How To: Apply for the Retention of South African Citizenship in the UK (aka Dual Citizenship)

Last year I did a “How To” post on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK – I know many of my friends who are also on the path to becoming British found it useful, and it appears to have attracted attention from random “Googlers” too, so thought I would follow it up with another immigration related post on applying for the retention of South African citizenship in the UK, commonly referred to as an application for Dual Citizenship. I’ll also be doing posts soon on how I went about applying for my Naturalisation/British Citizenship and my actual British passport book – watch this space :)

Why apply for Dual Citizenship?
Two quick reasons, I’m sure there are more: to maintain ties with the country of your birth, and to give yourself the option of moving back to SA (without having to re-apply for citizenship) should you wish to.

Definition of Dual Citizenship/Retention of Citizenship
(from SA Embassy website)

“Application for the retention of RSA citizenship is an application that MUST be made before one acquires foreign nationality.  South African citizens who take up foreign citizenship without applying for retention of South African will lose their SA citizenship.  Persons under the age of 18 years do not need to apply for retention of their South African Citizenship, as they will not loose their citizenship whilst still minors.”

DISCLAIMER: I am not an immigration guru, do not quote me! The information here is from my own research and experience but I have compiled it to the best of my abilities to help where I can :) If you read this and spot any mistakes or mis-information, please let me know so that I can correct it. Everything I have written here is applicable to laws/rules currently in place now (i.e. July 2012). While I’m pretty sure my findings are correct, to cover all bases, I recommend you read up on the subject yourself before going ahead with any applications.

There are two stages in the process for applying for Dual Citizenship:

Stage 1.
You have to get proof from the UK Border Agency that you have not yet become a British Citizen:


  • Completed Form NQ
  • Completed payment form (2nd page of the “nationality-fees” PDF]

Forms available for download from the following page:

The fee is £88 and you need to post the two forms to:
Department 101
UK Border Agency
The Capital
New Hall Place
L3 9PP

Form NQ will be returned to you with an official signature / stamp.

Stage 2.
Once you have received the signed letter back from the Home Office you can apply to the SA Embassy for Dual Citizenship. You can apply in person or you can post the application off (I posted it) – you do not need an appointment but note that the embassy only opens from 08h45 to 12h45 Monday to Friday (except on public holidays).

I copied this from the SA House website and deleted the irrelevant bits and added my own note – forms can be dowloaded from this page:

  • All forms must be completed in black ink.
  • Completed BI-1664 form.
  • Completed bi-529 form.
  • Where a question is NOT APPLICABLE to you, you MUST put “N/A” in the space provided for the answer.
  • Certified copy of photo page of the passport. Applicants who will be applying in person will be assisted by the Consular staff with the certification of their documents.
  • Letter of non-acquisition of British nationality; this letter should not be older than 3 months.
  • Self addressed special delivery envelope – this should be A4 in size and weighted to carry up to 100g.
  • Applicants must write their email address on all correspondence – I wrote mine at the bottom of each page.
  • Processing fee of £25.00, payment must be in the form of cash or postal order payable to SA High Commission.

South African High Commission
Home Affairs
Consular Section
15 Whitehall
London SW1A 2DD

They say turn-around time is 15 days. You will receive one sheet of paper back from them – a letter/certificate granting you the retention of your SA nationality when applying for other citizenship.

Make sure you start this process 2-3 months before you want to apply for British Naturalisation and include a certified copy of the document you receive in your Naturalisation application.

Good luck!


123 thoughts on “How To: Apply for the Retention of South African Citizenship in the UK (aka Dual Citizenship)

  1. Alastair Moore says:

    I can’t believe none else has commented on this! Extremely helpful and concise; you’re an absolute life saver! One question; do you think there’s any drawback to applying earlier for Dual Citizensip (i.e. 4-5 months before naturalisation application)? Is an expiry on the certificate? Many thanks again for the really useful post!

    • Olivia says:

      This has been really helpful in sorting out my husbands dual citizenship. Just to let you know that in 2013 the fee to go with form NQ is now £94!

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks Alastair, so glad you found it useful :)

    As far as I know, there is no ‘expiry date’ so don’t think there’s any harm in doing it any earlier!

    • mazet says:

      I had it for one year before applying for Naturalisation, there was no problem.

  3. justin dew says:

    very interesting and so helpful,thank you!
    why do you say to do it 2 months before though?
    i was going to do this then as soon as i have it all sorted i was planning on doing my natrulisation asap.

  4. Neil says:

    Thanks, Cleverbird. This post was very helpful.

    @Justin – I just went through this process, and it took the UKBA 6 to 7 weeks to provide the certificate of non-citizenship, and SA High Commission about 10 days for the retention document. I guess it depends on how busy they are, but in my experience it is not a quick turnaround…..

    I would absolutely suggest that you start the process 2 to 3 months before you need the documents

  5. timtim says:

    Thanks for the info, it is really helpful to know a timescale and all the forms needed. Really appreciate it, thanks

  6. justin says:

    Just got my confirmation of the non-acquistion of british citizenship form back from the home office.
    time for a trip into london just as soon as i workout other bloody forms needed.

  7. Emil says:

    Thank you for your post it has been helpful. Just a quick question. What reason did you give on the SA form for wanting dual citizenship? Did they query you on your reason? Thanks!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Emil, we just stated that we would like to maintain close ties with South Africa because it was our country of birth and have many friends and relatives there. If Jeremy is correct below, you might not need to go through the process it seems! Thanks for the comment, Andrea

  8. Jeremy Forbes says:

    The above information is now all out of date. You can no longer lose your SA citizenship for being a dual national. You must however ensure that you use a SA Passport when entering and leaving SA. You are free to travel with your UK passport for e.g abroad. Section 9 of the Citizenship act has just been repealed. Even if you arrive on a foreign passport, grace would be given to you to acquire an SA passport. Waiting times for SA passports from within SA is now as little as two weeks.

    • ChrisMurray says:

      Hi Jeremy. Please leave your sources of information for us asap. People need to know where you got your info from. Thanks!

  9. Andrea says:

    Hi Jeremy, do you have any links/info etc to substantiate – very interested, many thanks –

    • Johann v Risselmann says:

      Hi Andrea,
      You say in your stage 2: Once you have received the signed letter back from the Home Office you can apply to the SA Embassy for Dual Citizenship.

      Do you have to apply for Dual citizenship once you have the letter of Retention – isn’t it the same thing? Can’t you just use it with your passport?

      PS: I think Jeremy’s post only applies to those who acquired foreign citizenship BEFORE 1995.
      Best wishes, Von Risselmann

      • Andrea says:

        Hi Johann, when I refer to Home Office, I mean UK home office – the letter from them only states that you have not yet become a UK Citizen (if you are already a UK Citizen, dual citizenship will not be granted – i.e you cant become a UK citizen, lose your SA citizenship, and then try to get it back by applying for dual citizenship) The letter from the UK home office is not the same as the dual citizenship certificate/document and you will need it should you with to retain your SA citizenship while applying for UK citizenship. Hope this makes sense :)

  10. Alastair says:

    Hi again Andrea, hi Jeremy. Thanks for the information. Without meaning to be a contrarian here, I can’t find any other official sources that back up the information and link that Jeremy has provided. Also, the last update that page received was in 2011.

    As far as i can tell, the situation remains exactly the same, as stated by the South Africa house website:

    You will note that the page was last updated in September 2012. Look forward to hearing what you guys think but right now I would heavily advise people reading this to continue following the advice that Andrea outlined in the above blog post.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Alastair, I have to agree with you – I usually receive update/news emails from Breytenbachs about this sort of thing and haven’t heard anything about it yet.

  11. Breggie Rautenbach says:

    Hi there, thank you so much for this info. This makes it so easy to follow. I have one question please? We have 2 children with South African passports, do they also have to aquire the letter stating they are not British citizens? I will however try to call the South African embassy tomorrow.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Breggie, thanks for the comment, glad it has been helpful. Im afraid your question is one that I definitely dont have the answer for – let us know when you find out though! Good luck!

  12. Brian says:

    Hello, under FORM NQ (Part 2) there is a question which is not clear “Husband’s name”. What goes in there? Thanks.

  13. Francois says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I suppose this question seems a bit asinine, but do you apply for dual citizenship only after ILR has been obtained.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Francois, yes, only after ILR has been granted and closer to the time you are going to apply for your citizenship – only need to apply to retain your SA citizenship when you are going to apply to be a citizen of another country.

      Hope this helps :)

  14. TM says:


    I am currently applying for UK citizenship so need(want it) to get the retention of SA citizenship sorted out quickly – does anyone know if you get the certificate from the SA embassy the same day if you appear in person with form NQ etc?

  15. Cal says:

    FYI it seems the address to send the forms to might have changed. Looking at the UK border agency page now it is different to what you have listed.

  16. Jacqui says:

    Hi Andrea,

    You are like an oracle of emmigration info! :-) Do you know if I am able to apply on behalf of my partner? Perhaps if we include a letter giving me power of attorney?

    We are hoping to speed things up by applying in person, but he would have to take a day off work and then it just gets quite expensive.

    Also, do you perhaps remember how long you waited for the Naturalisation? Such a long process!



    • Andrea says:

      Hi Jacqui, thanks for the comment :)

      I’m not sure about whether you can apply for your partner on his behalf unfortunately – I would recommend calling the embassy and asking, they will be able to direct you as to best course of action.

      My application for naturalisation took 3 months and one week, while hubby’s took 2 months (he applied after me and after the olympics etc which I’m guessing slowed things down a bit) – it’s unfortunately just a waiting game!

      A week after each of us received confirmation that our applications were successful, we received letters inviting us to book our citizenship ceremonies and a week or two after that, we swore allegiance and received our citizenship certificates.

      Hope this helps :) Good luck,

  17. Andrea says:

    Hi Jennifer, Im glad :)

    I had mine done through Breytenbachs who handled my application but I believe you can get it done at your local cop shop!

    Good luck,

  18. Jono says:

    Howsit Ands,
    Thanks for the info, I’m going in tomorrow to get my certificate so hopefully it’ll all go well after i followed your awesome instructions.
    Hope all’s well with hubs and baby(s). See you guys soon.
    Jono xox

  19. Francina says:

    Hi,I am thinking of applying for British Citizenship and

    passport,apart being able to travel worldwide with the red passport
    which other benefits are there for me?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Francina, are you eligible to apply for one?

      It’s not a simple or cheap process but it’s great to have citizenship/the passport itself – the benefits are being able to travel as you mentioned (not always easily unfortunately, some countries still require visas even with a British passport) and obviously the major benefit is being able to visit/live/work in the UK freely with access to benefits such as health care and other forms of support.

      Hope this helps – would be worth discussing with a visa consultant if you are serious about applying. Good luck!

  20. Samantha says:

    I am in the process of applying to retention of SA passport (I apply for naturalisation in March). What do you put under questions 9 of the Application for Retention form? It says “Particulars of foreign citizenship to be acquired” so I put in United Kingdom and then it asks “How to be acquired”. Do I put in naturalisation?

    Thank you!

  21. Samantha says:

    Should have said in the process of applying FOR rentention of SA passport!

  22. nyeem says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Do you know if i can apply in person on behalf of my partner

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Nyeem,

      I don’t know, to be honest – sorry. Best suggestion would be to give the embassy a call and check with them :)

      Good luck!

  23. Rob Otto says:

    This is completely incorrect and has no bearing at all on the advice offered here. Section 9 of the act has nothing to do with retention of citizenship – that is in fact Section 6 and still very much applies.

    It is still very necessary to go through the process of applying for retention of citizenship.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Hi Andrea

    Just filling out my retention of South African Citizenship forms and am just a little hazy on what I should enter for question 9 and 10 on both forms??


  25. Janine says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for this useful information! I may have missed this somewhere along the process, but how/when do we go for the ceremony? It it before or after the application for Naturalisation goes in and how/who arranges it?

    Many thanks,

  26. junaid says:

    Hi, many thanks for a very helpful article. I have spoken to a few people who applied for the letter whilst on holiday in South Africa or got family members to apply on their behalf (with letters off authorisation and their id books) in South Africa. If done in SA, there is no requirement for letter from UKBA (saving you quite a bit).

  27. Adam says:

    WOW, I wish I had found this earlier.
    So I’m applying for a new Passport and at the same time requesting retention of citizenship. I am in the US and dealing with the New York embassy. The consulate tells me that along with the passport application, all that is needed is a letter requesting the retention, end of story.

    Then I find a document DHA-1664 on the DHA website….
    The form was found on the Consulates website. I will submit that along with a letter so both bases are covered.

    In case any of you were wondering, the info and process is much the same here in the US EXCEPT, we do not need to prove that we are Citizens of the foreign country. Maybe something to do with the passport application documents?

    My only issue with the process….it is REALLY hard to find a police station here that does ink fingerprints…they all do electronic. Otherwise so far so good. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks Again!

  28. Adam says:

    Correction…we do not need to prove that we are NOT citizens of the residing foreign country.

  29. Reneé says:

    Thanks Andrea , very useful. Adam’s link (dated 2011) states a copy of ID document also needs to be included, is this still necessary? My friend’s application was lost in the post so I’m thinking of taking it myself. The SA embassy said they never received theirs, but surely if you use special delivery it is safe?
    many thanks , a great help.

  30. Matt says:

    Hi guys I’m looking for any advice on how to fill in question 11 form BI-1664
    Stating Reason for wanting to retain your SA citizenship?

    Many Thanks

    • Andrea says:

      Hey Matt,

      We just put “would like to retain ties with our country of birth” “proud to be associated with SA” have lots of friends and family members who still live in SA” etc – it doesn’t need to be lengthy :)

      Anyone else put something useful down?

      Good luck,
      Andrea :)

    • Sean says:


      I sent my application off from the post office as opposed to going to the SA embassy as I live far from London and saved £30 in travel and a day off work.

      Sent: 18 April 2013
      Received: 2 May 2013

      I did not send my passport or SA ID. Instead, I used the post office service to certify a copy of both my SA ID photo page and passport photo page(link in my previous post). The service costs £7.15 and they will certify up to 3 different documents for you (multiple copies of each document if you are nice to them).

      Application for naturalization/citizenship already lodged (prior to receiving retention) using NCS on 25th April 2013.

      Good luck to all and thanks for the great blog.

  31. Busi says:

    Thanks very much 4 the info, it’svery useful. I would like to know if there are any disadvantages in having dual citizenship? e.g . losing your property or assets, finance, policies etc.?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Busi,

      I stand to be corrected, but as far as I know there aren’t any negatives to obtaining dual citizenship :) In my experience, nothing changes.


  32. junaid says:

    Just to reiterate, your family in SA could do it for you at home affairs and it costs you only R300. No need for letter from UKBA etc. saving you lots more.


    • Julie says:

      Hi Junaid

      What docs do your family members have complete and take in with them and does it take long or do they get the letter there and then?


  33. Julie says:

    Thanks for this blog Andrea.

    Just a question to anyone who might have had some experience with this, we sent our letter request off to the ukba on the 17th Jan 13, they deducted fees from our account on the 30th Jan 13 and to date we still have not received this letter back despite the 10 day indication in the guide to complete. I have tried calling various departments in the ukba with no luck I have tried emailling, I just get automated responses, finally 2 weeks ago I sent off a complaint letter to the complaints department but still no response.
    As with my 1st posting I sent this recorded delivery so know they have received but still no response.

    Does anyone know how to contact them re this matter and not an automated voice that refers you to the website. Money has been paid yet no letter received…. we are very frustrated as we did this with plenty of time to spare but now our time to apply for citizenship is almost here.

    This is a message for Junaid….can any family member go apply or do they need power of attorney….what docs do they have to take.etc

    Thanks and Regards

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Julie,

      Sorry to hear about your situation – personally dont have any helpful advice but hope it gets sorted soon :(

      Good luck!

    • Mags says:

      Hi Julie,

      My experience was exactly the same and tried every number and web link you can think of. I submitted my application in February 2013 and to date haven’t received the letter of non-acquisition.

      I e-mailed the embassy eventually in April and it took them 5 weeks to respond back to me (i nearly fell of my chair :D)

      Basically they lady advised me to fill out another application form and write a covering letter stating that a payment was made , but I never received the letter of non-acquisition. Supporting documents I added to the covering letter was my e-mail response and a bank statement showing the payment. She also advised that I enclose a ‘special delivery envolope’

      This is apparently the only way they can issue a copy of the original application.

      I am posting mine tomorrow (to the liverpool address), so I am yet again going to do the waiting game.

      Good luck and hope this is helpful.

      • Julie says:

        Hi Mags,

        Thanks for you message, I will do this immediately I hope we both eventually get this matter sorted out,

        I even tried getting my family back in SA to get the letters for us as Junaid said could happen, but the answer was no, categorically absolutely not, family members even phoned the high commission in Pretoria to discuss and they could not help as we live here we have to go through this route and without this letter we loose our citizenship. Really frustrating. But here’s holding thumbs this works.


      • Julie says:

        Hi Mags,

        Just called the SA embassy on 02079258900, explained my story to them and asked for some help as was at my wits end over this whole story.Lady said it was a long shot but it happens she checked their systems and found that my letters for some reason were sent there and not to me (even though you put your home address on the forms) … she has given me a reference number for each of our letters and has told me to download and complete applications, send them and appropriate fees (i.e £25.00) quote reference numbers and put on our email address, with special delivery envelopes and they will issue us our retention letters.

        Good luck with getting yours hope this advice helps you out.

      • Julie says:

        Hi Mags,

        Just to let you know we now finally have our retention letter in hand!

        If anyone else gets into this situation phone the SA embassy if you have not received your letter from the home office after one month! This will cut out a lot of aggravation.

        To cut a long story short, we luckily followed Mags advise and sent off for the home office to have letters reissued with a special delivery envelope which arrived back to us after 13 working days from the home office, but I had already spoken to the SA embassy and found out they were sitting with our letters and they said they could help even though they were out of date just to send everything through to them and they would be happy to do a letter ……..but and here was the problem I anticipated and asked about because the home office letter they had on file was Expired (i.e older than 3 months)….. the person signing it off would not do and we would have to supply a new letter.

        Luckily for us we had followed Mags advise and just received the new letters after my query to the SA embassy so when the call came in yesterday for us to give them new letters we took them in this morning and were given our retention letters… Yay!

        Hope you get your letter soon.


      • Mags says:

        Hi Julie,

        That is incredible news…. now the real fun begins… good luck with the final leg of your application.

        Kind Regards

  34. Andre says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Thanks so much for the info, it was very useful.

    My wife and I received our stamped NQ forms back from UKBA within 2 weeks. Went to the SA consulate yesterday and received my SA certificate of exemption within 2.5 hours.

    I just laughed about the cost of £94 per letter from UKBA. Another money making scheme.

    All set for the nationality check in service in a couple of weeks -not going to take the chance in sending my passport away. I have heard too many stories of passports being getting lost.


  35. Tammy says:


    I am thinking of applying and found everyone’s comments so valuable. My question is that my 21 year son does not have a South African ID at all. Can we apply without this? His been in the country for 11 years now.

    • Andrea says:

      Is he a South African citizen? Best advice is to ask the Embassy directly.

      Good luck,

  36. Shay says:

    I am a bit worried, I have my NCS appointment for Naturalisation on the 27th of June and only found about needing the retention cert. I have sent in the request to UKBA for my status and will then go to SA embassy for my retention request. If the days overlap slightly, will this be an issue?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Shay,

      No idea from me unfortunately :( Maybe someone else here knows?

      Good luck!

    • Sean says:


      You should be fine. My application for naturalization was already submitted when I applied for retention. It took about 2 weeks to get my letter back confirming my non-british citizenship and approximately 5 weeks after NCS checking to get approval of citizenship.

      I am not sure if all readers are aware of the wealth of information available here:

      It will be most useful once you start the naturalization process if you have any queries or questions. Though, it does not seem to cover the SA specific stuff that is covered here – thank you Andrea!

      Good luck to all.

  37. Valerie Putter says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Thank you for the helpful information. I am applying for retention of South African Citizenship and have received proof from the UK Border Agency that I have not become a British citizen.

    Form BI-1664 point 8 reads that a completed BI529 questionnaire in respect of claim to South African citizenship is NOT necessary where paragraph 5 or 7 has been completed. As I have been able to complete paragraph 5 and 7, I should not have to complete a B1529 questionnaire. Is this correct?

    Your comments would be appreciated.


    • Andrea says:

      Hi Val,

      in theory I’d say you are correct but I’m not familiar with the form off the top of my head (been a while!) so might be a good idea to check with the embassy / border agency :)

      Good luck!

  38. Terry says:

    Hi Guys ,stage 2 says ◾Certified copy of photo page of the passport,
    What is a certified copy please? does it have to be signed by police or whom?

      • Terry says:

        Thanks to everyone this is extremely helpful data, why cant the chaps on the embassy website and high commission sites write it like up like this….Thanks once again to all

        I would ask the mediator that the Jeremy Forbes blog be removed as it sends you down a high expectation dead end..

        thanks to all..

  39. Robyn says:

    Hi, I am filling out the BI-529 – do I need to complete question 9 as I am applying from the UK so technically I am absent from the South Africa State? or do I leave this section out?


    • Sean says:

      Robyn, I am currently in the UK. Below is how I completed section 9 and I had no problems in obtaining my retention:

      (a) Date(s) of your departure – date I first left SA for UK
      (b) Reason(s) for your departure – travel/work experience
      (c) The date on which you returned to South Africa permanently – in future

      Good luck

      • Robyn says:

        thats great :) i take it you left question 10 blank on the same form? as you have not yet acquired the UK citizenship? apologies for all the questions! Thanks for all your help!!!

  40. Sean says:

    Hi Robyn,

    It’s a pleasure. No need for apologies – we all need some help with this just like I did at one time. For question 10, I simply stated NO to the question “Did you renounce your South African citizenship? YES/NO.”

  41. Victoria V says:

    Hi all,

    My husband is SA and want to apply for naturalisation. He is married to me who is Swedish nationality, his EEA Family Permit expired mid June 2013. Can he apply for naturalisation straight away? Or does he need to have permanent residence/ ILR before he can apply for naturalisation because he is here ‘illegal’ and breaches the immigration law?

    according to this link:

    Evidence that you are free from immigration time restrictions

    ‘You should provide:
    your passport showing permission to remain in the UK permanently; or
    the Home Office letter giving you permission to remain in the UK permanently.’

    Many thanks for all your help and advise!!

  42. Terry says:

    Hi Guys me again,

    The last question on BI-529 (question E) , Who fills this question out ? Can I as the applicant complete this section.

    Best Regards


    • Sean says:

      Hi Terry

      Yes, you fill in that section. They are asking for your contact details and signature to make it legally binding.

      Don’t forget to write your email address on the top page of each and every page of the documents that you submit.

      Good luck.

  43. Chief says:

    Hi Everyone:

    Just something amusing (being sarcastic), I received two form NQ back. Both has the stickers, but UKBA forgot to sign the first one. Obviously those two forms were processed together (because the sticker numbers are sequential), but the officer only signed the second one.

    I’ve emailed them, but not holding my breaths for a speedy response. I guess just like any credit card transactions, when the service/goods received are not up to the standard, one should always complain and stop the payment if necessary (as a last resort).

    What say you?

  44. Krish says:

    I just checked the SA High Commission Website for applic for dual citizenship and there is a cost of £10 per person vs £25 quoted here? Did anybody do an application in July/August 2013? This would be helpful as I am planning to apply now. Thanks

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Krish,

      It very well could have changed, hence my disclaimer in the post and advice to always check with the appropriate authorities :) Hopefully someone will be able to shed some light for us…

      Best of luck,

      • Francina says:

        Hi there,I send my application on 10 May and I paid £25.Who knows you may be fortunate and pay £10.All the best!!!

  45. Elsje says:

    This has been SUPER helpful, thank you so much!!!
    It came to my attention very late in the game that I had to apply to retain my SA citizenship in order to get Dual Citizenship…

    My request for proof on non-citizenship has been sent of today, so hopefully in two weeks I will be able to request my Retention of SA Citizenship…

    I am curious as to everybody’s opinion:
    I have certified copies of my passport that I did back in South Africa (in Aug 2008)… I am still using the same Passport, but am wondering if it isn’t just a tad long ago… Do you think that the SA High Commission will accept that, or should I get a new copy certified (are we sure the police station does it here – I heard that they don’t?)…

    Visa applications always has me on edge, I am so happy that it is almost over – the moment I have the document for retention of SA citizenship, I am applying for Citizenship (Naturalisation).

    Andrea, thank you for going to the trouble of this…

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks Elsje, happy to help after having been through it all myself :)

      Your question is very interesting – I have always wondered whether it would make a difference or not – everything I used was recently certified by the agents who helped us through most of the processes – but I would also love to know!

      Best of luck,

    • Sean says:

      It’s not worth taking the risk.

      I had success using the post office document certification for my copy of the passport (

      I did not send my passport or SA ID. Instead, I used the post office service to certify a copy of both my SA ID photo page and passport photo page. The service costs £7.15 and they will certify up to 3 different documents for you (multiple copies of each document if you are nice to them).

      A measly £7 is nothing to avoid the stress, loss of money and yet another delay.

      Good luck,

  46. Girly says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I need to know if rétention of citizenship certificate is sent to UKBA when applying for naturalisation to ensure that you need dual citizenships or it is just for me to keep.This really sound silly but just dont want to màke any mistake.Thanks for your response.

    • Andrea says:

      I can’t remember off the top of my head (it was a while ago) but I think you do send it (or a certified copy?) and they might send it back (either way, I have my original certificate, it’s yours to keep and you must never permanently GIVE it to anyone) – best to check out the post I wrote on applying for naturalisation (just do a search on my blog) Best of luck, Andrea :)

    • Sean says:

      You do not need to post your retention certificate when you apply for naturalization. It has nothing to do with UKBA. I certainly did not send my certificate in and now have the British passport (after naturalization of course)

  47. Desiree' Aizporietis says:

    Thank you Andrea, for a wealth of information, I had spoken to the people at S.A Embassy here in the U.K and still did not have a clue to what they were saying….UNTIL…I found your blogg. It all makes sense now, thank you, you are indeed a clever chick xx
    I’m just in the process of filling in my Form NQ.

  48. Lyrad says:

    The SA Gov website ( has been updated slightly on 13/09/2013. Despite this, requirement no 4. still isn’t very explicit:
    “4. Certified copy of photo page of the passport. Applicants who will be applying in person will be assisted by the Consular staff with the certification of their documents. ”

    I applied in person and was asked to hand in a copy of my passport. I only had my original letter from the UKBA confirming my ‘non-acquisition of British citizenship’, which was stapled to my BI-forms. I asked if I could keep my original, but the woman cheekily asked me what I wanted it for! I told her that requirement no. 5 of the official government website (above) said nothing about providing copies. She spat out that she’s not a secretary and that she is very busy (I was only the second person in line!). So I told her I paid £94 for that piece of paper and that its an official letter from UKBA addressed to me and that at least I could take down the reference number. She grudgingly turned to the side and made a copy. At least 3 people behind me weren’t aware that copies were needed either and received the same treatment. It was really disappointing to receive that bureaucratic home office attitude in London.

    So be warned. Take photocopies of everything when applying in person! Mine weren’t certified, but I think that’s the requirement for postal applicants only.

    • Jo Jo says:

      Oh yeah, I think I dealt with that lady, not the nicest or most helpful for someone who deals with the public every day

  49. Splat says:

    Hi guys.
    Awesome post, thanks.
    I have been here for nearly six years and I am married to a EU citizen.
    I don’t get a definite leave to remain certificate because of this.
    You said I must send my leave to remain certificate but I don’t get one.
    How do I send this with my form? Any ideas? Thanks:)

  50. Rob says:

    I have sent my application for naturalization to UK already. I have not yet been granted citizenship. Is it too late to apply for Dual Citizenship?

  51. catherine says:

    this info is amazing!! i see that a few people received their Non-acquisition of British citizenship form back within 2 weeks – I applied for this 2 months ago (payment was taken – of course!) but haven’t received the form. The phone numbers provided by UKBA don’t work… anyone been through something similar?

  52. una Jane says:

    For those with dual nationality who are still wondering if they can enter South Africa on a foreign passport, have a look at this link. It seems it is possible, though I have been told at SA House that I will be sent home if I try to enter with my UK passport. My brother-in-law did this a couple of months ago and he had no problem.

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