Retention of SA Citizenship

To keep your South African citizenship if you currently reside abroad and are thinking about applying for citizenship, you must first submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs. Retention of South African citizenship is the procedure used to accomplish this.

South African citizenship will be immediately lost if you apply for and obtain foreign or dual citizenship before applying to keep it.

All South Africans who are considering obtaining citizenship abroad must make application to keep their South African citizenship. If a citizen acquires foreign citizenship before turning 18 years old, they are excluded from this procedure. Underage citizens automatically retain their South African citizenship for life. They do not need to apply unless they want to obtain additional foreign citizenship after turning 18 years old.

If you gain foreign citizenship without applying for the retention of your South African citizenship, your SA citizenship status may be lost immediately. Even if you intend to relocate permanently abroad, you never know what the future may bring. The repercussions could be severe if you do eventually go back to South Africa. If you lost your South African citizenship, getting it back would not be simple.

You must fill out the BI-1664 (Application for Retention of South African Citizenship) and BI-529 (Determination of South African Citizenship) forms in order to request the retention of your South African citizenship.

Additionally, you need to provide clean, scanned copies of your passport and residence permit from South Africa. Other personal documents, such as unabridged birth certificates and SA IDs, may also be needed. You might also need to provide evidence that you haven’t yet acquired a foreign citizenship.

June Luna Immigration Attorneys can offer you the support, direction, and advice you need to guarantee a successful application, regardless of whether you are trying to retain your South African citizenship or are in the process of regaining it.

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