South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with 11 official languages and a variety of cultures and religions represented. As a foreigner, becoming a citizen of South Africa can be an attractive prospect – but what are the requirements?

This post will provide an overview of South African citizenship, including key facts, FAQs, and the different types of citizenship. Stay tuned for future posts that will drill down into specific aspects of South African citizenship law.

How to Get South African Citizenship

There are a few ways to obtain South African citizenship. The most common way is by descent, which means that one or both of your parents were South African citizens at the time of your birth.

You can also become a naturalized South African citizen if you have lived in the country for a certain number of years (usually at least five). Finally, you may be eligible for citizenship by investment, though this is quite rare.

If you meet the requirements for any of the above paths to citizenship, you can begin the application process by contacting the Department of Home Affairs.

You will need to submit a number of documents, including proof of your identity, proof of your relationship to your South African parent(s).

Types of Citizenship in South Africa

There are different types of South African citizenship, including citizenship by descent, naturalization, and marriage.

South African Citizenship by Birth

South African citizenship by birth can be either acquired automatically or conferred by the Department of Home Affairs.

South Africans who were born before 10 May 1994 acquire their citizenship automatically.

Those born on or after 10 May 1994 only acquire their South African citizenship if at least one parent was a South African citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth.

Children born to foreign diplomats in South Africa do not automatically acquire citizenship.

The process of conferring South African citizenship by descent is managed by the Department of Home Affairs. The department may confer citizenship to a person who was born outside of South Africa, but whose parent(s) are/were South African citizens.

South African Citizenship by Marriage

Citizenship by marriage is granted to a foreign national who is married to a South African citizen.

This type of citizenship allows the foreign national to enjoy the same rights and privileges as South African citizens, including the right to live in South Africa indefinitely and the right to work in South Africa.

South African Citizenship by Investment

There are different types of South African citizenship by investment, including the Investor’s visa, the Entrepreneur’s visa, and the Self-Employed visa.

The Investor’s visa is the most common type of citizenship by investment in South Africa. To be eligible for the Investor’s visa, you must invest at least ZAR 10 million (roughly USD 735,000) in a government-approved project or businesses venture.

The Entrepreneur’s visa is available to business owners who want to establish a new business in South Africa. The Self-Employed visa is available to professionals who want to work in South Africa.

You can find more information about South African citizenship by investment here: https://www.southafrica.info

Retention of South African Citizenship

Retention of your South African citizenship is governed by the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) and Regulations made thereunder.

Furthermore, retention is also illustrated in the withdrawal procedures of a South African citizen as specified in section 10 of the Immigration Act.

Your right to retain your South African citizenship arises on completion of the naturalization process and taking up residence in another country.

You may live permanently in that other country, but must maintain some links with South Africa –for example, keeping your home here, having a valid South African passport, or voting in elections from abroad.

Circumstances under which you may lose your SA citizenship include acquiring the nationality or citizenship of another country.

Reasons for wanting to retain South African citizenship

There are many reasons why people might want to retain their South African citizenship. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • The desire to maintain ties to family and friends in South Africa
  • The belief that South Africa offers a better quality of life than other countries
  • The feeling that it is important to have a passport from an African country

There are also some potential benefits to retaining South African citizenship, such as the ability to travel visa-free to certain countries and the option to vote in elections in South Africa.

Automatic Loss of South African Citizenship

South African citizenship can be automatically lost in a number of different ways. One way is by making a renunciation declaration to the South African embassy or consulate.

This must be done before you turn 18 years old, and you must have been a South African citizen for at least 5 years. If you are over 18 years old, you must apply to the Department of Home Affairs to renounce your citizenship.

Another way is by naturalization as a citizen of another country. If this happens, your South African citizenship will automatically be terminated on the date that you become a national of the other country.

Finally, your South African citizenship can also be automatically terminated if you are absent from South Africa for more than 2 years (unless you …

Triple Citizenship South Africa

There is no such thing as “triple citizenship” in South Africa. Dual citizenship is possible, but triple citizenship is not.

If you are a dual citizen of South Africa and another country, you are considered a citizen of both countries. If you have three citizenships, then you would be considered a citizen of all three countries. But this is not possible in South Africa.

To become a dual citizen of South Africa and another country, you must meet certain requirements depending on the other country involved.

For example, some countries require that you be living in the other country for a certain number of years before you can apply for dual citizenship. Others may require that you pass a language test or take an oath of allegiance.

South African Citizenship Act

The South African Citizenship Act, of 1995 came into effect on the 1st of January, 1997, and repealed the South Africa Act, of 1909. The said Act provides for the acquisition, retention, and loss of South African citizenship.

In terms of the act, a child born in wedlock before the 1st of January,1997 with a South African citizen as one parent automatically acquires South African citizenship whereas a child born out of wedlock with a South African citizen as his or her mother automatically acquires South African citizenship.

A child born out of wedlock with a South African citizen as his or her father does not automatically acquire South African citizenship but may do so on the application in the prescribed manner.

RELATED: How to apply for dual citizenship in South Africa?

FAQs on South African Citizenship

Buy South African citizenship

Yes, you can buy South African citizenship. The requirements and process are outlined on the Department of Home Affairs website.

You will need to meet certain criteria, including having a legal period of residence in the country and passing a citizenship test. The cost of applying for citizenship is R120,000 (about US$8,700).

South African citizenship test

There are a few different ways to become a citizen of South Africa, depending on your citizenship and residency status.

One way is to take the South African Citizenship Test, which assesses your knowledge of key aspects of South African history, geography, and culture. The test is available in English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa.

To pass the test, you must answer at least 24 out of 30 questions correctly. The questions are designed to ensure that all applicants have a basic understanding of South Africa’s history and culture.

Topics covered include the origins of human settlement in South Africa, the apartheid era, Nelson Mandela’s life, and work, and tourist destinations in South Africa.

Check South African citizenship status

To check your South African citizenship status, you can submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs.

You will need to provide the following information on the application form: your full name, ID number, date of birth, place of birth, and parents’ full names.

Once you have submitted the application form, you will need to wait for a response from the Department of Home Affairs. The department will inform you whether or not you are a South African citizen.

Renounce South African Citizenship

To check your South African citizenship status, you can submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs.

You will need to provide the following information on the application form: your full name, ID number, date of birth, place of birth, and parents’ full names.

Once you have submitted the application form, you will need to wait for a response from the Department of Home Affairs. The department will inform you whether or not you are a South African citizen.

READ MORE: How to apply for disability grants in South Africa.

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