Citizenship by Naturalization

Citizenship by naturalisation, loss of citizenship, citizenship resumption, and expert professional advice.
The Citizenship Act distinguishes between two broad groups of persons eligible to apply for South African citizenship by naturalization.  These are:


  • A child born in South Africa of parents who are not South African citizens or who do not possess permanent residence status qualifies to apply for South African citizenship upon turning 18 years of age if
  1. he or she has lived in South Africa from the date of his or her birth to the date of turning 18 years of age; and
  2. his or her birth has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the Births & Deaths Registration Act with the Department of Home Affairs.
  • A person in possession of permanent residence who has ordinarily resided in South Africa for at least 5 years after acquiring permanent residence status and who has not been absent from South Africa for more than 90 days per year in any of the 5 years preceding the submission of his or her application for citizenship.

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