When the husband or wife of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder wishes to immigrate to our country, they can apply for a spousal visa or permit. Various documents and supporting evidence would need to be supplied as with any other visa application. Here are some things you should know about SA spousal visas:
- South Africa is known to be a highly progressive country since they recognise same-sex couples while affording them the same rights as heterosexual couples. In both scenarios, a spouse can apply for such a visa.
- A spousal visa is a temporary residency visa issued to foreign nationals for 24 - 36 months if they can prove to be in a committed relationship with a South African national. It is highly advisable to start the visa renewal process well before it expires to ensure you can legally live and work in South Africa.
- A spousal permit is for per permanent residency that allows for an indefinite stay in South Africa.
- In order to apply for a spousal visa, the couple will have to prove their relationship is older than two years. The most straightforward way of doing this is to submit a valid marriage certificate or proof of registration of the union.
- If you wish to work or study or conduct business while in South Africa on a spousal visa/permit, you will need to apply for working rights or study rights to be added to your visa. You can't, however, apply for all three. You will be limited legally to the right added on your visa application.
- If the relationship is less than two years or viable proof can't be given, it is advised to consult a registered immigration consultant who will be able to advise you on your options. Generally, in a scenario like this, the application stand a high chance of being rejected.
- If you have been married to your South African spouse/partner for more than five years, you qualify to apply for permanent residency.
- Should your spouse decide to file for a divorce, you would need to apply for a different visa since your current spousal visa would become invalid.
You can speak to Speak to an immigration consultant at Black Pen Immigration, who will discuss your options based on your unique set of circumstances.