SARAH and Frank moved to Mzansi shortly after they found out that Sarah was pregnant, and baby Sophie was born while they were living in this country.
They assumed that Sophie was a South African citizen because she was born in Mzansi, although they were Tanzanian citizens.
Unsure what their next step should be, Sarah and Frank decided to get legal advice from Scorpion before they registered baby Sophie’s birth.
What does the law say?
In South Africa a child’s citizenship or nationality is determined by that of the parents.
The Department of Home Affairs will issue a notice of birth for record purposes to children born of foreign parents in South Africa, but not a birth certificate.
According to Home Affairs, children can only become South African citizens in terms of:
- Birth (if both or one of the parents are South African citizens and the child is born within the borders of South Africa).
- Descent (if both or one of the parents are South African citizens and the child is born abroad).
- Naturalisation (if you are on a permanent residence permit for more than 10 years, you can apply for citizenship through naturalisation and become a South African citizen).
What steps should Sarah and Frank take?
The notice of birth can be taken to the parents’ home country for the child’s registration and to have a passport issued. The parents can then apply for a derivative permanent residence permit status.
A notice of birth, together with the child’s foreign parents’ details as per their valid passports and visas, will be sufficient for the child to travel to the parents’ home country for registration.
The way forward
- Frank and Sarah now know the steps they need to take to ensure Sophie gets registered in the right country for citizenship. Scorpion Legal Protection can help policyholders with similar queries.
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