How much does it cost to become a South African citizen?

Worried about How much does it cost to become a South African citizen? this article has got you covered. In this article, we will answer the question “How much does it cost to become a South African citizen?”. Let’s get started:

  • Citizenship by Descent: The application fee for South African citizenship by descent is currently ZAR 1,330 (subject to change).
  • Naturalisation: The application fee for naturalization is currently ZAR 1,520. There is also an additional fee of ZAR 100 for a certificate of confirmation of permanent residence.
  • Section 26(4) Exemption: If you are applying to retain your South African citizenship before you acquire citizenship of another country, the fee is currently ZAR 25.
Identity Document: Issuing of first document.FREE
Identity Document: Re-issuing, provided that the re-issuing of identity documents is free of charge in those cases where an identity document was issued and the forename is repeated as a surname in the document, if the Department did not insist on the application for insertion of the surname at the time of the initial application, and when a new identity document is issued to a former TBVC-citizen to replace his old South African identity document classifying him as a non-South African citizen.R140.00
Temporary Identity Certificate: Issuing of a Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).R70.00
First issue of an Unabridged Birth Certificate.First issue of an abridged Death or Marriage Certificate.FREE
Issuing of an abridged Birth, Death or Marriage Certificate, or a reproduction of the relevant register or a reproduction of any supporting documentation which is coupled to the register concerned, as well as verification of information from birth, marriage and death registers with regard to any individual, provided that where such reproduction or verification is required for official purposes by a Government institution within the meaning of serial number 11, it will be FREE of charge.R75.00
Issuing of an abridged computer printed or handwritten birth, death or marriage certificate, provided that no fees are payable for the issuing of the prescribed certificate on registration of birth, death or marriage.R20.00
Application for any amendment to the birth register of any person including the noting of the fact of adoption in the birth register of a person i.r.o the Child Care Act, 1983, but excluding the re-registration of a birth i.r.o. section 11 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992, which is free of charge.R70.00
Application for any change of the forenames or surname of a minor (Sections 24 and 25 of Act 51 of 1992).R70.00
Application for the changing of a major’s forenames in the birth register (Section 24 of Act 51 of 1992). The insertion of a major’s surname in the birth register, however, is free of charge if his identity document was issued with the forename repeated as a surname. The subsequent re-issuing of such a person’s identity document is also free of charge.R140.00
Application by a major to assume a different surname (provided that, should the applicant be lawfully married, the amount also includes the application of his spouse as well as those of any minor children, or if the applicant is a divorced female or widow, it also includes the application of her minor children, if any)(Section 26 of Act 51 of 1992)R325.00
Issuing of a duplicate confirmation of the change of a major’s forenames and/or surnameR70.00
Letter of confirmation of marital statusR50.00
Adult PassportR600.00
Child PassportR600.00
Replacement of new format South African tourist passport that runs out of blank visa pages, before the expiry dates.R600.00
Document for traveling purposes (BI-105)R600.00
Maxi Tourist Passport (48 Pages)R1200.00
Crew Member CertificateR600.00
Naturalization application and issue of original citizenship certificateR300
Issuing of duplicate citizenship certificate (including application for certificates issued in terms of section 16 of Act 88 of 1995) as well as confirmation (To whom it may concern)R90
Resumption of SA citizenship, in terms of section 13 of Act 88 of 1995R300
Retention of SA citizenship, in terms of section 6(2) of Act 88 of 1995R300
Retrospective exemption in terms of section 26(4) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995, from the loss of South African citizenship.R300
Diplomatic passportR600
Official Passport (including official emergency passport) or crew member certificate, and a temporary passport issued for official purposes.R600
The fees payable in respect of applications for a South African passport or travel document made outside of the Republic, at Missions, Embassies or Consulates, are as follows:
Adult PassportR1200.00
Child PassportR1200.00
Maxi Tourist Passport (48 Pages)R2400.00
Emergency Travel Certificate (BI-123)R140.00
Replacement of lost/ damaged/ stolen South African passport, child passport, maxi passport or document for traveling purposes referred to in Regulation 16 of the South African Passports and Travel Documents Regulation, 1996DOUBLE THE CURRENT TARIFF FOR THE DOCUMENT CONCERNED. Provided that where the document had been stolen/ lost/ damaged through NO negligence on the part of the holder, only the normal fee will be payable.
The furnishing of information from the Population Register on magnetic tape or similar format in accordance with the provisions of section 21 of the Identification Act, 1997 (Act 68 of 1997)R480.00 requested for every 5000 persons or for portion thereof.
Furnishing of information from the Population Register for official purposes to any Department of State, Local Authority or Statutory Body. Provided that the prescribed fees for abridged or unabridged certificates shall be payable if such certificates are requested.FREE
Frame of four black and white photos taken for ID applications.R40.00


The following fees shall be payable in terms of section 7(1)(i) of the Immigration Act in respect of the applications specified:

ApplicationSection of ACTTariff
Certificate to enter or depart from the Republic at a place other than a Port of Entry9(3)(c)(i) R425
Visitor’s Visa10A(3) R425
Transit Visa10B(2) R425
Renewal of Visitor’s Permit11(1) R425
Study Permit13(1) R425
Treaty Permit14 R425
Business Permit15 R1520
Medical Treatment Permit17 R425
Relative’s Permit for immediate family member other than spouse or minor child18 R425
Work Permit19 R1520
Retired person Permit20 R425
Corporate Permit 21 R1520
Exchange Permit22 R425
Permanent Residence Permit excluding applications by persons contemplated in sections 25(b) and (c) and 27(d) of the ACT25 R1520
Certificate of Confirmation of Permanent Residence28(c) R100
Processing fee for application for registration as an Immigration Practitioner46(2) R3000

Benefits of South African Citizenship

The following are a few of the many benefits to becoming a citizen of South Africa:

  • Access to quality healthcare, education, and job opportunities
  • Right to vote and participate in the democratic process
  • Opportunities to explore iconic wildlife and natural wonders
  • Embrace diversity, traditions, and languages in a melting pot country
  • Be part of a resilient and progressive nation that has overcome enormous challenges
  • A beacon of hope and inspiration for the world
  • Belong to a vibrant and dynamic community that celebrates both its past and its future.

South African Citizenship by Descent

South African citizenship by descent is the process of obtaining South African citizenship through a parent or grandparent who is/was a South African citizen. 

Obtaining citizenship by descent is considered the most straightforward pathway to South African citizenship after citizenship by birth. Applicants must provide extensive documentation to prove their lineage and eligibility, and the process may take several months or even years to complete. 

For those who can demonstrate their connection to South Africa through descent, citizenship by descent offers a unique opportunity to claim their heritage and become part of a rich and diverse culture that has captivated people from around the globe.

Who Qualifies for South Africa Citizenship by Descent

  • Persons born outside South Africa can claim citizenship by descent if one of their parents was a South African citizen at the time of their registered birth.
  • Individuals born outside South Africa and adopted by a South African citizen can also claim citizenship by descent if their birth was registered.
  • Anyone born in Namibia after March 21, 1990, whose mother or father was a South African citizen at the time of their birth, can also claim citizenship by descent.
  • Adopted children whose responsible parent received a certificate of resumption of citizenship and entered South Africa for permanent residency while they were minors and whose birth was registered within a year after the certificate of resumption was issued can also claim citizenship by descent.

South Africa Citizenship by Descent: Requirements

Required Documents

  • A completed application form (BI-24)
  • An unabridged birth certificate
  • Original and valid passports of the applicant and their parent(s)
  • South African parent’s original birth certificate, identity document, or passport
  • Marriage certificate of parents, if applicable
  • Proof of payment of the application fee