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vaughanroe

Is there any point in retaining SA Citizenship?

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vaughanroe

HI All, Here is question I want to get some thoughts on. Is there any point in retaining RSA Citizenship?

We are in the process of applying for our Aus citizenship at the moment.

I honestly did not give any thought to retaining RSA citizenship as I dont think there would ever be a need for it.

BUT

My wife and I do still own a property in Jeffreys Bay (which we would love to sell), and I am not sure how giving up citizenshipo in RSA would affect the sale/ handling of this.

Is anyone able to give me an opinion on this? Based on facts etc?

Many thanks

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Clover

Sorry I cant offer any advice, but I would also be interested in the answer to your question.

Goodluck !

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chzaau

Let turn the question on it's head. Why would you want to associate yourself with South Africa, is there any reason you would ever want to live in South Africa in your life time again, would you be proud to say you are South African?

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Kangabok

With regards to your property in specific I cant advice.

We decided to not retain SA citizenship. Reasons being:

- if you need consular help while travelling overseas eg in the case of a natural disaster and you have dual citizenship, the country where you gained citizenship first is the country who will need to assist you, meaning SA...

- it is a schlep and costly to keep renewing the SA passport from Australia

- if ever needed you can apply for SA citizenship again as it is your country of birth.

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Brad76

There shouldn't be any real implications. Any tax implications relating to your property should've triggered when you stopped being an SA tax resident!



If I remember correctly CGT will be withheld from the sales proceeds by the transferring attorney when you eventually sell.

Edited by Brad76

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patrice

Your asked for both 'thoughts' and 'opinion based on facts' ...

My thoughts would be a concern if foreign ownership of land was ever regulated, and or became the 'soft' target for land redistribution >

"Cape Town: Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti reiterated the proposal that foreign land ownership be regulated in South Africa."

These are not facts, but an opinion supported by this link >

http://www.trademarksa.org/news/south-africa-foreign-land-ownership-limits

Fact = We did not apply to retain our ZAR citizenship, although our kidz did - but then none of us have any fixed assets in ZAR

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vaughanroe

Let turn the question on it's head. Why would you want to associate yourself with South Africa, is there any reason you would ever want to live in South Africa in your life time again, would you be proud to say you are South African?

Indeed! I would never want to live in RSA again and the chances of me ever returning are so remote that the odds would greatly stacked against this happening.

My main question really surrounds the selling of property and any advantages to holding the RSA Biltong Book.

I will forever be proud of my roots and proud of the fact that I was born South African. I believe I had the best childhood ever growing up...

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GideonVD

Another question... why still have assets in RSA? Rather get all your assets out and in Oz where it will at least not become worthless as the Rand's value goes for a roller-coaster, and also no chance of some idiot in the RSA government getting a brain-fart to try and "seize" assets and redistribute them to the "small amount of rich back-paid" masses...

Just my opinion ;)

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chzaau

I would say it most likely makes sense to denounce citizenship. However make sure that you do it through the official channels by registering for the denouncing of citizenship. Some people have found difficulty from time to time when entering South Africa that they get picked up as being South African and it causes them grief.

The other angle to look at this thing is how much paperwork/admin etc do you have to do with for instance your property to change your identification over to Australian from South African, if you have a mortgage still the Bank may require you to pay up or reduce it in line with what foreigners requirements etc, what is involved with denouncing citizenship etc versus rather just keeping citizenship until all your assets are disposed. I suppose it a time and effort thing as well.

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Jordy

We asked this exact question when we got Aus citizenship for the same reason - still have property. We retained RSA citizenship just be on the safe side as we didnt know what the ANC would do in regards foreigners owning property. We can always renounce later if need be. Our decision had nothing to do with emotions for the vaderland etc but purely based on still owned property.

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Sunnyskies

With regards to your property in specific I cant advice.

We decided to not retain SA citizenship. Reasons being:

- if you need consular help while travelling overseas eg in the case of a natural disaster and you have dual citizenship, the country where you gained citizenship first is the country who will need to assist you, meaning SA...

- it is a schlep and costly to keep renewing the SA passport from Australia

- if ever needed you can apply for SA citizenship again as it is your country of birth.

To dispel some myths regarding dual citizenship see the following link http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/dual-nationals.html

Once you are an Australian citizen the Australian government will help you. If you are caught up in civil unrest in SA and detained by the SA police, the Aussie govt will try and help. They do caution that their ability to help is limited if your other country regards your actions as illegal. But that is the same as any other country - think of the Bali nine if you want a case in point.

Renewing a SA passport is actually really easy, and you don't have to renew your SA passport to retain your citizenship. You just can't travel to SA on an Aussie passport if you are still an SA citizen. As the SA govt wants its citizens to enter on SA passports. I have seen someone who allowed his SA citizenship to lapse automatically being denied a flight to SA as the airline was adamant he needed to fly on his SA passport.

If your citizenship lapses you are entitled to permanent residency but will need to qualify for citizenship of SA again.

However, ultimately it is a question of choice and IMO if you don't want it let it lapse. You don't have to renounce it (or denounce it) it will happen automatically when you get your Aussie citizenship.

Edited by Sunnyskies

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GideonVD

Something more specific to the question and information -> Sauce

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Sunnyskies

Something more specific to the question and information -> Sauce

Seems like even more of an effort to renounce it than to keep it! You have to fill in the same forms as to keep it and then some. Most people I know just let it lapse on taking Aussie citizenship.

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chzaau

I think if you have assets etc in SA and change your citizenship in such a manner that you have lost SA citizenship.

In my mind that means your id book is no longer valid because foreigners have a different ID number etc. Therefore what does that mean for you. How for instance do you prove you own the house. Does your id book remain valid if you no longer a citizen, would it be illegal, fraudulent to use your old ID book that claims you a citizen when you not?

Last question what happens years later if you need a birth certificate for instance when you no longer a citizen?

What I've seen in London when renewing a passport is that if you broke the rule they won't let you renew the passport but they don't renounce the citizenship. Then when people fly into SA because the foreign passport says SA as country of birth they run into difficultly at the border.

Edited by chzaau

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vaughanroe

Another question... why still have assets in RSA? Rather get all your assets out and in Oz where it will at least not become worthless as the Rand's value goes for a roller-coaster, and also no chance of some idiot in the RSA government getting a brain-fart to try and "seize" assets and redistribute them to the "small amount of rich back-paid" masses...

Just my opinion ;)

I tend to agree with all sentiments.

I would like to sell the property. I know that I will be making a huge loss in terms of what i paid and what i could get now. The property is paid up so no outstanding mortgage/bond. I want to sell exactly because of the fear that the government could bring in some stupid law siezing land owned by forgeigners. It is not a huge stretch to imagine this could occur.

I dont have any great longing or sense of obligation in terms of retention of citizenship. this is purely about the property.

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jm01

Keep your citizenship,you never know when Australia will start with affirmative action.hehe

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Guest ERG

Your issue is not as straight forward as just retaining citizenship or not. watch out for double taxation and the need to officially immigrate in certain circumstances,

There are no straight answer and depends on a few things

Your bigger challenge will be where you are deemed tax resident at time of selling the property

Your second issue will be how much you already brought out of SA and pending this answer if you used up your allowances may see you unable to bring out the cash even if you do sell the property unless you receive reserve bank approval. Reserve bank approval is only given if you officially immigrate you can retain SA citizenship and still officially immigrate - application and the rules is more around not having been in SA for certain time frames.

In short citizenship retention in itself is not going to be your issue.

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MadMother

Does anyone know how dual citizenship works for under 18’s who were born in South Africa, but whose parents have both lost their South African citizenship?


My husband applied for dual citizenship from the SA High Commission 3 months ago, but hasn't heard anything from them yet. He was furious that SA couldn't just give him an answer or understand why it should take so long. Long story short - he and our daughters attended their Australian citizenship ceremony on Monday. As I understand it, my husband has lost his SA citizenship because he took the oath without prior permission from SA (unless by some miracle the letter arrives in the post in the next couple of weeks and is daed prior to 8 July). As both of our daughters are under 18, they didn't need to apply for dual citizenship and so are still SA citizens.


I have dual SA and Netherlands citizenship (by descent). The Netherlands consulate has told me that if I apply for Australian citizenship, I

will automatically lose my Dutch passport, unless I’m married to an Australian (which I now am - loophole)! They also told me that if I lose my Dutch citizenship, both of my daughters (who have citizenship through me) will lose theirs as well as they are under 18 and need to have at least one parent with a valid Dutch passport until turn 18. Does the same apply for South Africa???

We are flying to SA in December and I have a bit of a passport dilemma - SA passport in married surname, Netherlands in maiden name, but ticket must be in passport surname. The only way around it is for me to renounce my South African citizenship (or illegally enter SA on my Netherlands passport) as my Australian visa is in my Netherlands passport. The end result will be that neither my husband nor I will be South African citizens - how will this affect our daughters?

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Jordy

I dont see why you cant leave Australia and board the flight on your Dutch passport and then enter South Africa on your South African passport. You can carry two passports. For those who have Aussie passports and RSA passports, they must leave Aus on the Aussie one and they must enter RSA on the South African why. Why is it different for you?

Same when you reboard to come back to Aus...use your Dutch passport to check in with the correct name and go through customs with the other passport. Whats the problem.

As for your daughters and their South African citizenship, they can only renounce it once they turn 18.

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andrea_vk

Is it not possible to get a new Dutch passport with your married name?

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MadMother

Is it not possible to get a new Dutch passport with your married name?

Hi, I have given my marriage certificate to the Dutch consulate, but they do not change your surname when you marry, they just add the words "spouse of xxxx" to one of your passport pages. Other countries (like Australia) only recognise the bio-data page of your passport and as such my visa has been issued in my maiden name.

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MadMother

I dont see why you cant leave Australia and board the flight on your Dutch passport and then enter South Africa on your South African passport. You can carry two passports. For those who have Aussie passports and RSA passports, they must leave Aus on the Aussie one and they must enter RSA on the South African why. Why is it different for you?

Same when you reboard to come back to Aus...use your Dutch passport to check in with the correct name and go through customs with the other passport. Whats the problem.

As for your daughters and their South African citizenship, they can only renounce it once they turn 18.

Hi Jordy

The airlines insist that your ticket is booked in the same name as your passport. I have to enter and depart South Africa on my South African passport (issued in my married name, lets say White) BUT I have to enter and depart Australia on my Netherlands passport which contains my visa (issued in my maiden name, lets say Black).

If I book my ticket as Ms Black, I will have no problem departing or re-entering Australia. The problem comes on leaving SA - my SA passport will not be in the same name as my ticket. If I book the ticket as Mrs White I will have problems leaving (or re-entering) Australia as my visa surname will not match my ticket surname. When I left South Africa 5 years ago, I didn't even consider this possibility. My ticket was booked in my married surname (White). When we went to check in, I showed my SA passport and when they wanted to see my visa, I produced my Netherlands passport. The surname mismatch caused some major confusion, but fortunately I was allowed on the plane. I am too scared to chance this happening again and not being allowed on the plane.

I have considered different scenarios such as entering/departing South Africa on my Dutch passport, but what if I get caught!! The penalties for 'illegally' entering a country range from fines to imprisonment and I'll lose one of my passports anyway, so the easiest solution I could come up with is to renounce my SA passport which isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

My surname problem is probably not very common (even my sister who is also married and has the same dual citizenship as I do, does not have a problem as she hasn't taken her husband's surname). I am happy to renounce my SA citizenship, but the question I was actually asking is - if neither parent has South African citizenship prior to a child turning 18, will the child automatically lose their South African citizenship (as it is in the Netherlands)?

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andrea_vk

Well you can actually change your name at Home Affairs (or perhaps the High Commission in Camberra ) and get a new South AFrican passport. I am not sure how long will that take.

I changed my name back to my maiden name as I had all my bank accounts and everything on my maiden name. But I did that whilst in South Africa. I just needed to complete a form at Home Affairs. MY ID was already in my maiden name because I had not changed it, but in their system I was under the married name. Now is all back to my maiden name, and got my passport under my maiden name.

Not sure then if you may have any bank account in South Africa , if that will cause problems.

DO you have your Australian bank accounts in your maiden name or married name.

I suppose the High Commission should be able to do it (since people that get divorced might change their name). I Do not see it in their site but I would say phone them and find out

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Jordy

Hi Jordy

The airlines insist that your ticket is booked in the same name as your passport. I have to enter and depart South Africa on my South African passport (issued in my married name, lets say White) BUT I have to enter and depart Australia on my Netherlands passport which contains my visa (issued in my maiden name, lets say Black).

I hear what you saying but I was wondering if you could check in at the airline with one passport and then preent another passport once through security at passport control? Does the check in passport have to match the one produced to passport control check?

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MadMother

Well you can actually change your name at Home Affairs (or perhaps the High Commission in Camberra ) and get a new South AFrican passport. I am not sure how long will that take.

I changed my name back to my maiden name as I had all my bank accounts and everything on my maiden name. But I did that whilst in South Africa. I just needed to complete a form at Home Affairs. MY ID was already in my maiden name because I had not changed it, but in their system I was under the married name. Now is all back to my maiden name, and got my passport under my maiden name.

Not sure then if you may have any bank account in South Africa , if that will cause problems.

DO you have your Australian bank accounts in your maiden name or married name.

I suppose the High Commission should be able to do it (since people that get divorced might change their name). I Do not see it in their site but I would say phone them and find out

Hi Andrea

All of my details in South Africa and Australia are in my married surname, it's just my Netherlands passport which I can't get changed.

I considered going back to my maiden name (despite my husband being horrified at the suggestion). I emailed the SA High Commission and was told that I just needed to fill in a passport application form in my maiden name and include a copy of my marriage certificate and a letter stating why I wanted to go back to my using my maiden name. My mother phoned Home Affairs in SA and asked them the same question. She was told that I because I lived overseas, I needed my husband to send them a letter stating that I am his wife, when and where we got married and that he agrees to me taking back my maiden name!!! They also wanted a letter from my father confirming that I am his daughter and a certified copy of his ID, SA and Netherlands passport. In addition to this they want a copy of my marriage certificate, birth certificate, SA and Netherlands passports and then advised that the change of name would take 6-9 months. I just don't know whose answer to believe.

We are in the middle of financially emigrating from South Africa (through Cashkows) and trying to change my name would just make everything even further, so I just decided that renunciation was the easiest option. Nothing is ever easy for me, because to renounce your SA citizenship, you need to first prove that you are a citizen of another country. As I got my Netherlands passport by descent, I don't have one (my Dad just applied for a Dutch passport for me when I was a kid and I got it). I now have to go to the nearest Netherlands consulate (which is almost 1000km away) in person and apply for the certificate so that I can send a certified copy to SA and beg them to release me!

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