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South Africa’s Citizenship Law

There are three ways in which a person can be a citizen:

  • By birth
  • By descent
  • By naturalisation

Citizenship by birth and descent are legal rights for anyone who can prove the facts of birth and parentage.

Citizenship by naturalisation is not a legal right. It can be granted or refused by the Minister of Home Affairs. According to the Eighth Amended Act of the Regulations in terms of the South African Citizenship Act (1995) that came into operation on 1 April 2003, a small fee may be applicable for a Certificate or written confirmation of South African citizenship.

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