Visa for foreign partner south africa

How Can My Foreign Partner Get South African Residency

Love doesn’t always account for borders, laws and regulations and can’t always be kept local. There are thousands of people falling in love with foreigners from all over the world and what better place to settle down than the rainbow nation. If you’re dating a foreign citizen and you plan on settling down in South Africa, you’ll have to ensure that they live in the country legally or you could find yourself in trouble with the law.

Between 2007 and 2010, South Africa recorded over 7000 fraudulent marriages so it’s understandable why applicants need to jump through additional hoops.

Visa for foreign partner south africa
How to get your foreign partner South African residency

Let’s learn more about spousal agreements and foreign-partner residency in South Africa:

In South Africa, there are seven types of residency that you can apply for. These include a Continuous Work Permit, Relatives Permanent Residency Permit, Critical Skills Residence Permit, Business Permanent Residence Permit, Retirement Permanent Residency, Financial Independent Permanent Residency Permit, and for the focus of this article, a Spousal/Life Partner Permanent Residence Permit.

A Spousal Visa will allow the applicant to join a South African citizen or permanent resident in South Africa on a temporary visa, which is normally valid for 2-3 years.

If you’re a spouse or life partner of a South African Citizen or permanent resident, but you don’t qualify for study, work or business visas you can obtain the spousal or life partner visa that will allow you to work, study or live in South Africa on the grounds of that permit. In some cases, this process is perceived to be less tricky than applying for the before-mentioned visa types in your own right.

In the case of a life partner or spousal residency, it’s approved when you’re in a permanent relationship or married to a South African Citizen or a foreigner that has a permanent residency permit in South Africa. Keep in mind that as a couple you’ll need to submit proof that shows your relationship or marriage is still intact two-years after the status was permanent residency status was issued to the foreign partner.

As a couple applying for a life partner permanent residency, you’ll have to prove that you’re reliant on each other when it comes to emotional, physical and financial matters.

The application process is the same for both same-sex and heterosexual relationships. In order to qualify for approval, you’ll need proof of your marriage or cohabitation for at least the last 5-years.

Requirements for foreign partners visa application

To summarize, in order for you or your foreign partner to get South African Residency, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:

  • One of you should be a South African Citizen or hold permanent residency in South Africa
  • In order to apply for permanent residency, you’ll have to apply for a South African Spousal Permit that requires you to prove that you’ve been married for at least 5 years.
  • A temporary spousal agreement via doesn’t stipulate a minimum period of marriage.

Requirements documentation

When applying for the Temporary or Permanent Residency in South Africa, have the following documents ready:

  • Proof of residence or spousal citizenship in South Africa
  • Government issued Marriage Certificate (should you be married)
  • A letter of support from the partner that holds citizenship/permanent residency
  • Proof of current mental records and well-being
  • A completed temporary or permanent residency application form

Love knows no bounds

If your love can’t be kept within international borders it’s not the end of the world, all you need to do is follow the proper procedures. The sooner you handle these legal matters, the sooner you and your loved one can concentrate on settling down and building a life together in South Africa.

Having a professional immigration lawyer on your case can ease and speed up the process and take a lot of strain off your hands.  soon you and your loved one can settle down.

Speak to a professional

Contact Le Roux Attorneys, South African Visa specialists about your visa application. Start by selecting one of the enquiry options below

Posted in blog, Fall in love with SA, Live In SA and tagged , , .


  1. My temporary permit was rejected in 2016 then I appealed since then,
    No out come and no feed back from home affairs.
    What can I do or you can do for me?

  2. I have a friend who lost both his parents and his mother was from Lesotho but his father was a south African citizen, now they both left him in South Africa without a south African ID now he has finished his matrix but because he doesn’t have an ID he can’t get a job for himself or further his education. Now how does he get a south African ID or become a south African citizen

  3. I’m a South African and dating a foreign guy now we have a baby girl and we a planning to get married on this coming December I need to no what we supposed to do I really love the guy he loves me with my other two kids please sand me answer fast because we a planning. My name is Boitumelo

  4. Hi please help Im engaged to a Swaziland guy.he overstayed in S.A for 1 day coz of transport problems and they blocked his passport for 1 year. I’m pregnant and I’m working I cant visit him all the time. What can I do to bring him back he was also working this side but surely his been replaced already

  5. Hi,my name is Lucy I wnt to knw that how long it takes to got married With a foreigner, and my partner can use a passport to got married in south africa

  6. I am married to my foreign husband for 1 full year now. We married islamically customary marriage on the 19 March 2017. We have been to home affairs to register this marriage who asked for some documents from my husband’s family in pakistan and we obtained those. We approached the pakistani embassy in south africa and they said there’s a fee charged for giving us a letter to certify the documents. I am sceptical about paying money to home affairs and the embassy without being given a written proof rule on the funds they are asking for.

  7. To whom it concerns. Im South African and want to marry my Ukrainian boyfriend. Will the foreigners partners visa do it for us. He has overstayed though due to home affairs fault. Can we marry, and then apply for this visa? Kindly reply. We just want a future together. Thank you.

  8. I am in relationship for 4years now and we have a daughter she is 2 years old now and I’m willing to stay with my family forever I do support my family but we are not married because I am a border jumper. What can I do help please for the sake of my little girl.

  9. Please how can I get residents permit here in SA because I been here for 5years this and I have a wife who is south Africa citizen and two and half year daughter with her..I married her in the normal way by going to the parents to do the right thing but couldn’t go to home affairs with her due to my expiring visa and I try to do voluntary permit in home affair pass years now and I didn’t get it…Please I need advise How can I go about this becuase I stay with my wife and daughter and I want to build life with them together so please…need some help here.

  10. My name is Nhlanhla Dlamini am from Swaziland i got married 23/12/2013 and i did my spousal permit in 2015 and has expired 2017. My question is, what else can i do to quickly get a south african citizenship

  11. ten years married in south africa still no id even permanent residence i dnt have cos my husband doesnt earn 8500 sometimes i feel unwanted feel like commiting suicide cos m jst useless..or jst dirvoce my huby nd go back to own country..we have been suffering in SA for along time

  12. I hv a wife of foreigner from Lesotho I stay with her and is about 7 years now.She made a work permit and she dont bother herself to go at the border gate and I want to knw what is another thing that is needed so that I can do everything for her

  13. SA I refusing to give my foreign wife visa to stay with me in SA because my salary is less than R8500,, m a SA citizen and married for 5 years with my wife nd we are having a 4 years old daughter,, now SA doesn’t allow my wife to get visa to stay with me nd my daughter is suffering because she needs her mom,,

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