The path to getting South African citizenship

How to Get South African Citizenship by Naturalisation..

There are three ways to normally obtain South African citizenship.

These are: by birth, by descent or by naturalisation. Birth and Descent are relatively straightforward, and are not the topic in this post.

South African Citizenship by Naturalisation

To obtain South African citizenship by naturalisation, you must have been a Permanent Resident of South Africa for Five years.

This is reduced to just two years if you are married to a South African, and have been married for two years after you received your permanent residence status.

You must have proof of continuous residence for one year prior to application, and intend to continue living in South Africa.

You must be able to speak one of the Official languages of South Africa.

It might be useful to not that Dual nationality is allowed in South Africa.

Notes from : Department of Home Affairs, South Africa. South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 (Act No. 17 of 2010) which came into operation on 1 January 2013.

    • Applications for naturalisation may only be received by the office if the applicant has been on a Permanent Residence Permit for a period of five (5) years from the date of obtaining Permanent Residence (PR) in the Republic of South Africa.
    • You must be of good and sound character.
    • You are proficient in one of South Africa’s 11 official languages.
    • You have adequate knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of a South African citizen.

Losing South African citizenship

A person who obtains South African citizenship by naturalisation, can lose that Citizenship if important information relating to their application was concealed or submitted fraudulently.
It can also be revoked if they are sentenced to jail for 12 months for an offence that would also have been an offence in South Africa.

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