Brett

Dual Citizenship

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jpd

After I applied for dual citizenship, Dept of Home Affairs sent me a letter that I had ceased to be a South African citizen. I was annoyed at first, but they did me a favour!

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Harry

boeg,

as ever, your humble servant, milady. ;)

You see,

I really like people....

and I do so love clarity....

and I do so hate BS......

...and this particular subject is fraught with BS parading superficially as clarity to hurt people.

Charlene, that's why I like arguing with you...'cause we work it out. I'm weird that way. ;)

jpd, exactamo! Don't worry, be happy.....I'm the idiot that has to to worry. I idiotically applied for dual citizenship. I should have read the WHOLE STORY before doing it. ;)

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Alwyn
..because they needed after 23 years being here my South African birth certificate??along the way it got lost.....

Hope you don't need that birth certificate. I've requested my daughter's now 3 times. Each time they send me one for a boy named Jacques with the same birth date but wrong ID number.

Don't expect a refund though.

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Traveller
What we still have some unclarity on, is:
  1. how exactly does one get SA citizenship reinstated if one lost it due to applying for Canadian citizenship
  2. can one get one's SA citizenship reinstated at all if one has actively renounced it?

Maybe folks who have gone through this can tell us.

Hi Harry

I don't know what how the laws have changed recently, but in the old-new South Africa, they had a magic cut-off date (some day in the mid-1990s) that was not publicised anywhere, for regaining SA Citizenship and being granted dual citizenship. When I was granted my first "foreign" passport in the early 1990s, I lost my SA citizenship under the old-old South African rules. After the first-new South African elections, I reapplied for my SA citizenship, and as it happened, it was approved like days before this cut-off date. They sent me a nice letter to that fact. I had the passport renewed recently, and told them about all my other passports - no worries.

As a person with quadruple citizenship (and 4 passports), I enjoy the flexibility it brings me. I know someone with 5 legal passports. (I am also registering my new baby in all "my" countries. How lucky! - I had to work hard for my papers). I am quite happy having a SA passport, and I am keeping it. Its part of my roots.

Personally I have never had any hassles. I use the SA passport in Africa, and my NZ passport in "politically sensitive" places. About two years ago, I spent time in SA and all the neigbouring countires. I remember crossing into Lesotho and giving the nice lady behind the counter a handful of passports requesting her to pick her choice. She preferred the SA passport. I have done the same at the Sydney (Aus) airport. The advice then was to always use the passport of the country you are entering.

(However, I had hassles crossing from Ontario into the USA at Detroit early this year - when they figured out I was born in South Africa - even though I gave them only one passport. They thought I came to overstay in the US and was there to take someone's job - even though I left SA 20 years ago! I then simply showed the guy my Aussie and Canadian papers, and then simply asked him why he thought I would want to live in the US seeing that I had residential rights in the world's 2 best countries. He had no reply to that). ((I guess they had problems with South African over-stayers?))

Cheers

Christo

Edited by Montxsuz

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Alwyn

Can you actually leave a country on one passport and land in the other with another?

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Traveller
Can you actually leave a country on one passport and land in the other with another?

Yup, no problem.

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shaun

My time for Canadian citizenship is nearing.

My SA passport will still be valid for a while after I get Canadian citizenship.

I have absolutely no intention of dual citizenship, so, if I don't apply for it I automatically loose the SA citizenship (according to the above posts).

My question is this..what do I do with the SA passport. Is there something official that has to be done or can I smoke it??(it is green :) ) :):)

Seriously is it not a crime to have a valid passport of a foreign country, but not to actually be a citizen of that country.

The bit about the children bothers me. IF I ever had to go back to SA (vacation) it would mean that my daughter would still be a SA citizen, which means that she would have to enter using a SA passport. I don't like that idea!!

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Alwyn

If you go to the SA embassy in Canada they will probably cut off a piece of the front and put a cancelled stamp on the first page. Thats what the idiots did with my valid passport when they issued me a temporary and then later I ended up with no passport when they failed to deliver on the replacement....

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George
Yup, no problem.

Hi all:

Harry has provided a very useful summary of how one can be deprived of SA citizenship by aquiring citizenship of another country. As you are all well Chapter 2 of the SA Constitution states that:

"No citizen may be deprived of citizenship". As far as I am aware, perhaps some other lawyers can correct me if I am wrong; there has not been a constitutional decision in SA yet challenging this provision in the Bill of Rights. So I would submit that it would be unconstituional for any citizen particularly thouse born in SA to be deprived of their SA citizenship by becoming Canadian citizens, with out applying for a retention of their SA citizenship first.

That said, there is a limitation clause (i.e. which can limit any right in the bill of rights) in the SA Bill of Rights Limitation of rights which states:

The rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including ­

a)the nature of the right;

b)the importance of the purpose of the limitation;

c)the nature and extent of the limitation;

d)the relation between the limitation and its purpose; and

e)less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any right entrenched in the Bill of Rights.

I submit that the above limitation clause would not apply. All the relevant factors in (a) to (e) above must be met to make the limitation clause applicable. I submit that it is not reasoble and justifiable to deprive a persons SA citizenship as (e) above cannot be met. Simply, there is no less restrictive means to achieve the purpose of the right to Citizenship; you are a SA citizen or you are not.

That is my 5 cents worth on this topic. It would be good to know what the constitutionl court will have to say on this topic if it ever is challenged. Perhaps other lawyers will know if this matter has already been decided by the constitutional court? Please let me know, or if you have any other opinions on the issue.

Regards

George

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CharleneK

Umm, George, here on SACanada there is a bunch of people who are simply (1) glad to have been or (2) dying to be deprived of their SA citizenship. Let the Constitutional Court's sleeping dogs lie....

Charlene

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samper

There was an interesting article about dual citizenship in today’s Globe and Mail. It doesn’t look like any drastic changes are on the cards, but it’s not surprising that Ottawa is looking into dual citizenship, following the evacuation of Lebanese Canadians from Lebanon in August.

I quote a few key paragraphs. You can find the full story here.

Immigrant groups fear dual-citizenship review

A number of Canadian immigrant groups say fear is building in their communities over whether a federal review of dual citizenship will lead to people having to choose which passport to keep…..

…..The federal government has not specifically said it is looking into revoking dual citizenship, which allows people to hold more than one passport, but a spokeswoman in the office of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration said a review is under way…..

….The review was ordered after the government spent $85-million to evacuate 15,000 Lebanese residents, Canadian passport-holders and dual citizens from the region during the war with Israel in August…..

….Toronto immigration consultant Tony Luk said he's been getting about a dozen calls a day from former and prospective clients since talk of changes to dual citizenship began circulating a few weeks ago…..

….Immigration lawyer Joshua Sohn said he doubts the Canadian government will consider revoking dual citizenship. About 90 countries allow it, and the number of Canadian passport holders who are citizens of two other countries tripled between 1991 and 2001, according to Statistics Canada.

“It was a knee-jerk reaction. If the issue was the evacuation in Lebanon, you can look at evacuation fees, or if the issue is taxes, you can extend taxes to non-residents,” said Mr. Sohn, the B.C. branch chair of the Canadian Bar Association's immigration section. “Any review is in its infancy and there have been talks of planning to amend the Citizenship Act for years and years.”

At this point, everything is speculative, he said. He said he believes the government has no solid plans beyond taking the “pulse of the issue.”

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Harry

I happened to catch a little article on either CBC or CPAC this morning:

The government is going ahead with its review, specifcially as a result of the abuse of their Canadian citizenship by the bunch of bloody Lebanese chancers.

It turns out that 2 Million Canadians have double citizenship. However, only 500,000 of those people actually live in Canada!

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Andy & Yvonne

I know it is late and I can be easily confused - and after reading this thread I am very confused. I have a simple question.

While filling in the Canadian Citizenship application, Section 7C asks if I have citizenship of another country.

Am I currently a SA citizen? I would think so, as I travel on a SA passport.

If I say "Yes" does that imply I want dual citizenship?

If I say "No" does that imply that I am stateless?

Andy

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Andy & Yvonne

OK, just ignore my previous post. A very stressful week...

Andy

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Blueskies

Hi,

I have a question that I was hoping someone could answer for me.

I have lived in Canada for 7 years and am a Canadian citizen.

I was born in SA but did not notify the government of my Canadian citizenship and am still a SA citizen. My old SA passport has expired and I really do not want to renew it.

I am planning to travel back to SA sometime in the future and would like to do so on my Canadian passport.

Here is my question: if I go through customs and they detect I am a SA citizen from my accent or place of birth on my passport do I run any risk of refusal of entry or even being charged for being an SA citizen travelling on a foreign passport? And if I am involved in say a vehicle accident in SA do I run such a risk?

Any advise would be much appreciated.

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Harry

Blueskies,

in your situation I would fly on the Canadian passport.

I was stupid enough to actively apply for dual citizenship. I have to enter SA on that SApassport.

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macdonlg
Blueskies,

in your situation I would fly on the Canadian passport.

I was stupid enough to actively apply for dual citizenship. I have to enter SA on that SApassport.

Harry,

This is an issue I will be facing within the next 2 months. Would you care to explain why you say you were stupid to apply for dual citizenship?

I thought I had nothing to lose by keeping my SA citizenship, 2 is better than 1, or where am I wrong on this issue.

Thank you for your insights.

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Blueskies

I found this info on the CND Government travel advisory site. It would apear that although required to travel on a SA passport first offenders are just given a warning:

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/report-en.asp?country=270000

A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit South Africa. The passport must be valid for a period of at least 30 days beyond the date of your expected departure from South Africa. Canadians arriving in South Africa with a full passport (i.e. no space for the necessary South African Temporary Resident Permit or visa, at least two pages), will be denied entry to South Africa. The new Immigration Act does not make provision for this scenario and Canadians will be denied entry. Canadians also require a return ticket.

If you are a citizen of both South Africa and Canada and are of age of majority, you must enter or depart South Africa making use of a South African passport only. For a first "offence", dual nationals travelling on a non-South-African passport are issued a warning and given a three-month grace period in which to obtain a South African passport. After that period, they may be refused exit from South Africa, fined, or imprisoned if they do not have South African travel documentation. For further information on dual citizenship, contact the High Commission for the Republic of South Africa in Ottawa.

Tourist Visa: Not required

Business Visa: Not required

Student Permit: Required

Employment Permit: Required

Diplomatic or Special Passport: Not required

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Ang

Can I ask a really dumb question?

I am needing to go back to SA in the next month or so (Dad is sick), and I am a Dual Citizen, so ...

Do I leave Canada on my Canadian Passport, then Enter SA on my SA passport,

and then when leaving,

leave SA on my SA passport and enter Canada on my Candian Passport?

I really hope this made sense...

I am duh when it comes to this stuff.

Thanks in advance.

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Island Life

Ang, I have dual citizenship as well, and that is exactly what I do. Leave on one and enter on the other.

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Ang

Thanks - makes sense to do that.

:D

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Guest CharlvS
Can I ask a really dumb question?

I am needing to go back to SA in the next month or so (Dad is sick), and I am a Dual Citizen, so ...

Do I leave Canada on my Canadian Passport, then Enter SA on my SA passport,

and then when leaving,

leave SA on my SA passport and enter Canada on my Candian Passport?

I really hope this made sense...

I am duh when it comes to this stuff.

Thanks in advance.

Hey Ang... yes... that is in fact what you MUST do. It is against South African law to enter the country on a foreign passport if you are in possession of a South African one (and have dual citizenship). So don't even consider it. :D

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Alwyn

Ok, how do you explain to the foreign country that you don't have a stamp in their passport, but in another one?

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Marionm
Ok, how do you explain to the foreign country that you don't have a stamp in their passport, but in another one?

Easy, you just tell them - you are doing nothing wrong, however, you won't have to explain this, as it is highly, highly unlikely it will be asked, and if it is, it is not a problem.

People travel on dual passports all the time - not just South Africans. Some passports are so full of stamps, it would take the immigration officer 30 minutes to page through and identify the stamps. You will usually just be asked where you have come from, but they won't look to see the stamp of that departing country in the passport.

If, for some extraordinary reason they do, you can just produce the other passport. You are doing everything legally.

Some countries no longer stamp your passport on departure anyhow, they just scan it in with a barcode etc.

People tend to think there is something 'wrong' with using 2 passports. As long as both countries allow dual citizenship, and you abide by their requirements, you are doing everything right. I in fact have and travel on 2 DIFFERENT South African passports - quite legally - you are permitted to do so.

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PE/HALIFAXchic

Tomorrow I will be here 3 years. Time to Apply for my citizenship. I'm having a really hard time deciding on dual citizenship. I am still proudly South African and don't really want to give up my status as a citizen but sjoe! this thread has kind of bummed me out! WHAT TO DO!?!?!?! :blink:

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