Honorary citizenship

Honorary citizenship is a status bestowed by a city or other government on a foreign or native individual whom it considers to be especially admirable or otherwise worthy of the distinction. The honour usually is symbolic and does not confer any change to citizenship or nationality.

A certificate of honorary citizenship.
Honorary Texas Citizen certificate issued to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.

North AmericaEdit

By act of United States Congress and presidential assent, an individual may be named an honorary citizen of the United States. Since 1963, it has been awarded to only eight individuals.

Honorary Canadian citizenship requires unanimous approval in both houses of Parliament. The only people to ever receive honorary Canadian citizenship are Raoul Wallenberg posthumously in 1985; Nelson Mandela in 2001; the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso in 2006; Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007 (revoked in 2018); Prince Karim Aga Khan in 2009; and Malala Yousafzai in 2014.


In Germany honorary citizenship is awarded by cities, towns and sometimes federal states. The honorary citizenship ends with the death of the honoured, or, in exceptional cases, when it is taken away by the council or parliament of the city, town, or state. In the case of war criminals, all such honours were taken away by "Article VIII, section II, letter i of the directive 38 of the Allied Control Council for Germany" on October 12, 1946.

In Ireland, honorary citizenship bestowed on a foreigner is full legal citizenship including the right to reside and vote.[1]


Members of the Righteous Among the Nations may be conferred honorary Israeli citizenship by Yad Vashem, or commemorative citizenship if deceased. Those who choose to live in Israel are entitled to a pension, free health care, and assistance with housing and nursing care.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 Section 12 Archived 2007-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Berliner Ehrenbürger: Lucius Dubignon Clay on the website of the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin. Retrieved 17 January 2016 (in German).
  3. ^ Berliner Ehrenbürger: Michael Sergejewitsch Gorbatschow Archived 2014-03-04 at the Wayback Machine on the website of the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin. Retrieved 17 January 2016 (in German).
  4. ^ "Che's Farewell Letter". HistoryofCuba.com. 1965. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Mountaineering Great Edmund Hillary passes away". The Rising Nepal. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008 – via gorkhapatra.org.np.
  6. ^ "Bruges welcomes you". coleurope.eu. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Holocaust hero named Australia's first honorary citizen". The Australian. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Governor-General to confer Honorary Australian Citizenship" (Press release). Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Gerard Depardieu throws house-warming barbecue in Belgium". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Pékerman podrá tener la nacionalidad colombiana cuando quiera: Santos", Caracol Radio, 11 October 2013; Retrieved 13 October 2013
  11. ^ Parveen, Nazia (12 July 2017). "Ariana Grande made honorary citizen of Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel - Mayor of Dildo!", Jimmy Kimmel Live, retrieved 19 August 2019 – via YouTube
  13. ^ "中村医師に名誉市民権 アフガン政府、灌漑支援を評価". The Nikkei (in Japanese). 10 October 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

External linksEdit