Dual Citizenship: Here's what Saffas need to know

2018-07-27 12:30
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(iStock)

(iStock)

So, you want to check out the grass across the oceans on another continent but you're not entirely sure you want to abandon the country of your birth outright?

You're part of the crew, potentially heading for the Dual Citizenship zone. 

Despite the fact that South Africa's passport power is climbing, having recently moved up two spots in the overall rankings - it's a status considered by many, for varying reasons.

While passport power is one thing, truth be told Saffas often look to migration as an economic, long-term opportunity.

TRAVEL PLANNING: UK, US and Australia visa costs: What South Africans can expect to pay in 2018 

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants states South Africans are also in the fortunate position that they do not need to forfeit their South African citizenship, and can hold dual citizenship. The Department of Home Affairs confirms dual citizenship is only possible on a reciprocity basis - in that each country's immigration policy must allow for it. 

JP Breytenbachs states, the UK is and will probably remain one of the most popular migration destination for South Africans, due to a variety of reasons - with a number of changes as Brexit looms working in your favour. 

Here are a few key questions you might have around dual citizenship, according to Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants

  • When is dual citizenship not allowed for South Africans?  

If a South African born citizen accepts the nationality of another country through naturalization without asking permission from the SA government first, South African citizenship is automatically lost on the day that the second nationality is granted. 

South Africa does allow dual nationality for many countries (provided the country for which the South African national applies for citizenship allow dual nationality status as well).   Where other countries do not allow dual nationality status, the applicant will, unfortunately, have to choose which nationality he/she wishes to hold, and if need be, renounce South African citizenship status. 

  • Which countries allow reciprocity dual citizenship with SA? 

Unfortunately, we cannot provide a list in this regard; it is always best for an individual to confirm with the country where he/she wishes to take up citizenship whether such a country allows for dual nationality statu

 In the case of Kevin Anderson who has been trying to get dual citizenship with the US – the process has taken more than five years – why is it so long? We can confirm that both the US (as an example, as with the UK above) as well as South Africa do allow for dual nationality status.   

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  • How long does the approval process take?

Normally, when permission is asked from the South African authorities to take up a second nationality status, it takes a period of at the most 3 – 5 months to have this granted. Breytenbachs states delays could often be attributed on the reciprocal country - reiterating that it is always best for an individual to confirm with the country where he/she wishes to take up citizenship.   

  • When, if ever are there any restrictions on dual citizenship? 

South African born / naturalized citizens must not apply for a second nationality before they have asked permission from the SA authorities to do so. Once the South African authorities have granted permission, the individual can then proceed to apply for the second nationality status. 

READ MORE: Dual citizenship: UK opportunities knocking for South Africans

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