If you have been a permanent resident of South Africa for a period of five consecutive years or longer, you may be entitled to apply for naturalization to become a South African citizen. Your right to do so is enshrined in the South African Citizenship Act. In order to qualify, you must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Must be over the age of 18 to apply
  • Are currently a permanent resident of South Africa & this is proved to be legitimate
  • Ordinarily resident in SA and has been for at least the 12 months prior to applying – and has been in South Africa for at least a total of four years preceding date of application (time can be combined to add up to this)
  • Are a person of good character
  • Intends to establish yourself in South Africa on a permanent basis
  • Speaks an official language of the Republic
  • Has adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship

Unlike applications for permanent residency, citizenship is done directly through your local department of Home Affairs for a fee of R300.00. More information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. Before proceeding to apply, make sure you have the correct paperwork in order so that your application is accepted and approved.

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