A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship
[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]
CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon the South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (Act No.88 of 1995), as amended, with an effective date of October 6, 1995. The South African Citizenship Act of 1949 has been repealed.
BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of South Africa does not automatically confer citizenship. A person may claim South African citizenship by birth if: One parent was a South African citizen. One parent had been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence when the child was born. For a child born out of wedlock before October 6, 1995, the mother must have been a South African citizen at the time of the birth of the child.
Any person born in the Republic of South Africa who is not regarded a South African by birth, shall become a South African citizen by birth if adopted in accordance with the Child Care Act, 1083, by parents of which one is a South African citizen and the birth is registered in South Africa.
BY DESCENT: Any person born outside South Africa, at least one of whose parents is a South African citizen at the time of the child's birth, and whose birth is registered in the terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1922, shall be a South African citizen by descent.
BY NATURALIZATION: A person can become a South African citizen by naturalization if: They are a minor; Have been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence; Have been resident for a continuous period of not less than one year immediately preceding the date of application;
They, in addition, have been resident in the Republic for a further period of not less than four years during the eight years immediately preceding the date of the application.
RESUMPTION OF SOUTH AFRICAN CITZENSHIP: In some cases, persons who have lost or forfeited their South African citizenship, and who are residing permanently in South Africa, may apply for resumption of their South African citizenship. Contact the South African Embassy for more details.
DUAL CITIZENSHIP: RECOGNIZED. A South African citizen who is an adult shall cease to be a South African citizen if they acquire the citizenship of another country by one or another voluntary and formal act. However, South African law recognizes dual citizenship if the person requests permission of the Department of Home Affairs to retain or acquire another citizenship. When a person acquires the citizenship of another country automatically by virtue of marriage, they shall not cease to be a South African citizen
LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP:
VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of South African citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the South African Embassy for details and required paperwork.
INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of South African citizenship: Person acquires a foreign citizenship without permission. Naturalized or Registered citizen continually resides outside the country for seven years or more. A person who also has citizenship of any other country and serves in the armed forces of such a country while the country is at war with the Republic.
QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to:
Embassy of South Africa Consular Section 3051 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008
Embassy/Consular Telephone: 202-232-4400 Fax: 202-244-9417
Copyright (C) 2002-2007 All rights reserved.