South African Citizenship Stat

South African Citizenship Status

A number of South African Citizens travel abroad on a permanent or temporary basis, to gain international work experience or merely to experience the novelty of residing in a foreign country. In many instances, personal circumstances then change. Many have married a non-South African citizen, obtain citizenship from another country, or had children while living overseas. This, of course, gives rise to many concerns and questions about a move back to South Africa.

South African Citizenship Stat

It is, of course, important to look at the facts of every individual case before providing advice, but below we provide some general guidelines on the South African Citizenship status. We hope this will shed some light for applicants, on what to expect, but urge persons to seek further advice from the Breytenbachs SA Immigration Department, for advice in their unique circumstances. 

How do I check my South African citizenship status, and how long will this take? 

The SA citizenship check is done through a South African citizenship determination application. This check normally takes 30 – 40 working days.  In cases where the file has to be send to the head offices of the Department of Home Affairs, based in South Africa, one can expect lengthy delays.

What must I do to apply for SA citizenship while in another country?  

The application for SA Citizenship can be done at your nearest SA Embassy / SA High Commission.

If I am currently in another country on a visa, do I have to spend a required number of days in South Africa per year to retain my citizenship?  

Fortunately not.  South African Citizens can reside outside South Africa for lengthy periods. South African Permanent Residence holders, however, cannot reside outside South Africa for a period longer than three years, except in certain circumstances.

Are there negative consequences or penalties for living outside South Africa for a period of time?

Fortunately, there are no negative consequences for SA citizens who have lived outside South Africa and want to return. Persons who have South African Permanent Resident status, can, however, have their residence status cancelled if they reside outside South Africa for more than three years. or