In a ruling by the Constitutional Court that came into effect recently, children born to foreign parents can qualify for SA citizenship.
Children born to FOREIGN parents can qualify for SA citizenship..
Broadly speaking, there are three ways someone can qualify for SA citizenship. They are by birth, descent and naturalisation. This is according to the amended South African Citizenship that came into operation on 1 April 2003.
Now, latest findings by the Constitutional Court have ruled that children born in SA to foreign parents are eligible to apply and qualify for SA citizenship. If you were unaware of this, it follows the ruling in favor of Ali, Salih, Nkoloko, Masuki and Nganga. Each were born in SA to foreign parents and now qualify for SA citizenship when they are no longer minors.
QUALIFY FOR SA CITIZENSHIP
Ruling allows for children born to foreign parents to qualify for SA citizenship. Picture: File.
Lerato Mahupela, an immigration specialist writing on says that in 2010 it was discovered that the Citizenship Act made no provisions for children born to foreign parents.
The amended act that only came into effect recently states: “A child born in the Republic of parents who are not South African citizens, or who have not been admitted into the Republic for permanent residence, DOES qualify to apply for South African citizenship upon becoming a major.
To qualify for SA citizenship the children must be born in South Africa. Picture: File.
However, does list a series of stipulations, chief among which are the following:
• The child must have lived in South Africa from the date of birth to the date of becoming a major (18-years old).
• The child’s birth must be registered in accordance with the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act of 1992.
BACKLOGS SINCE 2020
While the Citizenship Act was amended in 2010, it only came into operation three years later in 2013. This led to massive backlogs as applicants could not apply because there was no mechanism in place.
A judgement from February 2020 by the Constitutional Court says the act applies to those who meet the requirements irrespective of whether they were born before or after in 1 January 2013.
PROVEN BY FACT
You can qualify for SA citizenship by either birth and/or descent. These are legal rights for anyone who can prove the facts of their birth and parentage. SA citizenship by naturalisation, on the other hand, is not a legal right. It can be granted or refused by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), concludes Mahupela.