3

I was born in South Africa then migrated to New Zealand. Before I obtained my NZ citizenship, we had to renew my South African Passport. At the moment I have a valid NZ passport (expires end of this year) and a valid S.A passport (expires in 5 years).

I was over 18 years old when we applied for NZ citizenship and did not send any additional paperwork in to hold on to my S.A citizenship. So I don't have Dual-citizenship.

My S.A passport still has my NZ Permanent Residency paperwork in it which we needed to obtain NZ citizenship.

With this new Visa Requirements that came in force, it's going to take too long to get a Visa on my NZ passport to enter S.A. We have a family emergency and need to fly out ASAP.

Can I still use my S.A. passport to travel to S.A and back to NZ even though I have not retained my citizenship in S.A? Or would I get into trouble at the border for using my S.A passport while not having citizenship there? Or even worse denied entry to NZ because I did not use my NZ passport to come back into the country?

  • Have you investigated whether it is possible to get an emergency visa in your situation? – Patricia Shanahan Apr 26 '17 at 3:06
  • Yehp, which is still 5 - 7 business days. Looks to be my only option so getting onto that now. – Shane Van Wyk Apr 26 '17 at 4:32
  • 1
    Just wondering how to you went with this? I am in 100% exactly the same boat except I have already booked my flight for next month! I was just going to get a visa on my NZ passport but then found out I actually have to fill out forms to cancel my SA citizenship before I can enter on my NZ passport (Even with a visa!!!), Thanks – Ashleigh Vermaak Mar 27 at 7:32
  • Hi @AshleighVermaak as far as I know, If you have not given up your South African Citizenship. You must by R.S.A Law enter and exit with R.S.A passport. Only way you are allowed to travel with NZ passport + visa is if you have given up your R.S.A citizenship. – Shane Van Wyk Mar 28 at 8:51
  • @AshleighVermaak - Please note that in terms of the South African Citizenship Act it is an offence for a South African citizen with dual citizenship to enter or depart the Republic of South Africa making use of the passport of another country. Once a person has been granted dual citizenship, the holder must always enter and depart South Africa on their valid South African passport. sahc.org.au/citizenship/Dual_Citizenship.htm – Shane Van Wyk Mar 28 at 8:52
5

If you have in fact lost your South African citizenship then you should not use your South African passport to travel. It could be seen as fraud, because using a country's passport means that you are claiming to be a citizen of that country.

Can I still use my S.A. passport to travel to S.A and back to NZ even though I have not retained my citizenship in S.A?

Legally, no, but you might be able to get away with it if South Africa doesn't yet know that you've been naturalized in New Zealand. This is very risky and decidedly not recommended. See the next paragraph for more information.

Or would I get into trouble at the border for using my S.A passport while not having citizenship there?

It is a distinct possibility. If they find out that you're fraudulently using a South African passport, I suspect the negative consequences would be fairly severe.

Or even worse denied entry to NZ because I did not use my NZ passport to come back into the country?

As a citizen of New Zealand, you cannot be denied entry into New Zealand. But in any event you should show your New Zealand passport when you arrive in New Zealand. See I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel? for more information.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.