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dual South African citizenship 2011

Winnipeg, Canada
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dual South African citizenship 2011

I emigrated from South Africa in 1987 to Israel where I obtained Israeli citizenship by the Law of Return. I retained my South African citizenship by applying for and receiving a letter which allowed me to retain my SA citizenship. It was always clipped on the back of my Israeli passport. In 2001, I emigrated from Israel to Canada and obtained Canadian citizenship in 2005 - WITHOUT applying to retain my South African citizenship. I, therefore, now have dual Israeli and Canadian citizenship. My question is whether I am still regarded as a South African citizen by virtue of the Letter of Permission I received to retain my citizenship back in Israel ? - or is it now invalid because I didn't apply for new permission before acquiring Canadian citizenship ? I am guessing that I am no longer a South African citizen. I am traveling to SA for a visit in 2012 and don't want to have problems when trying to enter and leave South Africa because my SA passport expired in 2007. I don't want to renew it or get a new one. Will it show up on the computer that I have an expired SA passport ? - or did the passport become invalid when I acquired Canadian citizenship ?

Cape Town
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1. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

There was a long discussion on here earlier this year, about Dual Citizenship and under which circumstances it was automatic and under which circumstances it is automatically revoked.

The following seemed to be the best summary available :

sahc.org.au/citizenship/Dual_Citizenship.htm

The following statement seems to cover your situation -

"They automatically retain their South African citizenship for life unless, once they have reached the age of 18 years and they then wish to acquire a FURTHER foreign citizenship, they will then have to apply for prior permission to retain their South African citizenship. Failing to do so, they will automatically lose their South African citizenship."

I am sure you will have no problems.

Edited: 16 November 2011, 21:33
Winnipeg, Canada
11 posts
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2. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Thanks for the reply. I was just concerned that since I did, in Israel, get permission from SA to retain my SA citizenship, and had the letter clipped to the back of my Israeli passport, that this could be applied after I got Canadian citizenship as well. I have dual Israeli and Canadian citizenship now and have a valid Israeli passport as well as Canadian. I think it is safe to say that because I did not apply for NEW permission to retain my SA citizenship when I acquired Canadian citizenship, I should no longer be a SA citizen. Very complicated !

Cape Town
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for Cape Town
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3. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Hi,

Should you wish to enter S.A. on a South African passport, I suggest you

apply to the High Commission in Ottawa or the Consulate General in Toronto for a South African Identification Document. This takes several months to issue (in Pretoria) and, only upon receipt of such, can a passport be issued.

I was advised by Home Affairs in Cape Town that persons BORN in South Africa never lose their right of permanent residence.

Edited: 17 November 2011, 04:20
Winnipeg, Canada
11 posts
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4. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Hello,

Thanks for your reply.

I am aware that I would need a SA passport to enter and leave SA if I am a SA citizen.

What I am trying to establish is whether I am still regarded as a SA citizen ? It is not the same as having Permanent Residence is it ? I know that as a Permanent Resident of Canada, I was NOT allowed to have a Canadian Passport. I had to become a citizen first in order to recieve a passport. Is SA the same ?I have emailed the form to check my SA citizenship status to Home Affairs, but have not heard from them and am afraid that it is going to take a long time for them to reply and I might run out of time before I travel to SA in March 2012. I am thinking my best bet is to renounce my SA citizenship as soon as possible.

Cape Town
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5. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

You are right. Permanent Residence and Citizenship are two totally different things.

Yes, If you were born in South Africa, you have the right to live in this country. Although you would first need to apply to get a permanent Residence Stamp in your Canadian Passpart.

However it is clear that this is not your interest.

If all your worries are about entering South Africa for a holiday on your Canadian Passport, when you don't have a South African one - then it is clear you have no problem. As explained above your South African Citizenship lapsed when you took out a NEW citizenship in Canada without informing the South African authorities in 2005.

Just come and have a great holiday. You don't need to do anything just use your Canadian Passport. You can't "renounce" a citizenship that you no longer hold!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for South Africa
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649 posts
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6. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

You will have lost your SA citizenship unless you are a minor, or unless you informed them. My SA passport is on its way, because I was a minor when my parents registered me British in the year 2000.

Were you still a minor in 2005 when you acquired your Canadian citizenship?

Winnipeg, Canada
11 posts
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7. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Thanks for you reply.

No, I was not a minor when I received Canadian citizenship.

I was an adult in my forties.

Winnipeg, Canada
11 posts
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8. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Thanks so much for you input.

I will stop worrying about the citizenship issue and concentrate on planning and enjoying my visit to friends, family and places in SA next year.

I have not been to SA since 2000, so a LOT has changed.

I have read many of your posts on the forum and you seem very knowledgable regarding SA.

Can I ask you a few questions regarding accommodations and routes to drive? - or should I be in a different forum for this ?

Cape Town
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9. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

You would get better response with a new post and subject, same South Africa forum.

Doncaster, United...
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10. Re: dual South African citizenship 2011

Hi,

I really hope you can help please.

My wife, children and I have dual South African and UK citizenship. We currently reside in the UK and have been living here for over 9 years.

We are going to SA for Christmas and my wife does not have her British Passport yet. Her SA passport is valid and expires 2 weeks after we arrive back from our holiday in SA. She does have 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' clearance for the UK and we have documentation to prove that we are also British citizens. Will she be allowed into SA and back into the UK on her SA passport?

I have spoken to numerous people (SA High Commission in London, South African Airways in London) and all reports so far point to everything being ok seeing as we have dual citizenship and reside in the UK and her passport is valid or the duration of our stay. I would just like your view please as to put our minds at ease.

Thank you

Donavan