South African Citizenship

    

 

Citizenship by Birth

Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by Naturalization

Certificate of Naturalization

Loss of South African Citizenship

Renunciation of Citizenship

Deprivation of Citizenship

Deprivation of Citizenship on Grounds of Using Citizenship of

Another Country

Consequences of Loss of South African Citizenship

Status of Persons who cease to be South African Citizens

Saving of Obligations Incurred before Loss of Citizenship

Resumption of South African Citizenship

Retention of South African Citizenship

Exemption from the loss of South African Citizenship  

 

 

 

Citizenship by Birth

1.       Any person,

 

(a)       who immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a South African citizen by birth; or

(b)       who is born in the Republic on or after the date of commencement of this Act; or

(c)       who is by virtue of section 3(1)(b) a South African citizen, and one of his or her parents or his or her mother if he or she was born out of wedlock, was at the time of such person’s birth -

(i)                   in the service of the Government of the Republic; or

(ii)                 the representative or employee of a person or an association of persons resident or established in the Republic; or

(iii)                in the service of an international organization of which the Government of the Republic was then a member, shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (2) and (3), be a South African citizen by birth.

 

2.       No person shall be a South African citizen by virtue of subsection (1)(b) if, at the time of his or her birth, one of his or her parents -

(a)     was a person enjoying diplomatic immunity in the Republic in terms of any law relating to diplomatic privileges, or was a career representative of the government of another country, or was a person employed in the embassy or legation of such a government or in the office of such a career representative, or was a member of the household or an employee of any such person; or

(b)     had not been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence therein, and his or her other parent was not a South African citizen.

 

3.       No person who, after having ceased to be a South African citizen, at any time thereafter acquires South African citizenship by naturalization in the Republic, shall be a South African citizen by birth.

 

4.       Any person born in the Republic and who is not a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of subsection (2), shall be a South African citizen by birth if :

(a)     he or she is adopted by a South African citizen in accordance with the Child Care Act, 1983 (Act No. 74 of 1983); or

(i)         he or she does not have the citizenship or nationality of any other country, or has not right to such citizenship or nationality; and

(ii)         his or her birth Is registered in the Republic in accordance with the births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992).

     

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Citizenship by Descent

 

Any person

1.     (a) who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a South African citizen by descent; or

(b)    who is born outside the Republic on or after the date of commencement of this Act, and –

(i)                   one of whose parents was, at the time of his or her birth, a South     African citizen and whose birth is registered in terms of the provisions of section 13 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992); or

(ii)                 to who’s responsible parent a certificate of the resumption of previous South African citizenship has, in terms of section 13(3), been issued, and who has entered the Republic for permanent residence therein becoming a major, and whose birth is within one year after the date of issue of such certificate, or such longer period as the Minister in the special circumstances of the case may approve, registered in the Republic in the prescribed manner; or

(iii)                who is adopted in terms of the provisions of the Child Care Act, 1983 (Act No. 74 of 1983), by a South African citizen and whose birth is registered in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (i), shall subject to the provisions of subsection (2), be a South African citizen by descent.

2.     No person who, after having ceased to be a South African citizen, at any time thereafter acquires South African citizenship by naturalization in the Republic, shall be a South African citizen by descent.

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Citizen by Naturalization

1.     Any person

(a)    who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act—

(i)                   was a South African Citizen by naturalization; or

(ii)                 was or was deemed to be a South African citizen by registration; or

(iii)                was a citizen by naturalization of any of the former states; or

(c)     who, on or after the date of commencement of this Act, is granted a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen in terms of section 5, shall be a South African citizen by naturalization.

 

2.     Any person referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall, with effect from the date of the issue of the certificate, be a South African citizen by naturalization.

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Certificate of Naturalization

1.     The Minister may, upon application in the prescribed form, grant a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen to any alien who satisfies the Minister that -

(a)    he or she is not a minor; and

(b)    he or she has been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence therein; and

(c)    he or she is ordinarily resident in the Republic and that he or she has been so resident for a continuous period of not less than one year immediately preceding the date of his or her application, and that he or she has, in addition, been resident in the Republic for a further period of not less than four years during the eight years immediately preceding the date of his or her application; and

(d)    he or she is of good character; and

(e)    he or she intends to continue to reside in the Republic or to enter or continue in the service of the Government of the Republic or of an international organization of which the Government of the Republic is a member of or a person or association of persons resident or established in the Republic; and

(f)     he or she is able to communicate in any one of the official languages of the Republic to the satisfaction of the Minister; and

(g)       he or she has an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship.

 

2.       Any period during which an applicant for naturalization has been employed outside the Republic in the service of the Government of the  Republic (otherwise than as a person engaged locally) or on a ship or aircraft or a public means of transport registered or licensed in and  operating from the Republic, and any period during which an applicant for  naturalization has been resident outside the Republic with his or her  spouse while the latter was so employed, shall, for the purposes of  subsection

(a)     be regarded as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Republic,

(b)     For the purposes of subsection (1) the Minister may, in his or her discretion, regard as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Republic any period during which an applicant for naturalization has been employed outside the Republic on a ship, aircraft or public means of transport operating from the Republic, and any period during which an applicant for naturalization has been resident outside the Republic with his or her spouse while the latter was so employed, notwithstanding the fact that such ship, aircraft or public means of transport was not registered or licensed in the Republic.

3.     Any period during which an applicant for naturalization -

(a)       is or was confined in a prison or other place of detention in the Republic after being convicted; or

(b)       has sojourned in the Republic, either conditionally, temporarily or in contravention of any law in force in the Republic, shall for the purpose of subsection (1), not be regarded as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Republic.

 

4.     The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), upon application in the prescribed form by the responsible parent or the guardian of a minor who is permanently and lawfully resident in the Republic, grant to that minor a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen.

5.     The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) , upon application in the prescribed form, grant a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen to a person who is an alien and who satisfies the Minister that—

 

(a)       in the case of a man, he is the husband or widower, or in the case of a woman, she is the wife or widow, of a South African citizen and he or she has been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence   therein and has resided in the Republic for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the date of his or her application and after the date of his or her marriage to such citizen; or

(b)       he  or she is the spouse of a South African citizen, and he or she has in terms of any law relating to the control of the admission of aliens obtained permission to enter the Republic for permanent residence therein and he or she has resided with his or her spouse in the Republic or, while he or she was employed in the service of the Government of the Republic, outside the Republic for a period of not less than two years.

 

6.     A certificate of naturalization shall not be issued to any person over the age of 18 years before that person has made the declaration of allegiance set forth in Schedule 1.

7.     The Minister may in respect of any person who has applied for a certificate of naturalization make such enquiries as the Minister may deem fit, and require such a person to appear personally before him or her or a person designated by him or her.

8.     If the Minister has refused an application for a certificate of naturalization by or on behalf of any person, the Minister shall not be obliged to reconsider such application at any time, but shall not consider another application for a certificate of naturalization by or on behalf of such person until the expiration of a period of at least one year from the date upon which the person in question was advised of the Minister’s decision: Provided that the Minister shall at any time reconsider an application if he or she receives any new information regarding the applicant which may influence his or her original decision. 

   

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Loss of South African Citizenship

1.       Subject to the provision of subsection (2), a South African citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if -

(a)     he or she, whilst not being a minor, by some voluntary and formal act other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Republic; or

(b)     he or she in terms of the laws of any other country also has the citizenship or nationality of that country, and serves in the armed forces of such country while that country is at war with the Republic.  Any person referred to in subsection (1) may, prior to his or her loss of South African citizenship in terms of this section, apply to the Minister to retain his or her South African citizenship, and the Minister may, if he or she deems it fit, order such retention.

     

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Renunciation of Citizenship

1.       A South African citizen who intends to accept the citizenship or nationality of another country, or who also has the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Republic, may make a declaration in the prescribed form renouncing his or her South African citizenship.

(a)     The Minister shall upon receipt of a declaration made under this section cause such declaration to be registered in the manner prescribed, and thereupon the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a South African citizen.

(b)     Whenever a person ceases under subsection (2) to be a South African citizen, his or her minor children who are under the age of 18 years shall also cease to be South African citizens if the other parent of such children is not, or does not remain, a South African citizen.

 

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Deprivation of Citizenship

1.       The Minister may by order deprive any South African citizen naturalization or his or her South African citizenship if he or she is satisfied that—

(a)         the certificate of naturalization was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of a material fact; or

(b)    such certificate was granted in conflict with the provisions of this Act or any prior law.

2.       The Minister may by order deprive a South African citizen who also has the citizenship or nationality of any other country of his or her South African citizenship if -

(a)     such citizen has at any time been sentenced in any country to a period of imprisonment of not less than 12 months for any offence which, if it was committed outside the Republic, would also have constituted an offence in the Republic; or

(b)     the Minister is satisfied that it is in the public interest that such citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen.

3.     Whenever the Minister deprives a person of his or her South African citizenship under this section or section 9 or 10, that person shall cease to be a South African citizen with effect from such date as the Minister may direct and thereupon the certificate of naturalization or any other certificate issued under this Act in relation to the status of the person concerned shall be surrendered to the Minister and cancelled, and any person who refuses or fails on demand to surrender any such certificate which he or she has in his or her possession, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

 

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Deprivation of Citizenship on Grounds of Using Citizenship of Another Country

 

The Minister may by order deprive a South African citizen of his or her South African citizenship if he or she also has the citizenship or nationality of another country, and has at any time made use of the franchise or the passport facilities of that country or performed such other voluntary act which, to the satisfaction of the Minister, indicated that such citizen has made use of the citizenship or nationality of the other country.

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Deprivation of Citizenship in Case of Children

Whenever the responsible parent of a minor has in terms of the provisions of section 6, 8 or 9 ceased to be a South African citizen, the Minister may, with due regard to the provisions of the Guardianship Act, 1993 (Act No. 192 of 1993), order that such minor, is he or she was born outside the Republic and is under the age of 18 years, shall cease to be a South African citizen.

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Status of Persons who cease to be South African Citizens

11.        (1) Whenever a person, under the provisions of section 8, ceases to be a South African citizen, he or she shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality which he or she had before he or she became a South African citizen.

(2)     Whenever a person, under the provisions of section 10, ceases to be a South African citizen, he or she shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality which he or she had before he or she became a South African citizen, and, if he or she had no other citizenship or nationality, he or she shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality of his or her responsible parent.

(3)     Whenever a South African citizen by naturalization, under the provisions of section 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, ceases to be a South African citizen, he or she shall for the purposes of the Aliens Control Act, 1991 (Act No. 96 of 1991), but subject to the provisions of subsection  (4), be deemed to be an alien who is not -

(4)     in possession of ir not deemed to be in possession of a permit referred to in section 25 or 26 or that Act; or

(5)     in terms of section 28(2) of the said Act exempted or deemed to be exempted from the prohibition in section 23(of that Act.

 

(6)     The Minister may at any time, unconditionally or subject to such conditions as he or she may deem fit, exempt any person for a definite or an indefinite period from the provisions of subsection (3).

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Saving of Obligations Incurred before Loss of Citizenship

12.   Whenever a person ceases to be a South African citizen he or she shall not thereby be discharged from any obligation, duty or liability in respect of any act done or committed before he or she ceased to be a South African citizen.

     

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Resumption of South African Citizenship

13. (1) The Minister may, in such cases as he or she deems fit, withdraw any order made under section 9 and thereupon the person concerned shall, with effect from such date as the Minister may direct, resume the form of South African citizenship of which he or she was deprived by that order.

(2)    A minor who has in terms of section 10 or a provision in any of the laws referred to in Schedule 2 ceased to be a South African citizen and who is resident in the Republic or has returned to the Republic for permanent residence therein, may at any time after attaining the age of 18 years make a declaration in the prescribed form stating that he or she wishes to resume South African citizenship, and if the Minister deems fit, he or she may order that such a declaration be registered, and upon registration thereof, such person shall resume his or her former South African citizenship.

(3)    (a) Any person who in terms of the provisions of section 6, 7, 9 or 10 ceased to be a South African citizen, may -

(i)       if he or she is not a person referred to in section 11(3) and returns to the Republic for permanent residence therein or intends residing permanently in the Republic, as the case may be; or

(ii)      if he or she is a person referred to in section 11(3) and a permit for permanent residence referred to in section 25 of the Aliens Control Act, 1991 (Act 96 of 1991), is issued to him or her, apply to the Minister in the prescribed form for the resumption of his or her former South African citizenship if the Minister is satisfied that the grounds for the loss or deprivation of his or her South African citizenship no longer exists or are of any consequence, and issue to him or her a certificate to that effect in the prescribed form.

(4)    The provisions of section 5(7) shall mutatis mutandis apply in respect of a certificate referred to in subsection (3) (b).

     

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