Applying for retention of South African Citizenship

Retention of South African Citizenship

The prospect of obtaining dual citizenship is appealing to many who hold citizenship in one country but aim to achieve citizenship in a country that isn’t their place of birth. If you are a South African citizen looking to obtain citizenship in a land far away from home – you have full right to be excited! However, if you don’t want to forfeit your South African Citizenship in the process, applying for retention of your South African Citizenship is a great way to keep South Africa as your second home!

What is retention of a South African Citizenship?

Retention of a South African Citizenship is essentially a way for you to keep your South African citizenship despite applying for citizenship in a foreign country. The ability to obtain dual citizenship puts you in good stead, as it minimises headaches between travelling while still allowing you to keep all the benefits of being a registered citizen.

What are the requirements and when applying for retention of South African Citizenship?

The main stipulation here is applying for retention before receiving your foreign citizenship. This means that if you still have a way to go before obtaining your citizenship in another country, you have more than enough time to keep your South African citizenship. If you are a few months away from obtaining citizenship – DO NOT PANIC. The processing of this application typically takes around a month, meaning that there is more than enough time to take action. If you fail to do this before obtaining foreign citizenship, you will forfeit your status as a South African citizen.

What happens if I have obtained foreign Citizenship but failed to apply for retention?

While the process is nowhere near as straightforward, you may apply for the resumption of citizenship, allowing your South African citizenship to be reinstated. This applies to former citizens by birth or descent and you will be returning to South Africa for a permanent period. Former citizens that obtained citizenship through naturalisation will need to re-apply or apply for an exemption to be considered for resumption as a South African Citizen.

Whether you are applying to keep your South African citizenship or in the process of reclaiming it, June Luna Immigration Attorneys can provide you with the support, guidance and assistance you need to ensure a successful application.

If you would like to learn more about retention of South African Citizenship or how you can once again become a South African citizen, do not hesitate to contact us.