South African Citizenship


A refugee may apply for South African citizenship provided he or she:

  • has been granted permanent residence in South Africa
  • has been ordinarily resident in South Africa for a continuous period of 10 years immediately preceding the date of the application
  • is of good character
  • intends to continue to reside in South Africa
  • is able to communicate in any one of the official languages of South Africa
  • has adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship
  • is a citizen from a country which allows dual citizenship, unless the applicant relinquishes his or her birth nationality

Children born in South Africa

Children born in South Africa of parents, who are not South African citizens or who do not have permanent residence in the country, may apply for citizenship upon becoming a major if (a) they have lived in South Africa from the date of their birth to the date of becoming a major, and (b) their birth has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992. Pending the promulgation of regulations in terms of s 4(3) of the Citizenship Act, the Minister of Home Affairs must accept citizenship applications on affidavit [Home Affairs v Ali].

South African Passport