A South African Spousal Permit or South African Life Partner Permit enables the husband, wife or long-term partner of a South African permanent resident or a South African citizen to migrate to South Africa on the basis of their relationship.
This type of South African Visa is available to people in either heterosexual or same-sex relationship and can be applied for as either a temporary residence permit or a permanent residence permit depending on the length of the marriage or relationship in question.
South Africa immigration law is varied and for those wishing to migrate a range of permits, both temporary and permanent, are available.
South Africa visa requirements are tough but the various visas cater for a range of different immigrants based on the proposed length of time in the country and the purpose of the visit.
For applicants who intend to travel to South Africa on a short-term basis - either as a tourist or to visit friends and family - a straightforward South African Visitor Visa (often known as a Travel Visa or Tourist Visa) is all that’s required.
For those wishing to spend a longer period of time in the country, either to work, set up a business or study in South Africa a range of temporary residence permits is available along with permanent residence permits for those seeking to relocate permanently.
As a specialist immigration consultancy, IXP Visas can help you to make sense of the array of South African visa services available helping you to assess your eligibility and embark upon the most appropriate route for your relocation.
Visas can be monitored and managed at every stage of the application process and our immigration advisory specialists are on hand to offer legal advice and help you migrate to South Africa as quickly and efficiently at possible.
What are the Benefits of a Spousal Visa?
The benefit of migrating to South Africa through a Spousal Visa of this kind is that candidates are assessed purely upon their marital status or the duration of their relationship.
Unlike South African Business Visas, no investment needs to be made and where South African Work Permits require an offer of employment, you don’t need to fulfil any of these requirements for a Spousal Visa.
Temporary residence permits allow successful applicants to live and work in South Africa with permission to seek and undertake employment as they choose.
In addition, candidates applying for permanent residence will receive the benefits afforded to permanent South Africa residents, which encompass many of those enjoyed by South African citizens with some exceptions, such as the right to vote.
Who is Eligible for this Visa?
As discussed, the South Africa immigration structure makes no distinction between heterosexual and same-sex relationships and married partners or life partners may apply equally.
In the case of married applicants who wish to immigrate to South Africa, through this route on a temporary permit, applicants must demonstrate that they are in fact married by presenting their marriage certificate as part of the application.
Where applicants are in a relationship, an affidavit must be signed by both the applicant and the sponsoring partner confirming that the parties are in a permanent relationship that excludes all others.
In addition, life relationships will need to be supported by documentary evidence such as evidence of cohabitation and mutual financial arrangements such as utility bills, loans and bank accounts. This final part can be quite difficult as independent applicants often don’t know what’s significant as a piece of evidence, or simply don’t have the necessary paperwork to hand. Our experts guide you through the process and help you find all of the documents you need to prove that you are in a legitimate relationship.
Permanent Spouse Visas and Life-Partner Visas
Where candidates wish to apply for spouse immigration or life-partner immigration as a permanent option, the key additional requirement is that the applicant must have been married to or in a life relationship with the sponsoring South African permanent resident or South African citizen for a period of 5 years or more.
If the visa then leads to permanent residency, the applicant will need to prove that the relationship still exists after 2 years. At this stage, a permanent resident’s permit can be revoked if evidence of this is not satisfactorily supplied or if the relationship has disintegrated.
After a total of 5 years, the permit will no longer be subject to the continued existence of the relationship and can’t be withdrawn because of a change in marital or relationship status.
Due to the fact that a permanent residency permit can take up to 2 years to issue a common practice is to apply for a temporary residence while simultaneously applying for permanent resident status. Speak to our advisors about how we can balance the two to ensure that you have the best outcome.
Other Family Visas
Close relatives can come to South Africa and be sponsored to settle by their family member if they are immediate family. A South African Relatives Visa covers a range of familial relationships and ensures that families can live together in South Africa. This includes children as well as other family members and provides a route to permanent residency and citizenship.
Working in South Africa
Applying for a South African Spousal Visa, whether through the temporary or permanent route, will in most cases result in the applicant’s permanent settling in South Africa.
As a result, the South African Spouse Visa makes provisions for applicants to seek and engage in employment in the country. Successful applicants may start a business, undertake a job, or study in South Africa once an endorsement is granted by the Department of Home Affairs.
Processing Time in South Africa: 30-40 days
Processing Time if lodged abroad: 30 days
Government Fee in South Africa: N/A
New Submission Centre Fee ( in SA ): R1350
Government Fee abroad: Dependent on Currency