Does South Africa allow dual citizenship?

The simple answer to “Does South Africa allow dual citizenship?” is YES. One can be South African and simultaneously hold citizenship in other countries. Please note that you must complete SA citizenship retention before applying for a different nationality. You will lose your SA ID otherwise.

This was allowed following the enactment of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act in 2004, which allowed South African citizens to acquire citizenship of another country without losing their South African citizenship.

However, individuals seeking to obtain South African citizenship through naturalization must prove that they have applied to renounce their previous citizenship or that they are unable to renounce it. South Africa recognizes the principle of dual citizenship for its citizens by birth, descent, or naturalization.

Adult South African citizens (aged 18 or older) who wish to acquire a second citizenship must apply for the Retention of South African Citizenship permit before obtaining the foreign citizenship. This permit allows them to maintain their South African citizenship while holding citizenship of another country.

Minor South African citizens (aged under 18) who acquire a foreign citizenship through their parents or guardians do not need to apply for the Retention of South African Citizenship permit. Their South African citizenship is automatically retained.

South African citizens who acquired a foreign citizenship before 6 October 1995 may not require a Retention of South African Citizenship permit if they can prove that they did not voluntarily renounce their South African citizenship.

There are some exceptions to the dual citizenship rules. For example, South African citizens who are members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) may be required to renounce their foreign citizenship if it is considered to be a security risk.

It’s essential to note that regulations regarding dual citizenship can be subject to change, so it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional or the appropriate authorities for the most current information or if you have specific concerns regarding dual citizenship in South Africa.