Apply for SA citizenship

You automatically qualify for South African citizenship if:

  • you are born in South Africa and at least one of your parents is a South African citizen or a SA permanent residency permit holder
  • if you are adopted by a South African citizen.

You can apply for South African citizenship by descent or naturalisation.

You can also apply to retain your citizenship before you obtain citizenship of another country. Unless you have been granted retention of  citizenship before acquiring citizenship of another country, you will lose your SA citizenship automatically.

You may apply to have your South African citizenship reinstated if you are a former citizen by birth or descent and you have returned to South Africa permanently.

You may renounce your South African citizenship if you intend getting citizenship of another country.

You may apply to be exempted from loss of citizenship if you acquired the citizen of another country before 6 October 1995.
Find out more about citizenship or contact the Department of Home Affairs.

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