Brett

Dual Citizenship

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Dedré

Congratulations on the 3 year anniversary.

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Jules

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:

If you have a clear intention of moving back to SA permanently, then do the dual route. Otherwise there's zero benefit in dual citizenship... none.

You can reinstate SA citizenship down the road if one day you change plans and return to SA.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

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:

As Jules says, you can have it reinstated.

You would still have SA perm.residency if you gave up citizenship and if you want the citizenship again, you'd have to live back in SA again for a few years, then apply for SA citizenship again.

I was told this by a staff member at the SA Embassy in Toronto.

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Tracey22

I have travelled on 2 passports for close onto 15 years. i have irish and SA citizenship. When I check in for flights, I present both passports (to show that i do need visas0 and the check in counters accept this easily. At passport control in SA I only show SA passport, the customs officials do not worry about whether or not you have the correct visas etc. Thios is the responsibility of the airlines. OPn the other side of my flight, i only present my irish passport. i have not had any issues doing this.

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Jules

The only issue on dual citizenship is if you have a brush with the law while in SA on vacation. You are treated as a SA citizen then. A traffic violation with the wrong cop could see you in a holding cell overnight. It's a genuine risk.

If you are there only as a Canadian citizen they have to call the Canadian consulate when they lock you up; embassy/consulate sends a rep over immediately for legal support. 99% of the time, the police station will handle you very differently.

There's no benefit to dual citizenship. None. You must carry and renew 2 passports and you have no legal protection while vacationing in SA.

I have it in writing from the SA embassy in Ottawa that I can reinstate my SA citizenship if I ever move back. Even your Canadian born kids are "in scope" because you sponsor them after your SA citizenship is reinstated (kids stay on a long-term tourist visa in the interim period).

Edited by Jules

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Dedré

The only issue on dual citizenship is if you have a brush with the law while in SA on vacation. You are treated as a SA citizen then. A traffic violation with the wrong cop could see you in a holding cell overnight. It's a genuine risk.

If you are there only as a Canadian citizen they have to call the Canadian consulate when they lock you up; embassy/consulate sends a rep over immediately for legal support. 99% of the time, the police station will handle you very differently.

Really something to consider... the reason why we are not bothering with our SA passports. We don't believe they will protect us overseas if they're not bothering with protecting us in SA anyways.

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moonlighter

Being in a situation where I acquired Canadian citizenship in the eighties without a declaring to SA authorities. Living in SA presently also holding a Canadian passport. Lost my SA ID recently and when applying for new ID was told that considering that I did not declare my Canadian citizenship I may have lost SA citizenship. Have to now apply for application to determine my status and if SA citizenship is lost I would have to apply for exemption. Question is, can they deprive me of my SA citizenship considering that I was born in SA. Have been told by legal advisor that they will apply for exemption on my behalf. I am not sure if that is the route to take considering that after paying for their services I may still end up loosing SA citizenship. The other option would be to keep quiet and not declare dual citizenship.

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Jules

Bill of rights guarantees residency but not citizenship. But you can apply for reinstatement of SA citizenship if you want. Costs a few bucks for paper work and several months to process through home affairs.

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Heinrich

My wife needs to get to South Africa urgently ( within the next week). She has dual citizenship, but her South African passport has expired. What will happen if she just uses her Canadian passport? Any help will be appreciated.

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Nelline

As long as she is travelling on a legal passport surely that is the only requirement? I have travelled to SA on my British passport several times, don't have a valid SA one anymore.

Or are you worried about the dual citizinship issue?

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Nelline

Was just chatting with my husband about Heinrich's question on travelling on a Canadian passport to SA whilst on dual citizinship. I explained about the SA government stipulating that travelling in and out of SA someone on dual citizinship should be using their SA passport ONLY. His question was: "How would they know?"

We have never been asked at passport control if we hold dual citizinship or not. I think this is again one of those situations whereby the SA government is trying to dictate to us. The less they know the better. We did NOT declare to them that we are giving up our SA citizinship - we merely let our passports lapse without renewal. Why should I share any details of my life with them?

Heinrich if your wife is not going to be in SA for more than 3 months, why worry?

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Jules

My wife needs to get to South Africa urgently ( within the next week). She has dual citizenship, but her South African passport has expired. What will happen if she just uses her Canadian passport? Any help will be appreciated.

Technically illegal. But hard to prove. She would have to lie at the airport if they ask and ASSUME that they have nothing recorded to match against from previous visits where she presented as a SAn. Like I say - very hard to catch. She should be safe.

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Eugene

I dont have dual citizenship.

I visited SA last year April, and the people in front of me were detained by customs at Cape Town airport, as they had travelled in on their CDN passport, when they were dual citizens. (Now I cannot say for sure if they had their SA passports with them, or left it at their home).

Funnily enough, when leaving SA to come back to Canada, the customs guy asked me for my SA passport as my POB said Cape Town. I told him I wasnt South African anymore. He nodded and let me go.

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Heinrich

Thank you Nelline, Jules and Eugene. All your information is helpful; it gives the bigger picture. Carina and I will be in touch with the "powers that be" tomorrow morning early and forward. She certainly needs to speed up the process, especially with regards to a temporary South African passport, as the Canadian website for the South African High Commission states that the process for a temporary passport could take 5-10 business days. I won't be flying along with her, but we both are of the mind that when we land we want peace of mind that there won't be some form of interrogation or questioning.

I sure am glad that I decided to give up my South African citizenship when becoming a Canadian citizen, even though it wasn't for the reason of renewing passports.

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Guest AdamC

My wife needs to get to South Africa urgently ( within the next week). She has dual citizenship, but her South African passport has expired. What will happen if she just uses her Canadian passport? Any help will be appreciated.

Hey Heinrich

I have dual citizenship (British and SA)- and was in your wife's scenario before. What will happen if she uses Canadian passport? Absolutely nothing...

Take the advice above and don't tell passport control more than they need to know. There is absolutely no way for them to know you are a dual citizen without you divulging that info to them.

She should travel to SA on a Canadian passport and simply state that is her primary passport (I am assuming she is not going to SA for a long period of time.

While you are 'legally bound' to enter SA on your SA passport if a citizen, there is no way for them to tell if your wife is a dual if she lands and enters on Canadian.

Edited by AdamC
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Zabs

We hold Canadian and SA passports and about 15 months ago my wife's and kids passports expired.

They want to apply for new passports but "technically we have lost " SA citizenship because we did not apply for a "retention" certificate to SA home affairs before we applied for Canadian Citizenship.

Does anyone know whether one can have their SA Citizenship re-instated or should one just apply for a "retention" certificate?

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Jules

We hold Canadian and SA passports and about 15 months ago my wife's and kids passports expired.

They want to apply for new passports but "technically we have lost " SA citizenship because we did not apply for a "retention" certificate to SA home affairs before we applied for Canadian Citizenship.

Does anyone know whether one can have their SA Citizenship re-instated or should one just apply for a "retention" certificate?

Unless you are living permanently in SA, you cannot do what you have queried above.

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Impala

We have SA, Italian and Canadian citizinship. We let our SA passports lapse (over 10 years ago) without renewal and did NOT declare to them that we are giving up our SA citizinship. Going to SA and Italy, we always use our Canadian passports but we keep our Italian passports with us (just in case).

I can't remember, but I think when you book your ticket, it asks for the passport number, so that is why we use the same passport to enter and depart. Anyway, we have never had a problem entering or departing SA, Italy or the USA on our Canadian passports.

My advice: if you have an SA passport, keep it current and with you when you travel, that way you don't have to worry about reinstating stuff and the time it will take - but use the Canadian passport when you enter and depart.

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Johno

It seems this thread is quite old and laws/rules might have changed in the meantime.

In short, what are the current pro's and cons of having (or not having) dual citizenship?

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Garreth

The pros and cons really are an individual choice, as pretty much as discussed above, it's up to each person to decide for themselves.

Law wise, the rules are still the same. You need a retention letter before gaining another citizenship or you will automatically lose your SA citizenship. Unless, you are below 18 when you get your foreign citizenship, or you get your citizenship automatically through marriage.

We opted to keep our SA citizenship, retention letter from the Toronto consulate took five days from forms being dropped off to being delivered in my mailbox. Totally painless process.

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Jules

It seems this thread is quite old and laws/rules might have changed in the meantime.

In short, what are the current pro's and cons of having (or not having) dual citizenship?

Rules are still the same AFAIK

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Nettie

Jack,

dis al bespreek tot het einde van het Aarde.

Problem is, the Canadian and SA requirements clash. Canada advises you to enter SA on a Canadian passport, and SA could throw you in jail for doing it. Some of our members have already had problems.

SA requires a dual citizenship person to enter SA on his/her SA passport and to then fall 100% under SA law and fulfiull his/her SA obligations.

So I just do not go there.

This issue is NOT a simple one.

I'm glad to see that this topic has already been posted. Has anyone had experience travelling with only a Canadian passport, leaving South Africa? I was aware of the law last year when I came back to Canada and got a South African passport just for this reason. When I went through customs in South Africa, I first gave my Canadian passport. I guess because I have a very South African name, the officer asked for my South African passport. I don't think they can prevent a Canadian Citizen from leaving the country, but I have no intentions of ever renewing my SA passport unless people tell me that they have had problems at the airport upon leaving SA. This law makes no sense, but I wouldn't want to get stuck in SA, just because I felt it too much of a hassle to keep two passports.

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Nelline

I've only ever travelled on a UK passport (did not keep dual citizenship, mind) since 2006 or 2007. Have entered and exited South Africa numerous times, not once was I asked if I held a SA passport not once was I asked for one, never had any problems, only courtesy. Haven't been back to SA since 2012 so cannot comment on RECENT times.

My guess is that any problems might comes from where people hold dual citizenship and try to enter / exit on a non-SA passport. Maybe it flags up on the computer system.

I'm glad to see that this topic has already been posted. Has anyone had experience travelling with only a Canadian passport, leaving South Africa? I was aware of the law last year when I came back to Canada and got a South African passport just for this reason. When I went through customs in South Africa, I first gave my Canadian passport. I guess because I have a very South African name, the officer asked for my South African passport. I don't think they can prevent a Canadian Citizen from leaving the country, but I have no intentions of ever renewing my SA passport unless people tell me that they have had problems at the airport upon leaving SA. This law makes no sense, but I wouldn't want to get stuck in SA, just because I felt it too much of a hassle to keep two passports.

Edited by Nelline

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kodacat

My husband went to SA last year in July with his Canadian passport (he is not a dual citizen) and had no problems. Was not asked any questions either (passport states birth place as South Africa).

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Nettie

I never applied for dual citizenship, so that flag shouldn't come up. I don't know why they asked for my South African passport in August 2014 when I handed them my Canadian one. A friend in the UK says he knows someone who tried to leave the country on a German passport, who had problems. Thing is, if they take you into custody, how will you get help. Unless they notify the Canadian authorities, which you don't have a guarantee of happening. I don't trust the legal system in SA, I guess. Too much corruption and people in power who shouldn't be.

I think I'll keep mine updated, to avoid future problems.

Edited by Nettie

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