Spousal Visa

If a foreign spouse of a South African citizen wishes to stay in South African a temporary or permanent basis, a South African spousal visa may be granted, provided that the marriage or life partnership is one of good faith and not of convenience.

The term “spouse” encompasses both heterosexual and homosexual spousal relationships and includes life partnerships as well as legal weddings. Prior to the application date, the foreign spouse and the South African national or permanent resident must have been in a spousal relationship for at least two years or alternatively, married. A visa based on the existence of a spouse relationship may be granted for up to three years at a time and can be renewed from within South Africa.

The duration of the spousal relationship or marriage to a South African is taken into account while determining the eligibility for spousal visas. There are a number of things to consider while applying for a South African spousal visa. Foreigners who have been married for more than five years may apply for permanent residency as a spouse. Since the application procedure for permanent residency take at least 12 months, it should be noted that many times a temporary visa will still need to be applied for and maintained.

If a person has been married to a South African Citizen or lawful permanent resident for five years and the Director-General is convinced that the marriage is in good faith, they may submit an application for permanent residency under the South African spouse category. Unless there is a death, the good faith spousal relationship must continue for at least two years after the permanent residence visa is issued, otherwise it will lapse.

If you can’t make a 2-year plan in advance or don’t satisfy the 5-year minimum requirements, you won’t have enough time to apply for a spousal visa. You can enter and stay in South Africa temporarily with the spousal visa and you can work, enrol in school or operate a business with an endorsement if you have one.

The South African Spousal Visa requirements:

  • Your spouse needs to be either a South African citizen or permanent resident
  • To obtain Permanent residency you will need to apply for a South African Spousal Permit and this requires you to have been married for a period of 5 years or more to qualify
  • Applications for a temporary spousal visa do not have any minimum period that you need to have been married for
  • Proof required within a South African spousal visa application includes:
    • A marriage certificate
    • Proof of your South African spouses citizenship or residence
    • A letter of support from your South African spouse
    • Proof of good health and standing
    • A completed temporary residency application form

Depending on where you submit your visa application, different service and filing fees apply.

A VFS application fee of R1, 550.00 must be paid to VFS in order to submit a spouse visa application from South Africa.

If you have any questions regarding the spousal visa process in South Africa, contact us today.

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