SA Home Affairs
SA Home Affairs

How to apply for retention of South African citizenship with Home Affairs

If you are in the position to gain dual citizenship (SA + another) and you are currently an SA citizen, you will need to apply for a retention of SA citizenship certificate.

This means that if you accept the citizenship of another country, you get to keep your SA citizenship.
If you do not apply and get retention, you will automatically lose your SA citizenship which can seriously mess up your life if that’s not what you want.
There is very little accurate information online, so we have gone through the process and as at April 2022, here it is:

  1. The Letter – You are applying for dual citizenship of another country
  2. The Forms
    1. Retention of SA Citizenship – BI1664
      BI 529 Determination of Citizenship Status
      BI 529 Determination of Citizenship Status
    2. Determination of SA Citizenship – BI529
      BI 1664 Retention of South African Citizenship
      BI 1664 Retention of South African Citizenship

      if you don’t have these, they will supply there. You will need particulars of your spouse and parents (ID, birth, citizenship, dates they became citizens etc) to enter, but not all the official documents for them.

  3. The Supporting Documents
    1. Your ID (+ 2 copies)
    2. Your Passport (+ 2 copies)
    3. Your Marriage Certificate (+ 2 copies)
    4. Your Birth Certificate (+ 2 copies)
    5. Proof of residence – I have seen this requested but I did not. Take a 3 month recent bill or two to prove address. (+ 2 copies)
  4. The Process
    1. Be courteous – it goes a looooong way
    2. Leave enough time before you embark on obtaining dual citizenship, or moving abroad. or even in this day that you need to set aside. Home Affairs is under pressure.
    3. Bring your original supporting documents and two copies as above
    4. They check you up on the system
    5. If all in order, you pay at the same place (R300 cash) and get a receipt which you hand back to the person who did your applications. They give you a confirmation with receipt
    6. You can expect 10 working days. You won’t get an SMS, so you just arrive at 10 working days or after and go to Collections with the receipt and confirmation and your ID
  5. The Place
    1. Pretoria – There are 9 places marked Home Affairs in the Greater Tshwane area, and we have been to most of them. The smaller ID/Passport places don’t do citizenship, nor does Bronkhorstspruit, nor do the provincial or ministry offices. Go to the office at Byron Place, 320 Sophie de Bruyn St, Pretoria Central, Pretoria, 0002. The queue is outside the door on the right, not the ID/Passport office on the left. The queue is doable, and there is a photocopy place just a few shops to the left in case you forget something.
    2. Pls send info on other regional centres if you have proven this, to
    3. From Abroad: you will need to check with your embassy/consulate in that country. Usually its quite a similar process.

Disclaimer: This information is offered to be of assistance, as we have found very little information out there. Please use this as a guideline only.


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