Spousal Visa South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa issues permits in the name of love. Spouses of South African citizens or spouses of South African Permanent Residents can apply for Spousal Permits to South Africa. They can also apply for Permanent Residence after 5 years of marriage.

Foreign spouses of South African citizens, or Permanent Resident holders wishing to Immigrate to South Africa, may apply for a Spousal Permits. 

Spousal Visas are usually granted for 2 years, after which time, both parties to the marriage must prove beyond all doubt that the marriage still exists. Failure to show this will lead to the revocation of the Spousal Visa.

Spouse Temporary Residency South Africa:

Foreign spouses are able to apply for Temporary Residency provided they have proof of being married for at least 2 years. In addition to the other requirements, spouses need to provide a notarial contract.

Spouse Permanent Residency South Africa:

The South African Immigration Act stipulates that on the basis of the marital relationship the spouses of Permanent Residence holders/ South African citizens can only qualify for a Permanent Residency Visa after 5 years of marriage. The couple must also be able to provide a marriage certificate.

In the case of marriages shorter than 5 years spouses would have to apply for Temporary Residence Visas. If the spouse wishes to apply for Permanent Residency, they can do so after the marriage has reached its 5 year anniversary.

Due to the waiting period for Permanent Residency, which can take 2 years or more, it is advisable to apply for a Temporary Residency Permit instead. An application to extend the validity of the Temporary Permit is possible as long as the relationship still exists.


What you should know when applying for a Spousal Permit:

  • Apply at any nearest VFS in South Africa or at a South African High Commission if applying abroad.
  • The South African spouse must provide a declaration of support.
  • Submit the identity document (ID) of your spouse if your spouse is either a citizen of South Africa or Permanent Residency holder
  • Submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate
  • Submit proof that you have been the spouse of a Permanent Residence holder/ South African citizen for 5 years

Spousal Permits for Same Sex Couples:

In line with South Africa’s progressive stance on human rights, little distinction is made between homosexual and heterosexual couples. South Africa’s immigration laws enable spouses of South African citizens or spouses of Permanent Residency holders to qualify for Permanent Resident Permits.

Should you have any questions with regard to Spousal Permits, feel free to contact one of our immigration consultants.

Updated According to Immigration Act 2014