Citizenship South Africa

South African Citizenship Visa

SA Migration 28-07-2022

Citizenship Options

  • South African Citizen by Descent
  • South African Citizen by Naturalisation:
  • Automatic loss of Citizenship
  • Resumption of South African citizenship
  • Deprivation of Citizenship
  • South African Citizen by Naturalisation:
  • Automatic loss of Citizenship
  • Resumption of South African citizenship
  • Acquisition of the citizenship or nationality of another country

South African Citizen by Descent:

Anybody who was born outside of South Africa to a South African citizen. His or her birth has to be registered in line with the births and deaths registration act 51 of 1992.

South African Citizen by Naturalisation:

Permanent Resident holders of 5 or more years can apply for citizenship. Anybody married to a South African citizen qualifies for naturalisation, two years after receiving his or her permanent residence at the time of marriage.
A child under 21 who has permanent residence Visa qualifies for naturalization immediately after the Visa is issued.

Automatic loss of Citizenship.

This occurs when a South African citizen:

Obtains citizenship of another country by a voluntary and formal act, other than marriage, or;
Serves in the armed forces of another country, where he or she is also a citizen, while is at war with South Africa.

Deprivation of Citizenship:

A South African citizen by naturalization can be deprived of his citizenship if;

The certificate of naturalisation was obtained fraudulently or false information was supplied.
He or she holds the citizenship of another country and has, at any time, been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment in any country for an offence that also would have been an offence in South Africa.

Acquisition of the citizenship or nationality of another country

Any person who wants to apply for citizenship in another country must apply to the Minister of Home Affairs to retain his or her South African citizenship before acquiring the citizenship of the other country.

Resumption of South African citizenship:

Any former citizen by birth or descent who:

  1. Gave up his or her South African citizenship, or
  2. Automatically ceased to be a South African citizen;

can apply for the reinstatement of his/her South African citizenship. However this person must return permanently to South Africa.

South African Citizenship by Descent

The following persons are South African citizens by descent:

  • Persons born outside South Africa of whom one of his or her parents was a South African citizen at the time of his or her birth and whose births are registered.
  • Persons born outside South Africa, adopted by a South African citizen, and whose birth is registered.
  • Any person in Namibia on or after March 21, 1990 whose mother or father was a South African citizen at the time of the birth of the child.
  • Adopted child whose responsible parent was issued with a certificate of resumption of citizenship and has entered South Africa for permanent residence while he or she was a minor and whose birth was registered within a year after the certificate of resumption was issued.

South African Citizenship by Birth

The following persons are South African citizens by birth:

  • Persons born in South Africa before October 6, 1995.
  • Persons born in or out of wedlock on or after October 6, 1995 if one of his or her parents is either a South African citizen or a permanent resident. For those born before October 6, 1995 the mother of the child must have been a South African citizen at the time of the birth of the child.
  • Persons born in South Africa, adopted by parents of which one parent is a South African citizen and whose birth is registered.
  • Persons born in South Africa, not having the nationality of any other country and whose birth is registered.
  • Person born outside South Africa and whose parents were at the birth of the child in the service of the South African Government, representative, employee of a person, association of person resident, established in South Africa, was in the service of international organization to which the Government of South Africa is a member.

Registrations under this category are normally filed in South Africa and nearest offices of the Department of Home Affairs can be contacted in this regard.


The South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (Act 88 of 1995) was amended by the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 (Act No. 17 of 2010) which came into operation on 1 January 2013. It brought in updated requirements in areas of different applications around Citizenship:


Applications for naturalisation may only be received by the office if the applicant has been on a Permanent Residence Permit for a period of ten (10) years from the date of obtaining Permanent Residence (PR) in the Republic of South Africa. No application may be received by the office if the applicant has less than the prescribed ten (10) year period.
All applicants who wish to apply and are eligible to apply for naturalisation must be informed that the process for application will only begin when verification of Permanent Residence Permit has been confirmed by Immigration Services (IMS) through a written and signed letter of proof or PR to be attached to the application. This will require offices where such applications are received to first send verification of PR requests to IMS before receiving an application for naturalisation. Within the same period submit a request to SAPS for a Police Criminal Record check and confirmation to be attached. (SAPS record must be six months valid).
Applicants must be informed that they must obtain Police Clearance and a letter of acceptance of dual citizenship from country of citizenship (or origin) to be attached to the application for naturalisation.
Applications for naturalisation must be forwarded to the Head Office Citizenship Section within five (5) working days from date of receiving a fully compliant application by the Front Office.
Applications must be put on Track and Trace 035 reflecting every stage of the process update without fail.
All applications for naturalisation must have a PR identity number with a copy of ID submitted, before they can be received by the Front Office as applications for naturalisation.
Proof of language proficiency must be attached with application for naturalisation as well as the completed language test form.
Requirements for an application for naturalisation continue as they have been prescribed by the Citizenship Act.
It is compulsory to attend Induction to become a citizen of the Republic of South Africa
It is compulsory for all to attend the Naturalisation Ceremony and stand before a Judge in order to be granted citizenship in South Africa. Failure to attend would result in withdrawal or non-issuance of Certificate.

PLEASE NOTE – Applicants for naturalisation must be informed to constantly check their status of application or progress with the office of application as approved applications that require signing of “Declaration of Allegiance” will only be valid for a period of six (6) months from date of approval as appearing on 035. Any expired period of signing the “Declaration of Allegiance” will be considered as non-compliance. The application process would immediately lapse and an applicant for naturalisation would be required to lodge a new application.


An application for Determination of Citizenship must be forwarded to Head Office before any application is submitted. This is to ensure that a correct application is submitted by the applicant.
All applications for identity documents, passports and other services must be accepted following confirmation of citizenship status of the applicant by the Head Office.
All applications for Determination of Citizenship Status must be fully completed in order to comply with the time for the determination of citizenship status.


DHA -175 (application form)
DHA -529 (applicant form)
Proof of continuous residence 1 year prior to application
RSA Police report valid for six (6) months from the date of issue
Police clearance from country or countries of present nationalities
Letter confirming acceptance of dual nationality
Proof of payment (R300.00) as per regulated by the National Treasury
All supporting documents must be attached to enable easy reference to an application. All offices, including embassies, must ensure that office stamps and sign off are adequately done on each application submitted.


All births registered by the Department are in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act. There is no exclusion or separate requirements for foreign birth registrations.
Supporting documents must be attached to an application as prescribed in the Births and Deaths Registration Act. Only complete applications with required supporting documents will be accepted and processed for Foreign Birth Registration.
Offices must ensure that parents/grandparents birth certificates are attached with every application submitted. Without these no application will be processed.


Application form Notice of Birth (DHA 24)
DHA 529 (applicant, parents duly fully completed)
Full birth certificate of the applicant
Front office Verify birth certificate of the applicant’s age from 15years and above with the country of origin (embassy)
Marriage certificate if the parents are married or both parents must acknowledge paternity.
Proof of birth / citizenship of the South African parent
Police report from country of origin as well as one from RSA (15 years and above)
An interview report for both the applicant and the South African parent (15 years and above)
Proof of Paternity / DNA tests (15 years and above)

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