Spouse Permit South Africa

What is the spouse permit for South Africa

A South African spousal permit may be issued to a foreign spouse of a South African citizen for permanent resident subject to that relationship being in good faith i.e. not of convenience.

Furthermore, the definition of spouse as it pertains to a South African spousal visa extends beyond parties to a marriage and includes a spousal relationship subject to certain requirements.

It also envisages same-sex or heterosexual life partners as viable applicants. In these instances, this permit is sometimes referred to as a South African Life Partners permit, but in point of fact, they are one and the same.

Apply for a Spouse Permit

Who is the spouse permit for South Africa for?

Spousal permits (permanent residence) are assessed according to the length of time that the marriage to a South African has been in existence for.

In applying for a South African Spousal permit there are various factors that need to be taken into account.

Foreigners who have been married for in excess of 5 years can apply for permanent residency as a spouse. It should be noted that in many cases a temporary spouse visa will still need to be applied for, simply as the processing time for permanent residency can take 24 months and longer.

How would I qualify for permanent residency on this basis?

An application under the South African spouse category can be made when an individual has been a spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for five years, and the Director-General is satisfied that a good faith spousal relationship exists. The permanent residence permit shall lapse if at any time within two years from the issuing of that permanent residence permit the good faith spousal relationship no longer subsists, save for the case of death.

If you do not meet the 5-year minimum requirements or cannot plan for 2 years in advance to submit a Spousal Permit application in ample time. The Spousal Visa is a temporary visa that will allow you to enter and stay in South Africa, which along with an endorsement will permit you to work, study or run a business.

Pros of a South African spouse permit

  • The advantage of a South African spousal permit is that it allows a foreign spouse to remain and sojourn, validly work or study in South Africa pending a permanent resident permit being applied for and granted.
  • Moreover, the typical long-form requirements for work, study and own business permit requirements are waived under this category in terms of the normal prescriptive requirements.

Cons of a South African spouse permit

  • Where you are not married but in a permanent relationship, you may qualify for a Life Partner Visa or Life Partner Permit.
  • If the couple has not been married for 5 years they will first need to apply for a spouse visa.
  • Applications can take as much as 2 years but a good amount does get issued before this time frame.

Temporary Residency Option

Apply for a spousal visa if you’re looking to bring your spouse to South Africa on a temporary basis


South African Permit Options