South African Citizenship

There are several aspects surrounding South African citizenship with which Breytenbachs Immigration can assist clients. These aspects include obtaining South African citizenship, the retention of your South African citizenship, and various other issues pertaining to dual citizenship.

Please feel welcome to contact us and discuss your matter with one of our FIPSA registered consultants. They will be happy to assist and help you plan your immigration route to South African citizenship.

How to qualify for South African Citizenship

There are two ways to qualify for South African citizenship. It can be obtained by descent (birth) or through naturalisation.  We briefly discuss the different ways below.

South African Citizenship through Descent or Birth

Any person born in South Africa to South African parents is automatically a South African national.

It is also possible for a person to qualify for South African citizenship through your birthright. This will be in instances where you are born outside South Africa, to South African parents, through foreign birth registration.

The South African authorities have recently indicated that children born in South Africa to foreign national parents can qualify for South African citizenship status once they reach the age of 18 years.  However, this is provided that they have not resided in any other country than South Africa since birth.

South African Citizenship through Naturalisation

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

They 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.

Please speak to one of our SA Immigration consultants, to assist and help you plan your immigration route to South African citizenship.

Dual Citizenship

South Africa allows its citizens to have more than one nationality.

However, it is crucial to confirm before accepting another nationality, whether through naturalization or descent, whether the other country does allow for dual nationality status. 

Retention of your South African Citizenship

Any South African born national, who intends to take up a second or third nationality through naturalization, has to apply to retain his/her South African citizenship. It is crucial that this retention application must be done before the application for the second nationality is lodged. 

Failure to do so can result in the automatic loss of citizenship status.  In such cases, South African permanent residence status is normally kept, and the South African nationality can be re-instated after residence in SA for 12 months or more.

If a person does decide to return to South Africa and lost his/her South African citizenship, it involves a lengthy process, with a lot of administrative hassle, to re-instate the South African citizenship. Fortunately, it is possible to re-instate your South African Citizenship (provided you were born a SA national), should you have lost it by inaction or due to being uninformed about the required process of retaining one’s South African nationality. Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants will be able to assist.

South African naturalized citizens, who fail to apply for the retention of their South African nationality status before taking up another nationality through naturalization, normally lose their SA nationality status. If they want to re-obtain SA nationality status, they will have to do so following an immigration route.

Breytenbachs, therefore, highly recommend that clients protect their SA citizenship before applying for another nationality. To protect it from the outset can prevent a lot of administration and hassle for the future, should a person’s circumstances change, and he or she decides to move back to South Africa.

How Breytenbachs Immigration can help you

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have highly trained and experienced consultants dealing with our SA immigration and citizenship matters. Please feel free to contact them for assistance with your case, or to help you plan your route to South African citizenship.