Residency vs Citizenship in South Africa

Residency vs Citizenship in South Africa

It’s not surprising that South Africa is a sought after international destination – with gorgeous beaches, wine tasting and value for money. That’s why a June Luna attorneys, we assist emigrants to make their dreams come true – and become residents or even citizens of South Africa. 

The normal path to citizenship for a foreigner usually involves a person first having a form of temporary residency for South Africa, such as a student or work visa. After the prescribed period of time residing in South Africa is met (or other requirements for direct or indirect residency), a person will make an application for permanent residency. Only after five years of permanent residency and fulfilling other requirement, is an application for citizenship possible. 

Permanent Residency entitles the holder to live and work in South Africa indefinitely, including the freedom to work without restriction, participate in business, own property, study and engage in all activities authorized to citizens, with the exception of participating in South African elections. The latter is only possible after you have been naturalized as a South African citizen. 

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is the government body in charge of immigration, which includes the process of becoming a South African citizen. The right of blood (jus sanguinis) and the right of soil (jus soil) determine South African citizenship. As a result, being born in South Africa to foreign parents does not ensure citizenship. You must have been born or adopted in South Africa with at least one South African parent. Those born to or adopted by South African parents living outside the country, on the other hand, would qualify under jus sanguinis. 

Although there are limited ways to be born into South African citizenship, the South African government does provide a clear path to citizenship for foreign nationals through naturalization. 

Allow June Luna Immigration Attorneys to be your guide if you want a stress-free experience. Our team of specialists will handle the administration with professionalism. Please contact us today for additional information on residency and citizenship within South Africa.