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Garrick

Visiting SA after 9 years

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Garrick

Ok... so I've read quite a few of the threads in this section and if I'm correct, our choices are...

 

1) Get us all SA Passports to get into/out of SA because we all hold dual nationality (even the child that was born here...)

2) Renounce our SA Citizenship.

 

Problems:

1) Time.  Doing so here they say 6-12 months... WTF... for either option.  We fly in 3 months...

2) Documents.  Our ID books are back in SA...

 

Could they make it any harder???

 

Suggestions?

 

-G

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new2forum

renew your docs in SA. passports via home affairs take a few working days - personal experience. in jan this year i visited SA just to renew my passport. it took 6 working days!

 

10 years ago, i did it via the embassy, it took about 5 months. now theyre saying it takes 6-12 months.

 

the embassy staff are not very helpful, quite taken aback from the rudeness

 

not to mention the ink based requirement can be a headache to get done in oz. the police stations hardly see it. They use electronic.

And, interestingly in SA, they use electronic fingerprints at home affairs, but they stipulate ink for expats. 

Edited by new2forum

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Garrick

Our SA passports expired more than 2 years ago...

 

-G

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TamTam

Can you not just enter under with your Aus passports? Does the system at the airport check that you hold dual citizenship?

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new2forum

then the only way is via embassy :(

 

if you travel on the oz passport, then you risk being refused. people on this forum have experienced this, but then again it comes down to who you have on the day

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RYLC
2 hours ago, TamTam said:

Can you not just enter under with your Aus passports? Does the system at the airport check that you hold dual citizenship?

 

I don't believe that there is a dual database between RSA and Australia to check each person. My personal experience is that RSA have a look at your place of birth and if it is obviously a Saffa place them they might ask you to either prove that you have renounced or to provide your RSA passport. My birthplace is an english sounding place that could be anywhere so I've never been stopped. Although I'm apparently in the stream who automatically lost RSA citizenship when taking out Oz citizenship. As an aside: Having to prove renouncement when it is supposedly automatic is annoying too.

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Brad76

Well...they should have to prove that you still are.....that'll be a quick exercise!

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ChrisH
8 hours ago, Brad76 said:

Well...they should have to prove that you still are.....that'll be a quick exercise!

 

Its pretty simple actually, they would search the home affairs system using the names in your Aussie passport - it will even have your last photo on the system.  Because there is no linked database between Australian Citizenship and the South African systems it would actually still show you as a South African citizen.

 

That is why you need to submit the "determination of citizenship" forms to the South African authorities after getting your aussie citizenship so that they can update their system.

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Brad76

We

10 hours ago, ChrisH said:

 

Its pretty simple actually, they would search the home affairs system using the names in your Aussie passport - it will even have your last photo on the system.  Because there is no linked database between Australian Citizenship and the South African systems it would actually still show you as a South African citizen.

 

That is why you need to submit the "determination of citizenship" forms to the South African authorities after getting your aussie citizenship so that they can update their system.

Yes but......you automatically lose citizenship when you accept same of another country not so (assuming you did not apply to retain)? So then unless you applied to retain your SA citizenship it would be forfeit! A search of your records should reflect no application to retain citizenship and thus wahla you are not a citizen!

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ChrisH
On 9/14/2018 at 6:40 PM, Brad76 said:

Yes but......you automatically lose citizenship when you accept same of another country not so (assuming you did not apply to retain)? So then unless you applied to retain your SA citizenship it would be forfeit! A search of your records should reflect no application to retain citizenship and thus wahla you are not a citizen!

1

 

You're forgetting one very important detail, you're dealing with a South African government official here.  An official that has been told that he needs to check the letter from home affairs that you don't have.  😂

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Rhyss

If your SA passport has expired then simply enter SA using your Aus passport BUT be ready with an answer if the Immigration Officer asks questions. There is no data base linking your name/passport number to a SA or Aus database however, when presenting your Aus passport to the SA Immigration desk (they are more strict on certain inbound flights than others, like SAA from Aus) they may look at your Aus passport and see "place of birth" stated as PRETORIA (or any other SA city) which they recognise and ask why are you not traveling on your SA passport. Simple answer in the most polite and friendly tone, "I'm sorry Sir/Madam but I am no longer a South African citizen and therefore not entitled to a SA passport" They simply stamp your Aus passport with a 90 day visitor entry stamp and off you go.

 

Go to DHA and renew your SA passport which takes 2 weeks,  typically less than 3 weeks. At DHA the passport application is done online by the official. Photo and fingerprints all digital, as is the application. They do not ask about foreign citizenship at DHA. Just take SA ID book/card and old expired SA passport and for minors both parents and birth certs. If for whatever reason you do not get your SA passport in time you simply leave on your Aus passport. If you get the SA passport then depart SA immigration using your SA passport. It works.....trust me! 😉 

 

PS, if the Immigration Official at airport arrivals asks about your nationality and you stumble through saying that your SA passport has expired etc etc the Immigration Official is more than likely going to stamp your Aus passport with a SECTION 26B stamp. This is an official warning that you as a SA citizen have been warned about entering SA using a foreign passport. It means that you may pick up problems when leaving SA (they can insist that you get a SA passport) but if you can prove that you have applied for SA passport (by way of proving DHA receipt) then you'll be okay and allowed to depart. However try avoid this at all costs which may mean telling a little fib to get in and get the SA passport renewed at DHA.

 

It's not an ideal situation but certainly no need to panic. Also please note that the Automatic Loss of SA citizenship under s6.1 of the SA citizenship Act will be challenged in the Gauteng High Court. It's deemed unconstitutional and the DA is challenging the legality of it. If you would like to support the legal challenge please show your support bu making a donation to the Democratic Alliance https://www.givengain.com/cc/sacitizenship/

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new2forum
13 hours ago, Rhyss said:

typically less than 3 weeks

takes less than 6 business days

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Riekie

My advice (to all and for future reference) - officially renounce your South African citizenship and travel to and from South Africa with your Aussie passports..  If you ever want to return to South Africa permanently,  you can simply apply to get your citizenship back. I cannot see the value of holding onto South-African citizenship if you have no intention of returning to South Africa permanently and if you are free to come and go as you want without it.  Saves you the trouble and stress of constantly having to renew passports etc. 

 

More about getting your RSA citizenship back here:

 

https://www.sapeople.com/2014/07/10/what-do-if-lost-south-african-citizenship-785/

 

 

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Rhyss
7 hours ago, new2forum said:

takes less than 6 business days

that's why I said typically......mine took 10 business days 😉 Applied on a Friday and received a SMS exactly 10 working days later that it was ready for collection. However i would not cut it too fine, I'd give a few days grace.

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Rhyss
5 hours ago, Riekie said:

My advice (to all and for future reference) - officially renounce your South African citizenship and travel to and from South Africa with your Aussie passports..  If you ever want to return to South Africa permanently,  you can simply apply to get your citizenship back. I cannot see the value of holding onto South-African citizenship if you have no intention of returning to South Africa permanently and if you are free to come and go as you want without it.  Saves you the trouble and stress of constantly having to renew passports etc. 

 

More about getting your RSA citizenship back here:

 

https://www.sapeople.com/2014/07/10/what-do-if-lost-south-african-citizenship-785/

 

 

 

I strongly disagree with this advice. Never say never (I'll never need or want my SA citizenship) and believe me getting your SA citizenship back is not as easy as it sounds. For a very small fee (cost of SA passport application every 10 years) and a retention letter (once-off and free) you can retain your SA citizenship and SA ID number. I know of a few people who gave up on their SA citizenship because life was good in Aus (or wherever) and then all of a sudden out of the blue, bang.....things change.

 

SA recently introduced the requirement for NZ to apply for a visitors visa. This has caused huge issues for people who acquired NZ citizenship but did not retain SA citizenship. Sick and elderly parents are often the cause of mercy dashed back to SA and the last thing you want to do is mess around trying to get a visa and next flight to SA.

 

The amount of people I know who have unforeseen changes in family like divorce and often the need to head back to SA to be surrounded by family and old friends. I know of two such couples in the last 10 months! Neither had maintained their SA citizenship so now they're trying to sort it out so that they can open bank account in SA.

 

If you were born in SA and lost or renounced your citizenship you always have the right to PR in SA and then you can apply to reinstate your SA citizenship once you've been living in SA full time for 12 months or more.  If you were not born in SA but acquired your SA citizenship by naturalisation then you do not have the right to PR in SA and you'll need to start from scratch with visa applications to life in SA. 

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Riekie

When you travel to South Africa on your South African passport, Australia (or NZ or Canada or wherever you have dual citizenship) has zero authority to interfere or assist if you get into trouble.  We know someone who went to South Africa on their South African passport for a family emergency and he was arrested at the airport for some outstanding financial issue in relation to his ex business partner.  Despite his objections and explanation, he went straight to jail and he could not get any assistance from the Australian government as the authority of the South African government overrides any authority of the Australian government. So I guess there are two sides of the coin.  

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Rhyss
10 hours ago, Riekie said:

When you travel to South Africa on your South African passport, Australia (or NZ or Canada or wherever you have dual citizenship) has zero authority to interfere or assist if you get into trouble.  We know someone who went to South Africa on their South African passport for a family emergency and he was arrested at the airport for some outstanding financial issue in relation to his ex business partner.  Despite his objections and explanation, he went straight to jail and he could not get any assistance from the Australian government as the authority of the South African government overrides any authority of the Australian government. So I guess there are two sides of the coin.  

Assuming that everyone is law abiding and not on an police watch list or wanted by Interpol then you should really not have any issues. However not even the Consular office can assist you if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law....for whatever the reason! Local law take precedent, just ask the hundreds of Aussies tourists who find themselves in trouble in Indonesia every year......some have even faced the firing squad!

 

One of the biggest misconceptions out there among South Africans when they make their pledge to their newly adopted flag is believing that the Consular office (in this case Australia) will deploy their special services hit squads and air craft carriers to rescue you from your troubles abroad. Fact is, barring a natural disaster or major act of terrorism / war there is very limited assistance that the consular office can offer when you're abroad.

 

@Riekie  in your friends case even if they used their Aus passport to evade being detected on SA's wanted list there's a very good chance that they police system would have flagged them, even under a different passport. In which case the Australian consulate office could not have assisted. Here's what the Consulate Office website says: The Australian Consular Office cannot assist with: https://smartraveller.gov.au/services/Pages/consular-services-charter.aspx

Quote

 

There are a range of tasks which are outside the consular role or which we do not provide for policy reasons. These include:

  • guarantee your safety and security in another country or make your travel arrangements
  • give you legal advice, interpret or translate documents, though we may provide details of local lawyers and translators
  • intervene in another country's court proceedings or legal matters including employment disputes, commercial disputes, criminal cases and family law matters or child custody disputes
  • carry out searches for missing people, which is the responsibility of local authorities
  • investigate crimes or deaths overseas, which is the responsibility of local authorities
  • get you out of prison or prevent you from being deported
  • get you better treatment in prison than local prisoners, although we may raise welfare concerns with local authorities with your consent 
  • post bail or pay your fines or legal expenses
  • enforce an Australian or any other custody agreement overseas or compel a country to decide a custody case
  • pay for medical or psychiatric services or medications
  • pay your pension or social security benefits
  • arrange visas, licences, work or residency permits for other countries
  • intervene in immigration, customs or quarantine matters in other countries,
  • store lost property, or
  • receive or send postal items on your behalf.

Our assistance may be limited in some circumstances

You do not have a legal right to consular assistance and you should not assume that assistance will be provided. We may limit the assistance we extend to you if we consider the circumstances warrant, for example, where your actions were illegal, or you have deliberately or repeatedly acted recklessly or negligently and put yourself or others at risk, or you have a pattern of behaviour that has required multiple instances of consular assistance previously.

 

 

 

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Riekie
On 9/19/2018 at 11:45 PM, Rhyss said:

 

One of the biggest misconceptions out there among South Africans when they make their pledge to their newly adopted flag is believing that the Consular office (in this case Australia) will deploy their special services hit squads and air craft carriers to rescue you from your troubles abroad. 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, this has happened on more than one occassion where Australians were evacuated from war zones, civil unrest etc.  They've sent in their aircraft to evacuate 6000 Aussies in Israel in 2006 at a cost of $25m.  They've even negotiated a seaze fire and sent ships to get Aussies out of danger.

 

Imagine you're in South Africa on your South African passport and civil unrest breaks out...  Or the government suddenly imposes a prohibition on overseas travel?  Would you rather have travelled on an Aussie passport? Let's be honest, going to South Africa is not exactly the same as going to Fiji.  

 

Of course, no one has the "misconception" that Australia would send their hit squad to the rescue if you behave like an idiot and get yourself into trouble.  Fact is, more than 16000 Aussies do receive consular assistance abroad every year which sometimes involve exercising their right under the UN convention to demand that an Australian citizen be repartiated. 

 

If you want to keep your South African citizenship and passport, it's up to you.  All I'm saying is that I personally don't see the need to and if you're not intending to return to South Africa permanently, what's the use of hanging on to it? But that's just me.  😎

 

  

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Rhyss
19 hours ago, Riekie said:

 

Actually, this has happened on more than one occassion where Australians were evacuated from war zones, civil unrest etc.  They've sent in their aircraft to evacuate 6000 Aussies in Israel in 2006 at a cost of $25m.  They've even negotiated a seaze fire and sent ships to get Aussies out of danger.

  

Imagine you're in South Africa on your South African passport and civil unrest breaks out...  Or the government suddenly imposes a prohibition on overseas travel?  Would you rather have travelled on an Aussie passport? Let's be honest, going to South Africa is not exactly the same as going to Fiji.  

 

Of course, no one has the "misconception" that Australia would send their hit squad to the rescue if you behave like an idiot and get yourself into trouble.  Fact is, more than 16000 Aussies do receive consular assistance abroad every year which sometimes involve exercising their right under the UN convention to demand that an Australian citizen be repartiated. 

 

If you want to keep your South African citizenship and passport, it's up to you.  All I'm saying is that I personally don't see the need to and if you're not intending to return to South Africa permanently, what's the use of hanging on to it? But that's just me.  😎

 

  

@Riekie My point exactly! The Australian Consulate can (and will) only assist Australians overseas with evacuation assistance in major civil unrest (i.e. civil war),  terror incidents or major natural disasters. Many people (like the example you used about your friends being arrested at an SA airport for tax evasion) do not understand that the Aus Consulate cannot (and will not) assist their citizens in times when they have issues with local authorities, like being arrested. The one that I am quite shocked about is assistance with missing persons. I would have thought that if an Australian goes missing abroad that the Aus Consulate would get involved but according to their mandate (quoted in post above) they do not get involved in missing persons reports as it is a job of the local authorities. I'm merely trying to put in perspective the idea that many new Australians believe that armed with their new Aussie passport the Aus special services are on standby to assist you abroad.

 

I do agree that maintaining or renouncing ones SA citizenship is an individuals choice and even for parents making the decision for their kids (under the age of 18) it's a big decision. My wife's sister and her family who became Aus citizens about 8 years ago decided to renounce the SA citizenship of their family which included their kids. Fast fwd 10 years their son is now engaged to a SA girl and they want to settle in SA but he's no longer a SA citizen. It's messy! I see that your view (which I respect and understand) is based on  "All I'm saying is that I personally don't see the need to and if you're not intending to return to South Africa permanently, what's the use of hanging on to it?" That;s how you feel right now but from my experience and from what I've seen in real life playing out among family, friends and colleagues, life is too complex with too many surprises to know what's around the next corner. In fact I'm catching up with a friend of mine in CT next month. He moved to Aus in 2000 and lived the dream until early 2015 when he found himself going through a divorce. Kids grown up and flown the nest and he and his wife of twenty odd years splitting the family assets. He hung around for a while but the final straw was losing his job in the oil and gas industry down turn. He got a job in SA and luckily with his SA citizenship (and passport) still in tact he grabbed it and now lives happily in Cape Town. He was born in UK and got his SA citizenship by automatic naturalisation. If he did not maintain his SA citizenship he would not have qualified for PR because he was not born in SA and he would not have been eligible for the job.

 

Here's an interesting article on what the Consulate office can do for citizens when traveling abroad. https://theconversation.com/what-will-your-country-do-for-you-aussies-in-trouble-overseas-3156

Edited by Rhyss

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new2forum

that 2006 incident may have only occurred due to the nation in question, would the same have occurred if minimal national interest was present

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Bonny

A friend of mine holds both passports (but her SA was expired so she left it at home) and she just travelled in & out of SA with her Aus passport. She says they picked it up when she was leaving again for Aus, and she got a massive uitk@k in the airport. They warned her that it will not be allowed again. It scared her enough that she is sorting out her SA passport renewal in Canberra as a matter of priority 😼

Edited by Bonny

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Rhyss
On 9/27/2018 at 5:01 PM, Bonny said:

A friend of mine holds both passports (but her SA was expired so she left it at home) and she just travelled in & out of SA with her Aus passport. She says they picked it up when she was leaving again for Aus, and she got a massive uitk@k in the airport. They warned her that it will not be allowed again. It scared her enough that she is sorting out her SA passport renewal in Canberra as a matter of priority 😼

I hope that your friend has her letter of retention (the permission letter that needs to be applied for to retain SA citizenship prior to acquiring foreign citizenship) as they will ask for this at the SA Consulate when applying to renew SA passport from abroad. If you cannot provide the letter the applicant will lose their SA citizenship with immediate affect and it will be backdated to the date that the applicant acquired their foreign citizenship. It's known as automatic loss of citizenship, provided by section 6.1(a) of the South African Citizenship Act. This law is going to be challenged by the DA later this year as it's deemed to be inconsistent with the Constitution which states that no citizen may be deprived of their SA citizenship. 

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Bonny
1 hour ago, Rhyss said:

I hope that your friend has her letter of retention (the permission letter that needs to be applied for to retain SA citizenship prior to acquiring foreign citizenship) as they will ask for this at the SA Consulate when applying to renew SA passport from abroad. If you cannot provide the letter the applicant will lose their SA citizenship with immediate affect and it will be backdated to the date that the applicant acquired their foreign citizenship. It's known as automatic loss of citizenship, provided by section 6.1(a) of the South African Citizenship Act. This law is going to be challenged by the DA later this year as it's deemed to be inconsistent with the Constitution which states that no citizen may be deprived of their SA citizenship. 

Yes she does have that, thanks!

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jackboy

Hello all

I have been reading this with interest.

 

Our SA passports have expired and I applied for new ones on the 1.1.2019. We are due to travel to SA in January 2020 but I am now concerned we will not get our passports in time. I hear horror stories of more than 12 months for passports to be issued in Australia.

I also see that it take just the same amount of time to renounce your citizenship.

If we do not get our passports in time do we travel in on Aus passports ? but then how do we leave?

 

Thanks

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