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Citizenship of South Africa



On the African continent, South Africa is one of the leading economies. Besides, it is one of the most beautiful countries with natural habitat, vibrant fields, cultural distinctions and extended topography. Moreover, it offers excellent education, health care facilities and work opportunities. All of this makes it a dream place for many to live. Many wanted to get their citizenship to enjoy these benefits.

This article will cover all the areas of how you can get South Africa’s citizenship in detail.

Benefits of South African Citizenship

The main benefits that come with a South African citizenship are:

  • It allows you to have access to education, healthcare and job opportunities.
  • Every citizen of South Africa has a right to vote and have a say in the democratic process.
  • You will become a part of its vibrant and dynamic community and can celebrate both its past and future.
  • You will be allowed to have a permanent residency with all your family members.
  • You will be able to travel visa-free to approximately 60 countries.
  • It allows you to have greater security and flexibility in your daily lifestyle.

Citizenship of South Africa

There are multiple ways to get citizenship in South Africa. These are:

  • Citizenship by Birth:

Everyone is aware of the fact that you will get South African citizenship if at least one of your parents holds their citizenship or has a permanent residency. You are also qualified to be a citizen of South Africa by birth if you are born here and your birth is registered here with no other citizenship claimed. If your parent works for parents’ African government, in that case, regardless of your birthplace, you can get South African citizenship.  

  • Citizenship by Descent:

Another way to become a citizen of South Africa is by descent. If a person is adopted outside of South Africa or they are born of one or both South African parents, they are considered citizens of South Africa. Nevertheless, there are certain conditions which one has to fulfill in this case. Which are:

  • You must complete a DHA to register for a child birth
  • Submit marriage certificate of both parents
  • Sign a BI-24 form if parents are unmarried at the time of adaptation
  • Submit other documents including parent’s identity, child birth certificate and adoption letter.
  • Citizenship by Naturalization:

If you have lived for minimum of five years in South Africa or have a permanent residence, you can become a citizen through naturalization. You are also eligible to apply for citizenship after one year of residence, followed by four years of living and eight years of naturalization. Besides, other conditions in which you can apply for naturalization are:

  • If your spouse is South African, you can also obtain citizenship. However, you must have lived for more than two years in a country or be married for two years before applying for citizenship.
  • If a person has a permanent residence and is a minor, meaning under 21, they can apply for citizenship.
  • And lastly, if you are proficient in one of the eleven official languages of South Africa, you are eligible to apply for citizenship.
  • Citizenship by Marriage:

Anyone who marries a South African citizen can live in South Africa. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t make you eligible for citizenship. Initially, you must have a residence permit or a visa to apply for citizenship. You can get spousal permits and visas to live in a country. You can apply for citizenship by marriage if you have a permanent residence for two years prior. The process of applying for citizenship through marriage is similar to that of naturalization.

  • Citizenship as a Refugee:

If the South African government considers you a refugee, you can get a refugee permit. If you have lived five years in a country on a refugee permit, then you can apply for permanent residence. The next step after permanent residence is to apply for citizenship.  

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You can opt for any citizenship option that best suits your criteria.

Keep in view the reason why you are moving to South Africa and then choose the best possible route.

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