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You must apply to retain SA citizenship - or lose it upon gaining a foreign one

16 September 2021 9:02 AM
Tags:
Immigration law
Dual citizenship
Immigration
citizenship
Refilwe Moloto
Jody Kollapen
emigration
south african citizenship
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
SA Citizenship Act
Stefanie De Saude Darbandi

Refilwe Moloto interviews Immigration Law Specialist Stefanie De Saude Darbandi.
  • South Africans must apply to retain their citizenship prior to applying for foreign citizenship

  • Many people are unaware of the need to apply for retention of citizenship; Home Affairs say ignorance is not an excuse


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In August Judge Jody Kollapen found that the SA Citizenship Act does not deprive South Africans of their citizenship.

Kollapen made the judgement because the Act made provision for them to apply to retain their citizenship prior to applying for foreign citizenship.

The DA brought the case, arguing that a section of the Act was inconsistent with the Constitution as it violates South Africans’ right to citizenship by automatically stripping them of it if they acquire citizenship of another country.

Many South Africans who hold foreign citizenship, or those who want to apply, seem unaware that the onus is on them to apply to retain their citizenship.

According to Immigration Law Specialist Stefanie De Saude Darbandi, many people only become aware they have lost their citizenship when they apply to renew their South African passports abroad.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed De Saude Darbandi to find out what the judgment means (scroll up to listen).

It affects any South African who acquired a foreign nationality by some formal voluntary act without informing Home Affairs. The effect is that the person ceases to be a South African, which means they don’t have a right to a passport, and they don’t have the right to vote…

Stefanie De Saude Darbandi, immigration law expert

The DA is appealing… South Africa has no issue with dual or multiple citizenship status… There was ample proof to show that if people knew they needed to [apply to retain] citizenship they would’ve done so…

Stefanie De Saude Darbandi, immigration law expert

Home Affairs is saying… ignorance of the law is not an excuse… what would be the purpose of this automatic loss? It makes no rational sense!

Stefanie De Saude Darbandi, immigration law expert

The law expressly excludes marriage…

Stefanie De Saude Darbandi, immigration law expert



16 September 2021 9:02 AM
Tags:
Immigration law
Dual citizenship
Immigration
citizenship
Refilwe Moloto
Jody Kollapen
emigration
south african citizenship
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
SA Citizenship Act
Stefanie De Saude Darbandi

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