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Guest Norman and karen

Renunciation of South African Citizenship

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Guest Norman and karen

We are sending in our application for Canadian Citizenship within the next two weeks, and we were wondering what other forum members thoughts are with regards to keeping or renouncing your SA Citizenship.

Any ideas would be helpful, thanks. :unsure:

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Jules

There's no benefit in keeping SA citizenship. Why maintain 2 passports?

SA bill of rights guarantees residency for anyone born in SA. You can return to live in SA anytime even after losing SA citizenship. I confirmed this many yrs ago with the SA consulate.

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Guest Norman and karen

There's no benefit in keeping SA citizenship. Why maintain 2 passports?

SA bill of rights guarantees residency for anyone born in SA. You can return to live in SA anytime even after losing SA citizenship. I confirmed this many yrs ago with the SA consulate.

Did you formally go through this process of renoucing your Citizenship with the high commission Jules? Or was this something that happened automatically because you gained Canadian Citizenship?

Edited by Norman and karen

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Old Van

Does having the SA passport make it any easier to visit SA?

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MaryJane

Does having the SA passport make it any easier to visit SA?

If you have an SA passport, you are legally obliged to use it when entering and leaving SA.

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spanner

Did you formally go through this process of renoucing your Citizenship with the high commission Jules? Or was this something that happened automatically because you gained Canadian Citizenship?

There is no formal ceremony. You can apply for retention of SA citizenship (check the link) if you want to keep your SA citizenship. If you don't apply for retention, then when you become a Canadian citizen you automatically lose your SA citizenship.

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Old Van

So is there a downside to losing the SA passport?

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Nelline

We simply didn't keep our SA passports up to date after gaining UK citizenship. I don't see the point.

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spanner

So is there a downside to losing the SA passport?

I have heard that people who visit SA regularly are sometimes given grief by customs at SA airports when trying to enter the country. This is because your Canadian passport will have South Africa listed as your place of birth, and it's illegal for a South African to enter SA on a foreign passport. In other words, they expect you to produce a South African passport, even though you may no longer have one or be entitled to one. Now, of course this doesn't happen all the time, but I have heard a few horror stories of people being detained for hours because the customs officer couldn't understand that they had relinquished SA citizenship. It's a small thing, but may be worth considering if you plan on regular travel to the country.

Other than that, I don't really see any point in keeping SA citizenship if you like Canada and plan on staying here.

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Nelline

We have never had a problem entering SA on our UK passports. Always been treated really courteously, having said that we don't travel to SA more than once every few years.

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Jules

So is there a downside to losing the SA passport?

No!

You can freely enter SA as a tourist on a Canadian passport. And as a Canadian citizen on vacation in SA you are under the protection of Canada - benefit? If you ever have a run in with the cops (while driving for example) and you get arrested, the moment you indicate you're a Canadian citizen they must contact the Canadian high commission in SA who will send a representative. Odds are you will be treated better!

And if you choose to relocate back to SA you can get PR from home affairs based on bill of rights (birth). After about a yr you can apply for SA citizenship again.

There is no benefit in retaining SA citizenship! None. Promise LOL.

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Jules

There is no formal ceremony. You can apply for retention of SA citizenship (check the link) if you want to keep your SA citizenship. If you don't apply for retention, then when you become a Canadian citizen you automatically lose your SA citizenship.

Correct.

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Guest Norman and karen

Thanks for all the advice, we are not going to apply for retention of our SA Citizenship. I think there is more benefit to travel on Canadian passports as Jules indicated.

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pretor

The only benefit of retaining SA citizenship is that it is cheaper to visit the Kruger National Park. If you don't have a SA passport (or other SA identity) they charge you the "uitlander" conservation fee. If that is important to you, maintain it.... :)

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Tracey22

There is now potential legislation to allow expats to vote. This may be important enough to you to keep the passport.

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Guest Petros

Vote? - Why?

  • we left, get over it and move on.
  • its a fallacy that the moderate white vote could ever swing anything politically.

In all instances and without exception no matter how much logic and reasoning is applied the population of any African state will vote along tribal lines. The greater the violence and intimidation the greater the herd mentality. This is the fundamental reason for the failure of any African state to achieve their potential for greatness.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

There is no formal ceremony. You can apply for retention of SA citizenship (check the link) if you want to keep your SA citizenship. If you don't apply for retention, then when you become a Canadian citizen you automatically lose your SA citizenship.

Wish it was that easy to get rid of American citizenship. :mellow:

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Jules

There is now potential legislation to allow expats to vote. This may be important enough to you to keep the passport.

You would maintain dual citizenship just to be able to vote in SA?

I know "they say" that every vote counts but truthfully any moderate and educated voter is so massively out numbered by tens of millions of illiterate people that your vote really is farting against thunder. For the SAn political landscape to change we need a massive change in the people voting - and that is driven by education. It is not a coincidence that the ANC is failing to improve education in the country - keeping the people dumb and dependent.

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Tracey22

@Jules - I actually do not know. SA is my birthright, and I am still very angry with what has happened to the country. it had so much potential, and instead of trying to fix the problems, the government and many of the community leaders continue to lay blame at the past, at minority groups (not just the whites). instead of focussing on the things that matter (eductaion as an example), they focus on righting past wrongs in a way that makes no sense. My father's family came to SA as refugees from Tsarist Russia, and out of nothing become a very succesful family, and community leaders in their little dorpie.

Part of me still wants my vote to count, to say that even though we left SA, we have not turned our back on the country and its difficulties. I left because of many things - crime and my fears being one reason, and the lack of a guaranteed education and future for my boys (being pale males). I do not want to turn my back on my family's history there.

The thing that may prevent me from voting - i am so far away from it all, that I do notunderstand the intricacies of the new political parties, as well as what is truly happening there and what the old parties I used to support stand for.

I will wait and see.

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Sideline

Tracey, Your argument above makes the exact mockery of why you wish to vote. You left the country due to crime and fear, you left the country because of the education system and your boys not being assured a stable or for that matter ANY future.

You left the country for a BETTER LIFE. You have no allegiance to the government, you have absolutely no support for or from them.

Your taxes earned and paid right now do not enrich the corrupt and fat cat elders.

Those taxes enrich YOUR life and the lives of your family and community.

Those sacrifices you take for granted now are the reason you are able to think back and wonder what SA could have been, not what it is.

We are leaving just pre the elections and honestly even if we were here, voting would not be a priority. "they say" if you don't vote you have no right to complain! Very true, but our lack of vote is not going to change the mindset of the country, it is not going to change the future of the country, it is not going to change the fact that family left behind cannot be sponsored or visit us in the future. The lack of our vote will merely mean that we choose to make our vote count where it will be appreciated and put to use for the intention we choose to vote. It will take time but ultimately Canada will receive our vote with gratitude, Canada will treasure that vote and do well with the trust and confidence we gave in casting that vote. Canada will deserve every fiber of being and reason for our future vote. SA wont even notice and we doubt even care that our vote didn't make it to the overall numbers.

Its a sad day when you know that deep down, no matter how hard you think you might be a very small part, or maybe the last part of a puzzle to change a situation that the reality is that your vote cast off shore might very well not even make it into the counting system. Papers go missing, mail gets lost, diplomatic parcels can be accidentally forgotten on the next shipment out, thereby missing the deadlines. These are not tales of fiction but facts of political power-play. They know that almost all votes cast offshore will be expats and that almost all of those will be against them. So making a means to exclude the actual figures, yet having those very expats believe they have cast a vote is all in a days smoke and mirrors for those in charge of diplomatic and other sensitive information.

Either way each of us has a choice to make and whatever we choose to do, is ours and ours alone. No other shall be allowed to influence the choice we make.

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Brad Smith

For me, the question of whether to renounce my South African citizenship has two aspects - practical, and emotional.

The practical aspect has already been mentioned in other posts, and has at least two components. First, having South African citizenship enables you to obtain a South African passport, which might make it quicker to clear South African customs when travelling (but there is no guarantee of that), and citizens have the right to vote (should you ever wish to exercise it).

The emotional aspect is by far the more important one for me. I left South Africa in 1987. I became a Canadian citizen in 1990. Several years later I discovered that I had lost my South African citizenship by operation of law when I became a Canadian citizen. I was surprised at the extent to which that fact angered me. I was born in South Africa, as were my ancestors. Immediately before leaving South Africa I served two years as a conscript in the South African Army, one of which was in northern (then) South West Africa. I am South African by birthright, and no government, no matter how vile (past or present) can take that away from me. So I fought to get my South African citizenship back. And I did.

I have been in Canada for 26 years now. It is a truly great country, and I am proud to call it my home. I am particularly reminded of this on days like today - Remembrance Day - when we take time to reflect upon the sacrifices others have made for the freedoms we enjoy. So, while I am now Canadian, I am still South African. They can never take that away from me, and nor will I ever let them.

Edited by Brad Smith
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Cathy K

Then there is the question of who to vote for. The DA has realised that they will never become the government without a majority of Black voters. They just supported the ANC's convoluted and controversial amendment to the equal employment act. This new law triples the fines that will be leveled to PRIVATE companies that don't adhere to the strict Affirmative Action policies of the ANC. It is not only anti-White, but also discriminate against Coloured and Indian South Africans, most of whom are staunch DA supporters. For instance, companies in the Western Cape will have to employ a majority of Black people, even though they are not the majority in that province.

The DA will do everything to increase its Black support. No wonder it's being accused of becoming ANC Lite.

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Old Van

I'm here because I made a conscious decision to be here, for pretty much the same reasons my ancestors had for leaving their countries of birth. I'm not emotional nor nostalgic about South Africa. I'm not bitter and twisted about being "forced" to leave.

I do feel for those who wish they could leave, but are stuck there for whatever reason. I can't and won't be a whenwe, and I have no urges to keep a back door open, or one foot in SA and one in Canada. I'm focussed 100% on making a successful and prosperous living and future here, in Canada. My (Canadian) grandkids will have a cool story about how their grandpa made it all the way across the Atlantic from Africa in the days before teleportation!

This is just me, everyone feels differently about the matter.

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Cathy K

Brad, did you know this?

Jules wrote:
"SA bill of rights guarantees residency for anyone born in SA. You can return to live in SA anytime even after losing SA citizenship. I confirmed this many years ago with the SA consulate."
Edited by Cathy K

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Nelline

You said it for me Old Van!

I'm here because I made a conscious decision to be here, for pretty much the same reasons my ancestors had for leaving their countries of birth. I'm not emotional nor nostalgic about South Africa. I'm not bitter and twisted about being "forced" to leave.

I do feel for those who wish they could leave, but are stuck there for whatever reason. I can't and won't be a whenwe, and I have no urges to keep a back door open, or one foot in SA and one in Canada. I'm focussed 100% on making a successful and prosperous living and future here, in Canada. My (Canadian) grandkids will have a cool story about how their grandpa made it all the way across the Atlantic from Africa in the days before teleportation!

This is just me, everyone feels differently about the matter.

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