South Africans taking up new citizenship abroad sometimes have to renounce their citizenship in SA. This is called renunciation of South African citizenship. The Department of Home Affairs issues these citizenship documents proving that you are no longer a South African citizen. Some countries require you to renounce any other citizenship before you obtain new citizenship in that country. If you have automatically lost your SA citizenship by neglecting to apply for retention, you probably do not need to apply for a renunciation certificate.
Who needs to apply to retain South African citizenship?
Many South African citizens do not understand the administrative duties and rules pertaining to SA citizenship. The process of obtaining citizenship in a new country can be complicated and might require you to give up your citizenship in South Africa permanently.
If you live abroad and want to acquire citizenship there, you may have to renounce your citizenship in South Africa, even though South Africa allows dual or multiple citizenship.
It is essential to keep in mind that the renunciation of South African citizenship is a very bold move. South African citizens always retain their right to permanent residency in the country, even if they did renounce citizenship. However, if you ever decide to move back to South Africa, resuming citizenship in the country takes years.
What are the requirements for obtaining renunciation of South African citizenship?
Before you can renounce your South African citizenship, normally, a determination of your current SA citizenship status is done. This verifies your current citizenship status. After this, you complete the DHA-246 form (Renunciation of South African Citizenship Application) and provide proof of your new foreign citizenship. Individuals can also submit a confirmation letter as proof that they are in the process of obtaining foreign citizenship.
If you acquired South African citizenship through naturalisation, you also need to submit your original naturalisation certificate. Along with this certificate, a signed declaration confirming you wish to proceed with the renunciation application also has to be submitted.
The moment your declaration is registered at the DHA in Pretoria, you cease to be a South African citizen. Once the process is completed you are issued with a certificate confirming the renunciation is issued. As a last and final step, you need to submit your SA passport and identity document to be cancelled.
Retention of South African Citizenship
Should your new citizenship in another country actually allow you to keep your South African citizenship (dual citizenship), then you can apply for a certificate of Retention of South African Citizenship.
Get in touch
According to the DHA, renouncing your SA citizenship can take up to 9 months. But Apostil.co.za can help you obtain a letter of renunciation of South African citizenship in the shortest time possible. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our range of document assistance services and pricing!