Some South Africans are concerned to (lawfully) acquire a second citizenship. This is often intended as a safety net – being ideally in a country with an economy that is not perhaps quite as potentially volatile or “changeable” as in South Africa, if only for the sake of the family.
Often there are seen to be two key obstacles in the way of this. These are:
- The lack of a credible option; and/or
- The restrictions on dual citizenship for South Africans, with few wanting to actually cut their ties with South Africa.
The fact is that there are credible options. However great care must be taken because there are as many “operators” out there (if not more) preying on the vulnerabilities of the public, as there are genuine service providers (and options). A further fact is that none of the realistically viable options come cheap. This is a luxury item – particularly with the decline of the Rand in recent months against the major currencies. By and large the ‘price tag’ is rarely less than US$600 000.00.
There are different options available ranging from securing a right of residence through to obtaining a second citizenship with equally, a whole spectrum of rights and duties attaching.
The second perceived problem has been that of the possible loss of a person’s South African citizenship.
The reality is that dual citizenship is allowed to South Africans, under the current legislation – so long as the South African obtains the prior written approval of the Department of Home Affairs before the person is registered as a citizen of the second country. Getting that consent has not really been seen as a major problem and very few rejections have been reported.
The bottom line is that if someone is interested in pursuing this, they would be well-advised to do this through the services of a credible immigration professional whose professional regulatory authority offers the applicant protection against professional negligence.