Good news for children born overseas to a South African mother or father

born overseas

Breytenbachs has good news for children born overseas before January 2013 to a South African mother or father, who struggled with obtaining SA citizenship.

In a landmark ruling on 22 July 2020, the South African constitutional court has ruled that children of South Africans born overseas are entitled to South African citizenship. The constitutional court has ordered the South African Department of Home Affairs to issue passports, birth certificates, and Identity documents to children born overseas before 1 January 2013 to a South African mother or father.

The constitutional court said that parts of the Citizenship Act is unconstitutional and therefore invalid.

In an unanimous judgment, the court said;  “Citizenship and equality of citizenship is therefore a matter of considerable importance in South Africa, particularly bearing in mind the abhorrent history of citizenship deprivation suffered by many in South Africa over the last hundred and more years. Citizenship is not just a legal status. It goes to the core of a person’s identity, their sense of belonging in a community and, where xenophobia is a lived reality, to their security of person.”

The court also said that “Access to citizenship is not only at the core of a person’s dignity, it is crucial to the achievement of our Constitutional aims which includes recognising the injustices of our past and healing those divisions to create a united and democratic South Africa while freeing the potential of every person.”

Breytenbachs is delighted with the ruling of the Constitutional court and believes it will bring peace of mind to many South African parents of children born overseas who struggled to obtain SA citizenship for their children.

South African Nationality Issues

Breytenbachs has a South African Immigration department that can assist clients with all aspects of SA nationality. Please feel free to contact them for more information or assistance with your SA Immigration issue at

You are also welcome to fill out our free South African Immigration online assessment form.