South Africa Citizenship
South African citizenship awards a number of privileges to permanent residents most notably the right to vote. Citizenship can be achieved through birth, by decent or by the process of naturalization through which a foreign national, already in possession of South African permanent residency can become a citizen. Citizenship affords its holder the full freedom to live and work in South Africa as they see fit and does not place any restrictions upon their time in the country.
Set your South African citizenship application in motion today by visiting our online assessment area. Our assessment forms take moments to complete, and one of our friendly immigration consultants will respond to your enquiry.
Applying for South African Citizenship Through Birth
Under this route to a grant of South African citizenship, a candidate must be able to prove the date and location of their birth and provide full details of their parentage. Applicants must have been born within a geographical area that exists within South Africa today and the requirements of this route vary depending upon the year of the applicant’s birth.
Applicants Born Before 1949
These candidates need only demonstrate that they were born in the country before 1949.
Applicants Born Between 1949 and June 1961
These candidates must be able to demonstrate that they were born in South Africa, but also that their father was not a prohibited immigrant at the time. It must be shown that the applicant's Father was either a South African Citizen or South African permanent resident at the time of the applicant’s birth.
Applicants Born Between July 1961 and 1994
These candidates must be able to show that they were born in South Africa and that either parent was a South African citizen or permanent resident at the time of the birth.
Applicants born since 1995
Applicants born between 1995 and the present day must be able to demonstrate their birthplace and show either that at least one parent is a citizen or permanent resident OR that the applicant has no right to citizenship in any other country.
Applying for South African Citizenship through descent
Applicants who were born outside South Africa but can show a qualifying family tie to the country may be able to apply for citizenship in South Africa. For an application to be successful applicants must show that at least one of their parents is a South African Citizen. This method also applies to legally adopted children.
Applying for South African Citizenship through Naturalising
Naturalization applies to all candidates who wish to have full South African citizenship but were not born in the country and do not have any paternal ties to South Africa. This applies to anyone present in South Africa and already in possession of permanent residency. In order to successfully naturalise as a South African citizen, the following conditions will need to be fulfilled.
- All applicants for South African naturalisation must be at least 21 years of age.
- Applicants must already have been granted South African permanent residency and must have been resident in South Africa for a minimum period of five years. One of these years must be the year directly prior to the application being made and the remaining four years residing in South Africa must have been within last eight years in total. In cases where the husband or wife of a South African Citizen is migrating to join them, this requirement will be halved.
- Applicants must be considered to be of good character.
- Applicants must be proficient in one of the official languages of South Africa of which there are 11. The languages are:
- Southern Ndebele
- Northern Sotho
Find out whether you qualify for citizenship today by completing the Global Visas online assessment form. Just answer a few straightforward questions a consultant will contact you directly.