certain salary. 

Recruiters won’t be too worried about determining your residency for tax purposes if they know you can just apply for the appropriate right to work once you have a job offer in hand. 

This means that you should focus on the strength of your application above anything else.

Make sure you have high-quality letters of recommendation and so on. 


Should you put your place of residence on a CV?

If you’re wondering whether to include your place of residence on a CV, the answer is probably “no.”

It is better to include where you are eligible to work. 

For example, if you have a visa that permits you to work in Australia, you can include “Legally eligible to work in Australia,” on your CV. 

If you want to get more specific later, you can be more explicit about what visas/work rights you have in your cover letter. 


Disclaimer: Keep in mind that this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice about the right to work, taxation, or residency status, please consult a qualified legal professional.