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Pixy

Loss of South African Citizenship

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Pixy

Hi

I wouldn't be surprised if this topic has come up before.

Need some input and suggestions please.

 

Apparently, before you become an Australian Citizen you need to inform the South African Government. If you don't inform them before you become an AU Citizen then you lose your South African citizenship.

 

Some questions I was hoping someone could shed some light on:

 

1. If the South African Government is not informed by a person obtaining dual citizenship, how do they know whether this happened? So in other words how does SA know that Australian citizenship (dual) was obtained? (e.g. Immigration system at passport control or is SA Government informed by Australia)?

 

2. If SA citizenship is lost you need a letter from the SA Government to travel there (after you personally inform SA and renunciate your SA citizenship the SA Government apparently sends you a letter 6-12 months later, which you need to carry with you when entering South Africa on a Australian passport). Why do we need a letter to get into SA on an Australian Passport if an Ozzy can travel on a AU passport without a VISA?

 

3. If SA citizenship is lost, you are still a permanent resident. What is the primary difference between a SA citizen & a permanent resident?

How does losing citizenship affect conducting your banking business (if you still have SA bank accounts) and other admin related activities when you go back to South Africa?

Thanks in advance.

Pixy

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Nev

1. They don't know, and you could happy stay a RSA citizen until they figure it out, at which time they immediately revoke your citizenship, if you are standing in immigration at the time you might have some legal troubles as well & as you will be traveling while carrying both sets of passports (AU to get out of AU and the RSA one to get into RSA) if they search you they will see both passports

2. The law in south africa is that if you are a RSA citizen you must enter and leave RSA on your RSA passport, by law, if you arrive at passport control with a AU passport and a south africa accent you might meed to need proove that you revoked your RSA citizenship, or you should be entering the country on your RSA passport

3. Dont know this one

Edited by Nev

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Mara

@Pixy

Honestly, I think it is all pie in the sky.

Since we got our NZ citizenship in 1997 and Australian in 2008, I have travelled to RSA on either passport.

Only around 2014 did my sister submit our forms renouncing our RSA citizenship. She delivered it to their offices, so not lost in the mail. We have never ever had an acknowledgement from them.

I have never ever been questioned or stopped at the airport, either upon entering or leaving, about the passport I was traveling on.

Both passports obviously show my place of birth.

Honestly, I do not think they could even be bothered.

We financially emigrated, before we left in 1993, so our bank account was changed to a blocked account, but we could still receive money into it, and move money out, just not overseas, without permission.

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Piet1234

Hi,

I live in the UK and when I got my British Citizenship, I didn't bother applying for Dual so I have lost my SA citizenship, so will answer your questions as best I can:

 

1.) They do not automatically know, no one tells them. BUT whenever you need to go to the SA High Commision to renew passports, get child birth certificates etc they will give you a "Determination of Citizenship Form" which you need to fill in first, from this form they will be able to see whether or not you are a dual citizen.

At this point if you did not apply for dual citizenship they give you a "Loss of citizenship form" and you can apply for a "Non Citizen ID" (which to this day I never bothered to do) this gives you a new SA ID Number.

2) Ever since I lost my citizenship I have only used my UK Passport. I travel with the loss of citizenship letter but no one has ever asked for it, I just keep it in case.

3) Yes you are a permanent resident, and should you live in SA for a year again you regain everything. I am not sure how it effects Banking etc. as I closed everything when I left. As I mentioned you are able to get a Non Citizen ID book, so I think if you already have accounts and do not need to provide proofs of address and all that rubbish it should be ok (this is just speculation as I do not know)

 

Just on a side note, both my kids were born prior to my wife and I getting our UK Citizenship, so they are dual citizens, because the rule of losing Citizenship doesnt apply to children under 18. So in my household the two people born in SA are British and the two people born in England are South African... :D (well they are dual)

 

I have always let them travel to SA with their UK passports only, but recently found out they should be using SA ones....both of which expired and I didn't renew... going to be an interesting discussion at border control next month should they ask me where are their SA passports.

 

Edited by Piet1234
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Pixy

Thank you to everyone who has responded thus far. Your feedback and personal experience with this is extremely helpful and much appreciated.

 

Piet1234, my SA passport expires this year which kicked off the chain of events and prompted me to come onto this forum.

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Tntaglia

There are quite a few stories on the Facebook forums about people who were stopped at immigration trying to enter SA with Aussie passports when the SA system still shows them as citizens. It's not necessarily a big problem, you usually get let off with a warning, but probably better to do it by the book. Get the determination of citizenship form, travel with that if you want to enter SA on an Aus passport. If you want to keep using your SA passport you will probably not have any problems, because Aus does not notify the SA government that you obtained SA citizenship. But still, better to do it by the book so that you are not detained unnecessarily.

 

Anecdotally it seems to depend on the mood of the customs officer, and that's not a good gamble to take.

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RYLC

I'm not sure how the RSA system cross matches to say that you are still a citizen. Yes the name and date of birth can be matched but that it not "proof". There are gazillions of people in the world with the same name and date of birth.  Your Oz passport doesn't have your ID number on it.  There are no fingerprints in it etc. I went to RSA on my Aus passport and no questions / hassles. 

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SafferBlue

Hi, Pixy

 

With regards to your questions, here are my answers based on my experience and dealings with this issue:

 

1.  As others have said, no, the SA Government will not know unless you tell them. 

2. No letter is required.  You are, by automatic operation of law, no longer a South African citizen.  Your Ozzie passport in the absence of authorisation to be a dual national (the SA immigration offials will see it - or not - in their computer system if ever they get your SA details) is proof of the loss of your SA citizenship if ever they did pull you aside.  As mentioned before, if you do really want to have full peace of mind, you can complete the determination of citizenship form (they require you to send all you SA documents along with it too).  I never did and have never had an issue going into/ out of SA on my Ozzie passport.

3.  You obtain permanent residency in SA the moment you return there permanently.  This only applies if you became South African by birth or descent - not if you were a naturalised South African.

 

I phoned the SA High Commission (after becoming Ozzie without permission for dual citizenship) back in 2010 to ask them if I should do the determination of citizenship form and they said 'no'.  I then asked if I should post them my SA passport and ID book and they also told me not to.  They said, "Keep the documents, but just don't ever use them again".  

 

I got the impression they just didn't want all the extra admin' and documents to manage.

 

I hope that helps!

 

Cheers,

 

Safferblue

Edited by SafferBlue
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ChrisH
12 hours ago, RYLC said:

I'm not sure how the RSA system cross matches

 

I don't think anything is cross matched.  It's literally up to the border police to notice that your place of birth is a town in South Africa, they would then be able to use the details in your Aussie passport to search the home affairs system for your South African details.

 

What does annoy me is that my son wouldn't automatically lose his SA citizenship which means we either have to actively renounce his or use a South African passport for him every time we travel to ZA.

 

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RYLC

Ah that makes sense because my birthplace is an obscure English name and not one of the well known capital cities. Yay for being under the radar.  

 

 

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RedPanda

I was born in Mmabatho, Bophuthatswana. So my 'country of birth' no longer exists :lol: It probably would raise some eyebrows, if anyone was paying attention. But we want to renounce RSA citizenship anyway. 

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ChrisH
16 hours ago, RedPanda said:

I was born in Mmabatho, Bophuthatswana

 

Small world, I wasn't born there but lived there until I was about 5.

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RedPanda
7 hours ago, ChrisH said:

 

Small world, I wasn't born there but lived there until I was about 5.

 

:o

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OubaasDik
On 2/6/2018 at 9:14 PM, SafferBlue said:

Hi, Pixy

 

With regards to your questions, here are my answers based on my experience and dealings with this issue:

 

1.  As others have said, no, the SA Government will not know unless you tell them. 

2. No letter is required.  You are, by automatic operation of law, no longer a South African citizen.  Your Ozzie passport in the absence of authorisation to be a dual national (the SA immigration offials will see it - or not - in their computer system if ever they get your SA details) is proof of the loss of your SA citizenship if ever they did pull you aside.  As mentioned before, if you do really want to have full peace of mind, you can complete the determination of citizenship form (they require you to send all you SA documents along with it too).  I never did and have never had an issue going into/ out of SA on my Ozzie passport.

3.  You obtain permanent residency in SA the moment you return there permanently.  This only applies if you became South African by birth or descent - not if you were a naturalised South African.

 

I phoned the SA High Commission (after becoming Ozzie without permission for dual citizenship) back in 2010 to ask them if I should do the determination of citizenship form and they said 'no'.  I then asked if I should post them my SA passport and ID book and they also told me not to.  They said, "Keep the documents, but just don't ever use them again".  

 

I got the impression they just didn't want all the extra admin' and documents to manage.

 

I hope that helps!

 

Cheers,

 

Safferblue

Interesting - I went there to day (High Commission) to hand in my renunciation goeters, including the letter saying I was still a Saffa, and my id and passport.

 

They took copies of the ID and passport and gave me the originals back. I told them the website said originals only, but they shrugged and said copies were fine.

 

So, tomorrow I'm going to go stand for Barnaby Joyce's seat ......  :P

Edited by OubaasDik
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