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Visiting RSA - which passport??


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#1 Riekie

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 12:14 PM

I know this topic was previously discussed (somewhere - can't find it.... :( ). But after an offline discussion I had with fellow forumites on this topic, what I want to know is this:

Relating to your RSA citizenship:

If you become a Aus Citizen what are the options regarding your RSA citizenship? Do you automatically keep your RSA Citizenship unless you advise otherwise? Or do you automatically loose it unless you request otherwise? What is the process, pros & con's etc.

If you have dual citizenship, I know by RSA law, you have to use your RSA passport when travelling to RSA. What if you don't? Say you did not know about this law and innocently use your Aus passport - how will they know that you are also an RSA citizen? What will then happen to you? Will you be arrested?

If you have dual citizenship and your RSA passport has since expired and you need to travel to RSA - what should you do?.....

This is a whole mouthful and maybe too much to answer (seeing as some might already have gone through the trouble of doing that already). If you know anything on the topic, please help... (or maybe someone could direct me to where I could find the info).

Thanks all!

#2 Lmari

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 12:27 PM

I know this topic was previously discussed (somewhere - can't find it.... :( ). But after an offline discussion I had with fellow forumites on this topic, what I want to know is this:

Relating to your RSA citizenship:

If you become a Aus Citizen what are the options regarding your RSA citizenship? Do you automatically keep your RSA Citizenship unless you advise otherwise? Or do you automatically loose it unless you request otherwise? What is the process, pros & con's etc.

If you have dual citizenship, I know by RSA law, you have to use your RSA passport when travelling to RSA. What if you don't? Say you did not know about this law and innocently use your Aus passport - how will they know that you are also an RSA citizen? What will then happen to you? Will you be arrested?

If you have dual citizenship and your RSA passport has since expired and you need to travel to RSA - what should you do?.....

This is a whole mouthful and maybe too much to answer (seeing as some might already have gone through the trouble of doing that already). If you know anything on the topic, please help... (or maybe someone could direct me to where I could find the info).

Thanks all!


Riekie, ek het jou postings vir iemand gemail wat al die inligting het ivm al hierdie goed, sal dit aan jou stuur
sodra ek dit ontvang het.!!

#3 Guest_Larry_*

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 01:40 PM

Late last year, my father had to travel to South Africa in a hurry. My mother, who is a citizen of South Africa, Ireland and Australia was intending to go with him, but was a bit uncertain as to what passport to use as her South African passport had expired. I phoned the South African Embassy in Canberra and asked them....

Citizenship:-

If you are a South African citizen and you acquire the citizenship of another country by descent, you retain your South African citizenship. If you wish to acquire the citizenship of another country by other means (including marriage) you must first seek permission from the South African government. This is usually a formality, but is a very important step. - If you do not obtain South African government permission to acquire the citizenship of another country, you will be stripped of your South African citizenship!

For dual citizens:-

You no longer need to periodically update your permission to carry two (or more) passports. But you must use your South African passport to enter and leave South Africa. If you are a South African citizen and you attempt to enter or leave South Africa on a foreign passport, you could be fined up to R3000,00. This presumes that you are caught! ;)

If you are a dual citizen and your South African passport has expired and you need to travel to South Africa:-

You have three (legal) options:-
1. Apply for a new South African passport. - This could take a long time.
2. Apply for a temporary travel document from the South African embassy. You will then need to obtain a new South African passport while in South Africa. - This might also take a bit of time.
3. Renounce your South African citizenship.

The final (illegal) option is to take your chances and travel on your foreign passport. It is unlikely that you will be caught, but you might be unlucky.... :(

As an aside....
My father had acquired Irish citizenship by being married to an Irish woman for more than three years. He had therefore been stripped of his South African citizenship. My mother is both an Irish and Australian citizen by descent. - She was still considered to be a South African citizen.
My mother wasn't willing to take a chance. - Dad travelled back to South Africa alone. - He got back to New Zealand safely.

As for me..... I keep both my South African and Australian passports up to date. :( Saves all sorts of headaches down the track.

Edited by Larry, 08 April 2006 - 01:45 PM.


#4 NZHigh

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:40 AM

I support Larry's summary. (I don't want to sound presumptuous but I have been dealing with this issue myself some 2 years ago and as I (used to be) fairly active in the community many people still approach me on this topic).

I think he is spot on by saying the best thing one can do is to keep both passports up to speed if you have dual citizenship.

Bear in mind though that if you do have dual and you visit SA and something goes wrong (eg fake speeding ticket - argument - get thrown in jail type of scenario) you cannot rely on the Australian/ New Zealand governments to assist you as YOU are in a country which you not only have citizenship of, but also entered using THAT passport, you'll have to turn to South African sources for assistance.

Personally I would not take any chances and keep things as per requirements if you want Dual. SA Immigration may not quite be as it is here but with everything being computerised one may just be caught one day, and then you could face the consequences.

#5 Guest_Larry_*

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 03:28 PM

One thing that I forgot to mention. - This applies to Australian citizens, but not (I think) to New Zealand citizens:-

Australia will not grant any form of visa to an Australian citizen. This means that if you are a dual South African / Australian citizen and you travel back to South Africa on your South African passport without your new Australian passport, you will not be allowed back into Australia. - You can't have an Australian visa put into your South African passport if you are an Australian citizen!!! - You will have to apply for an Australian passport while in South Africa. - That can be a total pain in the butt! :(

Edited by Larry, 09 April 2006 - 03:32 PM.


#6 SASydneysider

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 06:39 PM

We are currently ex South Africans with New Zealand passports living in Sydey. We didn't emmigrate officially out of SAfrica when we left in 1999 and also did not apply for dual citizenship.

We would like to go back to SA for my son's wedding in October using our New Zealand passports. My husband's SA passport has expired and we don't want to renew it.

The concern I have is that out New Zealand passports state that we are South Africans. I do not want to get into the situation where we will not be able to get out of SA for whatever reason, or not be able to get back into Australia (or New Zealand)!

Can anyone shed some light on this one?

#7 NZHigh

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:15 PM

We are currently ex South Africans with New Zealand passports living in Sydey. We didn't emmigrate officially out of SAfrica when we left in 1999 and also did not apply for dual citizenship.


Not emigrating officially does not make any difference to your citizenship status. However by not appying for dual citizenship I assume in 2002 you have voluntary albeit unbeknown to you renounced your SA citizenship. There are however ways to get it back if you really want to.
The following quote from the SA Home Affairs Website:

Loss of South African Citizenship (Section 6)
A South African citizen who by a formal and voluntary act acquires the citizenship of another country, automatically loses his or her South African citizenship.

Retention of South African citizenship may, however, be applied for, but must be done and be approved before acquisition of the other citizenship to prevent automatic loss of the South African citizenship.

http://home-affairs....citizenship.asp


We would like to go back to SA for my son's wedding in October using our New Zealand passports. My husband's SA passport has expired and we don't want to renew it.


Don't bother, unless the SA Home Affairs has not updated their data (which is entirely possible - I know of at least 2 such cases) you aren't SA Citizens any longer and will therefore not be able to claim a SA Passport.

The concern I have is that out New Zealand passports state that we are South Africans. I do not want to get into the situation where we will not be able to get out of SA for whatever reason, or not be able to get back into Australia (or New Zealand)!



Precisely, but because you have renouced your SA Citizenship status by default around 2002 you may travel to and enter SA on your New Zealand passports. One thing though, Your New Zealand Passports will not state that you are South Africans but will clearly state that your Nationality is New Zealand. What it will indicate though is that your places of birth were in South Africa.

One method to get around this is to apply for a new New Zealand Passport (even if your current ones are still valid for 6 odd years) as they are the new Biometric ones required by the USA for the 27 country Visa Waiver scheme that includes Aus and NZ. BUT they do not include your place of birth so there is no linkage to South Africa in your passport. They are pretty expensive though at A$162.00/ NZ$150.00, and only valid for 5 years. See http://www.dia.govt....ex?OpenDocument

It is also possible that when entering SA they might not be aware that you are not SA Citizens any longer (because of the reason mentioned above) and request to renew your passports of even slap you with a fine. If that happehs you need to convince them that you aren't SA Citizens any longer. (I know of only one such case and there were no further problems). Best is, if you are certain you do not want your SA Citizenship to formally renounce it. See same website above.

Finally, I am just a Joe Average not an lawyer, immigration guru or anything like that so maybe someone can add to this or confirm or you can check the info on the websites. The problem is though that I have read that even the repealed law is hazy in some aspects.

#8 Guest_Larry_*

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:58 PM

SASydneysider, NZHigh is spot on! - You are effectively in the same position as my father. Whether you or the South African government are aware of it or not, you and your husband are no longer South African citizens.

You can quite safely (legally speaking ;) ) travel to South Africa and back to OZ on your New Zealand passports. No worries! :(

If you are questioned about whether you are a South African citizen or not, just say that you lost your South African citizenship when you took New Zealand citizenship.

#9 Riekie

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 12:22 PM

Gee! Thanks all! That basically answers all of MY questions too!! ;) You're GREAT!! :(

#10 Riekie

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:53 PM

Ek het intussen hierdie info ook gekry:

The minor children under 18 years of a person who has renounced his or her South African citizenship shall also cease to be South African citizens, unless the other parent remains a South African citizen.


En ook die: (lees veral die dele in rooi!)

The South African Citizenship Amendment Act 17 of 2004 was published
in the Government Gazette 26792 on the 15th September 2004 and came
into operation on the same date.

It abolishes the ministerial power to deprive a person of South
African citizenship for using the citizenship of another country and
replaces it with criminal penalties.

Under the repealed provision (s 9) the Minister was empowered to
deprive by order a South African citizen of his citizenship if he also
had the citizenship or nationality of another country, and had at any
time made use of the franchise or the passport facilities of that
country or performed any other voluntary act which to the satisfaction
of the Minister indicated that such citizen had made use of the
citizenship or nationality of that other country.

The new provision (s 26B) provides that a major citizen of South
Africa is guilty of an offence when entering or leaving South Africa
making use of the passport of another country
; or while in South Africa,
making use of his citizenship or nationality of another country in order
to gain an advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty. The maximum
penalty for this offence is a fine or imprisonment not exceeding
12 months
.

#11 SASydneysider

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for all your responses!!

After seeing Riekie's last post I don't feel comfortable going to SA using my Kiwi passport.

We have decided (hubby and I) that we will have to officially give up our SA citizenship so the SA Government is aware of it. I think this will mean officially emigrating from SA.

Does anyone know how we can go about doing this? Can this be done via the SA Consulate in Canberra?

#12 Guest_Larry_*

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:46 PM

Yes, that can be done via the South African consulate in Canberra. - Just phone them and tell you what you want to accomplish. - They will post (or fax) the necessary forms. - They did that for my mother.

#13 Riekie

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 12:59 PM

Something which is still not clear to me is what the difference is between renouncing your
RSA citizenship and "officially emigrating" - there seems to be a difference as renouncing
your RSA citizenship does not require you to have tax clearance, however, "officially emigrating"
does...... Or am I having this all wrong? :ilikeit:

#14 Cindylou

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 05:10 PM

Hi Riekie

You need to "officially emigrate" in order to take your emigration allowance with you when you leave RSA and in order to get excon approval from SARB you need a tax clearance certificate from SARS. Even if you were to emigrate you would still need to hold onto your SA citizenship (otherwise you would be "citizenshipless" whilst waiting for your citizenship of Aus) and only renounce that once you are an Aus citizen.

#15 Riekie

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 05:25 PM

Thanks Cindylou, so you can have either or, but if you want your allowance, you need to officially emigrate, regardless of whether you have citizenship in Aus or not.




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