South African with Dual nationality
  • I have two passports - South African and British. I am leaving SA for the UK on 6 May.

    I have to leave SA on my SA passport. Am I going to get stopped at the airport for not having a visa?
    Before the new visa rules, it wouldn't have been an issue but now I am a little concerned they wont let me fly out of SA.
  • I don't think anything has changed. Leave SA on your SA passport and enter UK on your British. Double check this info by calling the British Consulate. Do not ask SA Home Affairs as they are really useless and you cant trust their information. Good luck!
  • Thanks! Appreciate the help. Will call VFS now...
  • I have the same concern.
    I'm heading to Europe on 2 May for a couple of weeks and will be leaving on my SA passport and entering London on my British passport. My boyfriend, who also has dual citizenship and is flying with me, told me the other day that he has a letter stating that he travels on dual citizenship and was once asked to produce it.

    As far as I know it's not illegal in SA or England, so is it worth me getting a letter/statement?
  • You are supposed to have a letter, but to be honest its hardly worthwhile. The only time you will ever be asked for it is if you are staying in the UK and your SA passport expires and you try and get a new one from the UK. They then ask you for your "dual citizenship" letter. If you dont have one the SA passport office in London will then sort one out. What for I dont know as you will never use it again!
    The UK authorities dont require it. As long as you leave and enter SA on your SA passport and Leave and enter the UK on your British passport then you will never have a problem. In fact when we go back to SA we just use our British passports nowadays. Just dont use your SA passports coming in to the UK.
  • I am a south african been in Uk for 8 years now my 16 year old son is ready to play sport for England national team and I need to apply for citizenship . How do I go about doing this/
  • I have lost my letter from the as home office giving me dual passport approval, how can I get a replacement letter? My as passport has expired & I have to renew this using my dual passport approval letter which I have lost!
  • I am a SA RESIDENT and travel on a British passport, so I leave SA on by UK passport. What is the procedure when I came back to SA. Do I have to have my residents stamped in my passport or will my SA ID work? Is it legal to have 2 passports - eg south african and UK?
  • I am going back to SA on Holiday mid June and have dual Citizenship for SA & Australia. My problem is I'm still awaiting my renewed SA passport, which I applied for 9 months ago, and not getting much joy with my enquiries. My query is will I be able to use my Australian passport for the whole trip if I don't receive the Sa passport in time?
  • SA citizens that have dual nationality, now need to enter SA on a South African passport otherwise you can be denied entry and deported. The dual nationality/passport approval letter is now invalid (the law was amended about 5 years ago).The best thing to do (we did) was to apply for a temporary passport which takes 10 days. It is not worthwhile to take a chance and enter on a foreign passport, just in case you get someone at passport control who decides to enforce the 'law' also, you might get in on a foreign passport with just a warning but will not be permitted to leave. Don't take a chance!
  • I am going to the UK and awaiting date confirmations,i have dual passports but it may be that on my return date of my SA passport expires, What can i do to ensure that when reentry in SA i have no hassles .
  • My boyfriend is a UK citizen but as he was born in SA, and applied for his SA ID and passport when he was last here. The documents are still with Home Affairs, but he wants to come back into SA before they will be ready. Will he be denied entry to the country with his UK passport if he buys a one-way ticket?
  • I am currently living in the Uk and have both SA passport (Expired) & Irish. I went to renew my passport a few weeks ago, but because I did not have the dual citizenship letter - I have lost my SA citizenship & they took my passport & ID book away from me - said they will send it to me within 2 weeks, but it will be invalid - still waiting!!! Don't take the chance!!!
  • i am living currently in the uk..but want apply for my citizenship in this year.would i have a problem getting a dual passport?and do i have to get permission to do so from SA first?
  • I've been granted British citizenship this year through aturalisation and I did not apply for retention of SA citizenship. According to the home office website I've automatically lost my SA citizenship. Does this mean I can travel on my British passport without any issues?
  • i have duel citizenship need to get to the uk bt i dont have time to wait for a tempory passport can i leave sa on my british passport
  • Can someone please offer me advice about which passport to use when checking in? I have dual nationality S.Africa/U.K. I believe from reading other posts that it is better lo leave SA on S.A passport & enter U.K on British passport but what about at check in? The first post also applies to me too. If I leave on S.A passport wont the officials ask where is my visa to enter the U.K? Do I then just say that I have a British passport as well??
    Any advice would be much appreciated.
  • Can someone please offer some advice?
    I have a UK passport and SA passport but never applied for dual nationality. I renewed my UK passport whilst on holiday in the UK in 2004. I am travelling to the UK in Dec to visit family and need to know if I can legally travel on both passports or do I have to apply for dual nationality?
    Many thanks
  • I also have both a SA & UK passport but never applied for a Dual Nationallity Letter. I have travelled to and from the UK since obtaining both passports and have never been asked for anything else apart from both passports when leaving SA. You must enter the UK on your UK passport otherwise you need a VISA. When leaving SA do so on a SA Passport but make sure you have your UK passport at hand as SA immigration, at the airport, will ask to see it to verify you dont need a VISA for UK entry. I beleive the letter of Dual Citizenship is only required if you allow your SA passort to elapse while in the UK.
  • Hi i have passports of Nepal and SA. Now i am in nepal. Just before 1 months i have got SA PP and there is no any visa and used it.Now i want to go to New-zeeland with SA PP so can i enter directly without visa there in NZ?
    otherwise i have to get VISA from nepali PP which is quite difficult. Please i need sugession.
  • You no longer need dual nationality letters. You simply leave SA on your SA passport and enter wherever you are going on your second one. This amendment was changed in 2004.
  • How does this work exactly?

    I have a friend who has dual nationality, UK and South African. They were born in the UK but spent most of their life in SA. They left South Africa on their SA passport 9 months ago and arrived in the UK on their UK passport. Their flight was booked and paid for in SA.

    We're now looking to get a holiday back to SA, but when booking the flight, we have to post Advance Passenger Information, which asks for passport numbers. Which passport do we use? Do we use the UK passport as we're leaving the UK and then just show the SA passport when we're in SA?

    Can anyone advise as to how exactly we go about doing this?

    Any help would be gratefully received,
  • As long as the names on your British and South African passport do not conflict you can use whichever to book your flight, the same with travelling. If it will make you feel better, when leaving, you can produce the British passport and use South African when you get there.
  • Thank you for your reply, very helpful.
    Do you know if the SA side will give any problems about this when we leave SA, or whether the UK side will have queries when returning back to the UK?

    Just asking because we've heard of some horror stories about people who have used both passports and we're just a bit worried!
  • Hey Frank

    I recently travelled to the UK and left on my SA passport, arrived in UK on my British Passport, left UK on my British passport and arrived back in SA on my SA passport and I had absolutely no trouble at all. Just when you leave SA they ask to see your British passport (as obviously you won't have a visa)

    I really wouldn't worry too much about the letter if I were you, unless (as some other people above have said) your current SA passport might expire while you are over there (which with all the flight delays due the weather at the moment isn't completely impossible) but you really should be fine!

    Best of luck and happy travels
  • PS. Frank, I'm not sure about providing Advance Passenger Information - it might be worth confirming with the airline as having dual nationality is not illegal so there is no harm in asking.
  • We are South Africans who are about to qualify for British Naturalisation. Is it worth keeping the SA passport and having dual nationality? What is the benefit of the SA passport (aside from travelling to and from SA)?
  • I have both an SA and Irish passport im leaving for london and a contiki in Europe in december.... which passport do i use where and what visa's do i need as the Irish passport does fall under European Union??
    This is all so confusing to me as i have never travelled to the Uk or Europe and it is the first time il be using my Irish passport!!
  • I have a dual passports as well, except my ZA one has expired! Has anyone tried to *leave* SA on a UK passport - do you get trouble for not going out on your south african one?
  • Hi there

    I applied for naturalization, still need to have my ceremony and apply for British passport - I did not apply for dual citizenship. But I'm going to SA in the next 2 weeks and would need to travel on SA passport. Is this possible???

    Would really appreciate some advice.

  • Hi there
    My husband is a South African living and working in Ireland along with myself, a british citizen. Just wondered is he entitled to dual nationality? Is he entitled to apply for a british passport as well as having a south african passport because he is married to a british national?
    Any info would be appreciated as he seems to be adamant he is entitled to one.
    Many thanks
  • Hi have applied for british citizenship but have not done my ceremony or swearing in but im due to do it in the next two weeks but found out i have to apply for duel nationality bcos i want to retain my South African nationality before i get my british citizenship.So what advise can you give me bcos im based in Germany with the British army thanx alot
  • need some advice
    i got my uk passport when i was young because i had british parents,lived in SA till i was 21,left to live in the uk,i had the dual letter but lost it but never had any problems going back and forth,but last year i lost both my uk and SA passports,i got a new uk passport a week later and left for a holiday in SA,on the way back they gave me a hard time for not having my SA passport with me,i told them that i left it at home because im a uk citizen and didnt think that i would need it.
    anyways its been over a year now still dont have a sa passport and by now it would of been my question is would i still be classed as a SA citizen?and would i have trouble traveling in and out just on my uk passport,as my SA one is expired and lost and as far as im concerend im no longer a sa citizen?
  • People get real, read the clear instructions provided on the South African House website.
    (1) Your citizenship does not end when your passport runns out.
    (1.1) It is daft to claim that your passports runns out when you travel or before you travel, I always get a new passport at least a year before it runns out to be safe - Why not!
    (2) South Africa allows dual citizenship (dual passports as some people mistakenly calls it)
    (3) You enter and leave South Africa on your South African passport (LAW)
    (4) You enter and leave the UK on your UK passport (LAW)
    (5) Before you apply for British citizenship. You have to get a letter (£10) same day service from (Whitehall London SA embassy) to retain your South African citizenship. For this you need a letter of non aquisition from the British home office (£75) to say you have not yet applied for British citizenship before you go to Whitehall.
    (6) When you have this letter, apply for British citizenship.
    (7) If you had lost your citizenship, and yyou were born in South Africa, you will be eligible to have permanent residency in South Africa with your British passport (which you will then use for travelling in and out of SA)
    (8) Your SA citizenship can be re-instated if you return to SA permanently.
  • Greetings all, a passport holder is classified as a citizen.
    You are resident of a country if (actually self explanatory) you reside there for a specified period of time (as determined by whichever country you are living in)

    Regarding having more than one passport for different countries, specifically SA/IRISH/UK then traveling in and out of SA/EU/UK is a doddle.

    You use on the passport of whichever country you are leaving when you depart and swap to the one you are entering on arrival.

    When leaving either one the AIRPORT staff will see that you have no VISA and ask if you have another passport. You show them the other and all is good.

    I have done this more than once without a problem.

    It really is great not having to stand in those silly queue's.

    My IRISH passport expires in 2018 and and my SA one in 2012, so I will have to renew that one soon.

    Will update on the process once I have have it done.
  • I am going to apply for my british passport and want to retain my south african passport.
    Firstly i know i have to obtain a letter of non aquisition from the British home office (£75) to say i have not yet applied for British citizenship before i go to Whitehall.
    I have been on indefinite leave for the past 10yrs. Do i still have to do that test i think it's called naturalization?

    Thanks for your time.
  • We want to apply for our British Citizenship but Don't want to keep our South African one - Is this possible?
    As I have read some confusing information??
  • Hi wow i have learnt a lot from the posts - awesome site!

    I am a dual citizen and thus a holder of south african and irish passports.
    My fiance (Don) only has a south african passport
    We are getting married in June 2011
    We are flying to London and Paris in September 2011
    Can Don get a spousal shengen and UK VISA if my passports and air ticket is in my maiden name?

    PLEASE HELP WITH ANY INFORMATION - I don't know where to find this info!
  • Help

    My Children have dual Irish and South African Citizenship and we are planning to return to South Africa in two months time. We thought that the childern could enter on their Irish passports as the South african ones have expired but it seems that it is a requirement that a SA passport Holder enter on his or hers SA passport only. Does anybody know if they will allow my children to enter on their expired SA passports?
  • Help lived in S.A for 34 years naturalised SA citizenship, returned to UK 3 years ago but now want to return to SA to live.
    Can we enter on our UK passports and just take up residence again? Would appreciate it if anyone knows the answer to this.
  • I have three passports and would like to get rid of my South African passport and citizenship, what is the procedure, is there a form I need to complete, and where do I get this form or information regarding this.
  • Hi Lotus, please could you let me know what the outcome of your situation was? I am now in a similar situation.
  • My son was born in the UK we emigrated to South Africa in 1982 he married there and his daughter who was born in South Africa has both British and South African Passports but they have heard recently there is a new legislation waiting to be decided upon by the EU and UK that if you have never actually lived in the country you hold the second passport for at least 5 years and another argument was to make it just 1 year( EU countries and UK) it can be taken away,or you will not be able to renew it, is there anyone who can give clarificaton on this please as they are quite worried.
  • I was born in South Africa and have a south african passport. However my mum is british and so by descent I gained a british passport.

    I am now married and living in South Africa. My British passport is valid until 2015, but it has my maiden name...I want to apply to change this to my married surname.

    How and where do I apply for a new british passport, with my married name?

    Will I have to 'give up' my South African passport?? Even though Im now living in SA?
  • @Naik:

    You should be able to get a new British passport at your nearest consulate. South Africa allows for dual citizenship, so you should not need to give up either passport. It would probably be a good idea to change both of them though, so the names are the same when you travel between the two countries.
  • the problems for South africans is that you must leave and enter on a SA passport. If you dont, it's an offence.

    Before obtaining UK citizenship, South Africans should take the necessary important step of obtaining authority from The South African Authorities. This way their SA citizenship is protected and they are able to hold dual citizenship.

    The process of retaining your South African Citizenship (aka Retension) means first writing to the UKBA to obtain confirmation that you have not taken British Nationality yet. you can read more at

    Alternatively, email us on or visit our website at
  • I have got my british passport but never done the dual citizenship. How do I apply for my south african passport but keep my british passport.

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