South African Naturalisation CertificateMany South Africans want to acquire naturlisation certificates of their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents in order to conduct ancestral research and prove foreign citizenship within their family lineage. On this page, we take a look at what naturalisation is and how one can go about the task of obtaining these certificates for ancestral research.

What is naturalisation?

South African naturalisation certificates grant citizenship to persons who came to South Africa from abroad and stayed in the country for a set period. According to the eight amendment act of the Regulations in terms of the South African Citizenship Act (1995) that came into effect on 1 April 2003, a person must have been a permanent resident in South Africa for at least five years in order to qualify for naturalisation.

Who can apply for naturalisation certificates? can not assist people in submitting new applications for South African citizenship via naturalisation. We can, however, assist clients with gathering all the supporting documents that might be required in order to make such an application.

Moreover, we can help clients obtain a copy of a naturalisation certificate that has already been issued, in other words for someone who has already naturalised. In the majority of cases, our clients need assistance with obtaining copies of existing naturalisation documents in order to verify ancestral citizenship. A client that had a German grandfather, for example, might need this document to prove to authorities that their grandfather held German citizenship prior to obtaining South African citizenship via naturalisation.

Requirements for obtaining copies of naturalisation certificates

In order for us to assist you with finding copies of naturalisation documentation, you will need to supply us with at least the following, but possibly various other documents as well:

  • Full name, date of birth and ID number (if available) of the person in question.
  • Date and Naturalisation Entry Number (if you do not have this information, we can often obtain it for you at an additional cost as part of ancestral research services).
  • Proof of identification of the person in question.

Documents that can assist you with obtaining naturalisation documentation

You might find that you need to complete a determination of citizenship as part of the process when you want to obtain an ancestral naturalisation certificate.

Whenever a Determination of South African citizenship is done, it verifies whether or not an individual’s South African citizenship has been revoked or not. It can also indicate whether or not the person in question held dual citizenship.

Determination of Citizenship for South Africa can also be done in cases where an individual has legitimate and relevant claims to South African citizenship. The process is also used to verify the status of individuals that have been living or working outside of the Republic for an extended time.

In some cases, a determination is done before South Africans apply for citizenship in countries abroad. The process also forms part of applying for dual citizenship. Some countries do not allow dual citizenship, and they usually ask for a different document: Renunciation of South African Citizenship, where you prove that you no longer have South African citizenship.

Determination of South African Citizenship example letter

How is citizenship status verified?

Individuals that wish to have their citizenship status verified need to go through the Department of Home Affairs’ Citizenship Determination process. Once you lodge an application with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), they check your information against the National Population Register (and various other sources) before issuing a determination of citizenship letter. This letter will confirm if you are a South African citizen or permanent resident.

This generally takes anywhere between 30 and 40 business days if done from within South Africa. Still, the process is known to be very time-consuming. It takes months for South Africans abroad to obtain their determination letters, and often more than a year for those applying from SA missions and consulates abroad. This is why it is always best to work with SA-based document specialists,

How can help

Attempting to obtain naturalisation certificates of South African citizenship in your personal capacity can be frustrating and time-consuming. are document experts that specialise in South African documentation. We can help you obtain these official documents in the shortest time possible time.

Please get in touch with our team of document specialists today to learn more about our pricing, timelines, and range of other documentation services on offer.