For the people who are not South African Citizens by birth but wish to obtain South African citizenship, go through this article as we will be providing you with the necessary requirements to get citizenship.

In this article, we will be showing you how to qualify for South African citizenship, the stance of the country on dual citizenship, the required documents, and how to retain citizenship.

How to Qualify for South African Citizenship

There are ways to qualify for South African Citizenship: by birth and by naturalization. But for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the naturalization aspect of obtaining citizenship.

South African Citizenship by Naturalization

Any person who has held South African permanent residence status for five years can apply for citizenship through naturalization.

Applicants will have to provide proof that they have not resided outside South Africa for more than 90 days per year for the five years leading up to the submission of the citizenship application.

Dual Citizenship

South Africa allows citizens to have more than one nationality.

However, it is important to confirm before accepting another nationality, whether the other country does allow dual citizenship.

Documents Required to Apply for South African Citizenship

Below are the required documents for the citizenship application:

  • Proof of permanent residence or exemption
  • Confirmation of dual citizenship from your country of origin
  • South African non-citizen ID
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable)
  • Police clearance from country or countries of present nationalities
  • Letter confirming acceptance of dual nationality

Additional Requirements for a Successful Application

Applicants will undergo an English language test and the proof of language proficiency must be included in the application when it is submitted to the department of Home Affairs for consideration. Successful applicants are also required to attend a compulsory induction seminar and the Naturalization ceremony.

Retention of Your South African Citizenship

Anyone born in South Africa who wants to use naturalization to acquire a second or third nationality must seek to keep their citizenship. It is essential that this retention application be submitted before the second nationality application is submitted.

The status of citizenship may be automatically lost if this is not done. In such circumstances, the South African permanent residency status is typically maintained, and after residing in SA for at least 12 months, the South African nationality can be reinstated.

It takes a long time and requires a lot of administrative work to reinstate citizenship if a person decides to leave the country and later decides to return.

Fortunately, if you lost your South African nationality due to inaction or because you were unaware of the procedures needed to maintain your South African nationality, you can reinstate it (if you were born a citizen of SA).

Normally, South African nationals who become naturalized lose their SA nationality status if they don’t apply to keep it before acquiring another nationality through naturalization. They will need to take an immigration path in order to regain their nationality status in South Africa.

We highly advise citizens to protect their South African nationality before applying for another nationality.

Although obtaining citizenship appears to be simple, it is advisable to seek advice from immigration experts as the application process may become complex.






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