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South African Citizenship

South African citizenship can be acquired in a number of ways, including by birth, descent, naturalisation, marriage and in the event of being stateless.

The general rule for citizenship in each of the following categories are:


Applies to any person born in South Africa with at least one parent being a South African citizen at the time of birth.


Applies to persons who were adopted in terms of the provisions of the Children’s Act by a South African citizen.


Applies to persons who have been admitted to South Africa for permanent residence and have been living in South Africa for a prescribed time.


Persons who have been spouses to South African citizens for a prescribed time.


Persons born in South Africa with no claim to any other citizenship status.

Our specialised citizenship services

Retention of citizenship

Where an application is made to the Minister of Home Affairs to retain South African citizenship status.

Loss of citizenship

Where an individual loses his or her citizenship, either automatically or involuntarily.

Resumption of citizenship

Certain individuals may apply to have their former South African citizenship reinstated.

Renunciation of citizenship

Where individuals wish to voluntarily give up their citizenship status.

Confirmation of status

Where an individual wishes to acquire written confirmation of their status in terms of the Citizenship Act.

Certificate of citizenship status

A certificate confirming South African citizenship status (when in doubt, or otherwise).

Appeals and Litigation

Any adverse decision taken against your application can be appealed or reviewed. We assist clients in their administrative review or appeal applications to secure a successful/lawful outcome.

In the event that all possible remedies have been exhausted, we may recommend litigation. In this case, a competent court will be approached for assistance in resolving the matter at hand.