How to apply for UK citizenship as a SA citizen & more

How to apply for UK citizenship as a SA citizen & more

The United Kingdom will always be a popular destination for both holiday and work for Africans and especially South Africans it seems. South Africans have the advantage of speaking the language and due to the fact travel time between the two countries is not that long, England and the United Kingdom in general has always seen large visitors from Mzansi. In addition, there is a large diaspora of South Africans in the UK that makes the transition easier for many when first visiting the country.


British citizenship also offers several advantages and is a dream for many South Africans as like many other citizens in the world. Considering the fact that it is legally allowed for South African citizens to hold more than one nationality, it is easy to understand why the UK is ones of the most preferred destinations.


Nonetheless, one first has to apply to retain your SA citizenship before taking on any other nationality through naturalisation according to SA law. A process that must be followed to the letter of the law or one risks automatically losing their South African citizenship.  Furthermore, it has often been reported and noted to interested parties that if a person takes up a second nationality through direct descent, it is important to safeguard his/her SA nationality status. Proof can then be submitted when a newly issued SA passport is applied for from outside South Africa to make sure they do not face any difficulties when such applications are lodged.


The process of retaining your SA citizenship has to be done in the country where you reside via a formal application and it is crucial to note here that one must apply before British citizenship is applied for.  This rule does not apply to persons who acquire another nationality via descent.  However, due to recent developments when applying for SA passports from abroad, we have been told to advise clients to always retain their SA citizenship status. Under normal circumstances, when you acquire another nationality through direct descent, you would not risk losing your South African citizenship. However, – this applies especially to UK nationals – if you were born before 1983 and intend to obtain your UK nationality via one of your parents (i.e. your mother), you should then seek to apply for retention of your South African citizenship.

Here at we have vast experience of dealing with immigration law and policies so feel free to contact one of our consultants today for a consultation to determine your eligibility to live and work in the UK, and plan your route to British citizenship.

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice and is merely our guidance provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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