Brett

Dual Citizenship

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Brett

The following article was posted on http://www.southafrica.info/news/top_story...itizenship.htm:

Dual citizenship issues clarified

15 November 2004

The government has appealed to South Africans with dual citizenship to use their South African passports when leaving or returning to the country.

According to the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2004, that came into effect on 15 September, it is now an offence for locals with dual citizenship to use their foreign passports to leave or gain entry to the country.

It is also an offence for a citizen, while in South Africa, to use his or her foreign citizenship to gain advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty, says the Department of Home Affairs.

However, the new Act allows South Africans with dual nationality to freely use their foreign passports outside South Africa.

A provision of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995, allowing the minister of home affairs to deprive a citizen of his or her citizenship for having used the citizenship of a foreign country, has been repealed.

As a result, the need for exemptions or letters of permission from the minister to make use of a foreign passport has now been terminated.

"The issue of deprivation of citizenship was inconsistent with the Constitutional right to citizenship", said Home Affairs spokesperson Nkosana Sibuyi.

"Accordingly, we would like to advise all South Africans who have dual citizenship and do not have South African passports to apply for their South African passports at the earliest opportunity."

The department said it was mindful that many affected South Africans might not yet be aware of the amendments and their implications.

"We have therefore decided that affected South Africans departing or arriving through our ports of entry, attempting to use a foreign passport, will be issued with a warning giving them three months to obtain a South African passport", Sibuyi said.

He added that authorities would not, in the meantime, prevent anyone from leaving or entering the country, provided they had applied for the relevant document.

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Pierre

What might be the reasoning behind this I wonder.

Should they not be inviting anyone in the country who is going there and would be spending tourist money..... :(

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Pierre

Maybe it is a duel citizenship. :P

  • Like 1

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Hendie
It is also an offence for a citizen, while in South Africa, to use his or her foreign citizenship to gain advantage ...

:P:D This one is funny. One is more likely to get exploited if the locals think you are a foreigner than to get preferential treatment!

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Brett

Yea, not too sure of the whole reasoning behind it. I think the main issue was that prior to this amendment, you actually had to have the S.A. governments approval to have dual citizenship. So when applying for Canadian citizenship, you were supposed to contact Home Affairs in S.A. and request a certificate allowing you to carry two passports. If you did not do this, they could revoke your South African citizenship.

Well, since most people didn't know this, and since they shouldn't really be allowed to take away your rights like that, the government appears to have backed down on this requirement. Not sure how they will ever enforce their request for you to use your S.A. passport though?? Anyway, at least it is an improvement over having to ask their permission. In our modern, easily-travelled world, a person should be allowed to become citizens of the world, without having to ask the permission of their homeland.

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Deonm

Surely,the goverment is worrying about the fact that they could be loosing a substantial amount of income on sales tax,which a foreigner(someone with dual citizenship as well) is entitled to claim, when departing.This is just my thought,and not based on any factual evidence.

You remember "die Wet van Transvaal" it still applies!!!! :P

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Daléne

I got this in my email this morning and thought it may be of interest to others :

South African Department of Home Affairs

Monday, November 22, 2004

Communication > Media releases

Media release

Statement on the South African Citizenship Amendment

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Given recent developments around the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act and in response to media enquiries on this matter, the Department of Home Affairs wishes to set out to the public a clear and comprehensive picture of the situation in this regard.

Government recently repealed section 9 of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995, which regulated the use of the citizenship or nationality of another country by a major South African who has dual citizenship.

In essence, the act repealed the provision which allowed the Minister of Home Affairs to deprive a citizen of his or her citizenship for having used the citizenship of a foreign country. Consequently, the previous requirement for exemptions or letters of permission from the Minister to make use of a foreign passport has now been terminated. The issue of deprivation of citizenship was inconsistent with the Constitutional right to citizenship.

In terms of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2004 which came into effect on 15 September 2004, it is now an offence for a major South African citizen to enter the Republic or depart making use of the passport of another country.

Furthermore, it is also now an offence for such a citizen, while in South Africa, to use his or her foreign citizenship or nationality to gain advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty.

Essentially, the Amendment Act provides that a South African citizen, who has dual citizenship or nationality, can freely use his or her foreign passport outside South Africa. However, they must use their South African passport to depart from or enter South Africa.

The Department has received a number of enquiries from our ports of entry on whether or not South Africans who arrive at border posts with foreign passports may be refused to enter or depart from the Republic.

The Department is obliged to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act. However, we acknowledge that many affected South Africans may not yet be aware of the amendments to the Citizenship Act and the implications for themselves.

We have therefore decided that affected South Africans departing or arriving through our ports of entry, attempting to use a foreign passport, will be issued with a warning giving them three months to obtain a South African passport. They will be allowed to depart or enter South Africa.

Accordingly, we would like advise all South Africans who have a dual citizenship and do not have South African passports to apply for their South African passports at their earliest opportunity.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Released by Chief Directorate: Communication

Enquiries: Nkosana Sibuyi 082 88 66 708

11/11/2004

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digin

I think the other reason is exchange control: foreigners are subject to far less exchange control regulations than South African citizens.

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jdt

I am wondering about the possibility of giving up my SA citizenship.

I believe that with dual citizenship there is always the chance that the countries that you are a citizen of will each end up trying to decide whose responsibility you are, and end up not doing anything.

Secondly if I do happen to ever have go back to SA for a visit and do it on a Canadian passport, I want to make VERY sure that I am not a SA citizen.

And then there's always the possibilty that some official stasieblompot south of the border might deport me to SA. :censored:

Edited by jdt

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Eugene

We are in the same boat. My wife and I are applying for citizenship in February, and will not be applying for dual.

As far as i am concerned, i will not need my SA passport for much in the next few years. If I need to go back to visit, i shall just get a visa.

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Ann

I don't know if you need a visa to visit South Africa on a Canadian passport. I went back in 1999 with only a Canadian passport and I didn't need a visa.

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Sangoma

You dont need a visa to go back on a canadian passport - if your stay is shorter than 3 months.

Edited by Sangoma

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Cathy K

This sounds as if you can't lose your South African citizenship, right? What if you merely want plain old Canadian citizenship? Will you then be allowed to enter South Africa on your Canadian passport? Or must you now inform the South African authorities that you gave up your South African citizenship when you became a Canadian.

I would have preferred to stay a South African for ever, sadly I don't have that choice anymore.

Cathy K.

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lpkcu

MMMM, interesting wonder how the repealed law would effect the Img Border control act, in reference to yachts and crew?

Seems the law on immagration have been simplified to accomedate as stated, fiscal generation, and monitoring of travelling by ZA citizens,

Pat

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Ann

Cathy, I don't think the reason that I didn't need a visa was them still recognizing me as a South African citizen. Actually my passport didn't even suggest I was South African as I was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and my place of birth was included in my passport.

I think there are many countries you can visit on a Canadian passport without needing a visa and South Afirca is one of them.

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Sangoma

Ann, you are correct.

Different countries have different entry requirements. The Canadian passport does allow you to enter some countries without a visa, but you would have to have a visa for some of these countries if you were to enter on an SA passport. Most of europe is like this.

Cathy, I don't think the reason that I didn't need a visa was them still recognizing me as a South African citizen.  Actually my passport didn't even suggest I was South African as  I was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and my place of birth was included in my passport.

I think there are many countries you can visit on a Canadian passport without needing a visa and South Afirca is one of them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Cathy K

I've been misunderstood here. We are not going to opt for dual citizenship when we become Canadians. My question is: Should we inform the South African government of our decision? It wasn't necessary under the previous law. Then we would have lost our South African citizenship automatically if we didn't apply for dual citizenship. It seems that the new law changed this.

Cathy K.

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digin

You can formally renounce you South African citizenship by requesting Form BI 246 which you can get from the South African High Commission.

See http://home-affairs.pwv.gov.za/sa_citizenship.asp.

Once you have renounced your citizenship, you will then visit South Africa as a Canadian Tourist - you may not seek work in South Africa, and you have the various foreign restrictions on buying property (I believe you cannot take a 100% bond on the property).

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Ann
Loss of South African Citizenship (Section 6)

A South African citizen who by a formal and voluntary act acquires the citizenship of another country, automatically loses his or her South African citizenship.

Retention of South African citizenship may, however, be applied for, but must be done and be approved before acquisition of the other citizenship to prevent automatic loss of the South African citizenship. Applications must be on form BI 1664 and are subject to payment of a prescribed fee of R110-00. Applications may be lodged at any Home Affairs domestic office or if abroad, at the nearest South African Embassy or Mission.

Persons who have lost their South African citizenship under similar circumstances under section 15(1)(a) of the now repealed South African Citizenship Act, 1949 (Act No. 44 of 1949), may apply for exemption from the loss in terms of section 26(4) of Act 88 of 1995, by submission of a duly completed BI 1666 and payment of the prescribed fee of R110-00 at any Home Affairs domestic office or if abroad, at the nearest South African Mission or Embassy.

Resumption (Section 13)

A person who has lost or has been deprived of his or her South African citizenship may apply for resumption at any Home Affairs domestic office. Application must be on a BI 175 and a prescribed fee of R115-00 is payable.

To qualify, former South African citizens by birth and descent must have returned to South Africa permanently. Former South Africans by naturalisation or registration must have a valid permanent residence permit or exemption from such permit and must have taken up permanent residence in South Africa.

Renunciation (Section 7)

A South African citizen who intends to accept the citizenship or nationality of another country, or who also has the citizenship or nationality of another country, may renounce his or her South African citizenship by making a declaration to that effect on a form BI 246 and submit the completed declaration to any Home Affairs domestic office.

The person shall cease to be a South African citizen from the moment the declaration is registered in the Department.

The minor children under 18 years of a person who has renounced his or her South African citizenship shall also cease to be South African citizens, unless the other parent remains a South African citizen.

I guess only a lawyer can really make sense of this (probably lawyers came up with this too). :D

It seems that you still automatically lose South African citizenship when formally acquiring the citizenship of another country, e.g. Canada. But it seems that you may subsequently formally request resumption of your lost citizenship.

Otherwise one can formally request to officially renounce South African citizenship. Once you have done that then I guess you can't subsequently request resumption of your renounced citizenship.

I would think the best would be to just allow the automatic loss of citizenship to occur and then if later you find you would like to resume South African citizenship, you can. At least you are not slamming the door behind you as in the case of renouncing your South African citizenship. :blink:

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Harry

Ann,

it seems to me that you have an old heap of info there, or the item posted by Dah above (HERE) is wrong. Which is it to be? What you have posted sounds like the old setup under which I asked for and got dual citizenship. I understand from Dah's post that such requests are now no longer required and that folks who never applied ( and kinda sorta lost their SA citizenship, like Hendie) are now citizens again.

Alternatively, you HAVE posted the new Act and they actually want you to return to SA to retain your citizenship...this is utterly confusing to me and my life is wall-to-wall lawyers, so they don't freak me out.

What am I missing here? Maybe you should post the date and Act number or something. How are we to know if this is the new thing or the old thing?

Way way way too much confusion between your post and that of Dah. OR maybe I'm just very tired after a long day of legal stuff.

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Deonm

Just a stupid remark-If you wish to retain dual citizenship,why worry.Just don't renounce your SA Citizenship.It says :"may renounce"

Just my thought though.

Renunciation (Section 7)

A South African citizen who intends to accept the citizenship or nationality of another country, or who also has the citizenship or nationality of another country, may renounce his or her South African citizenship by making a declaration to that effect on a form BI 246 and submit the completed declaration to any Home Affairs domestic office.

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Ann

Sorry guys, I should have mentioned that I copied and pasted from the link that digin provided. It seems that the web site has not been updated yet with the latest amendment. Sorry :D

Edited by Ann

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Sangoma

Dual Citizenship....damned if you do...damned if you dont :blink::D

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zzz3zeds

Hi,

Does anybody know how one can obtain form BI-246. I have tried emailing the South African Department of Home Affairs, Have tried the overseas High Commission....no positive response from either.

This form is for some reason not available for download from the Net.

I am running out of ideas....does anybody actually have a copy that they could forward to me?

I have dual citizenship, but my South African passport has expired, and the trouble it takes to apply for a new passport is just not worth the effort, it would be just as easy to renounce my S.A. citizenship (don't live there, don't see a need for it !) I just want to be able to travel there without hassle.

Zed

:blink:

Edited by zzz3zeds

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Lorrett

Hi Zed

I sent an e-mail to this address : rsafrica[at]southafrica-canada.ca and they faxed the form to me promptly. The form is not available on internet, it either has to be faxed or mailed to you, so provide the necessary info in your e-mail.

Good luck

Lorrett

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