Spousal Visa

What is a Spousal Visa?

The term ‘Spousal Visa’ is used colloquially to refer to two different Temporary Residence Visa categories under which the foreign spouses of South African citizens and permanent residents may apply. In this section you will find information about the spousal Visitor Visa. Please see our Relative’s Visa page for the alternative option.

The term ‘spouse’ refers to both life-partnerships and civil marriages, and is inclusive of both heterosexual and homosexual spousal relationships. The relationship between the foreign spouse and the South African citizen or permanent resident must have been in existence for at least two years prior to the date of application. A visa based on the existence of a spousal relationship may be issued for a period of up to three years at a time and is renewable from within South Africa.

Why a Spousal Visa?

  • Foreign spouses may apply to have these visas endorsed with study, work or business authorisation. While each of these endorsements carry their own set of documentation requirements, these are considerably less onerous than those for the conventional study, work and business visa categories.
  • After recent litigation in the Constitutional Court of South Africa, foreign spouses of South African citizens or permanent residents who are holders of Tourist Visas may apply for a Spousal Visa from within South Africa. The position prior to the landmark judgment by the Constitutional Court was that such spouses had to return to their country of origin or long-term residence to submit their application for a Spousal Visa. The full judgment is obtainable by following this link.
  • Should the spousal relationship between the South African citizen or permanent resident continue to exist, to the exclusion of all other parties, for a period of more than five years, the foreign spouse may qualify for Permanent Residence.

What are the main documents needed?

  • Documentary evidence that the relationship has existed for a period of no less than two years immediately preceding the application. In the case of civil marriages, a certified copy of a Marriage Certificate will suffice and, in the case of life-partnerships, additional documentation to prove, inter alia, financial co-dependence and cohabitation.
  • In the case of applying for work authorisation to be endorsed on a Spousal Visa, a copy of a valid contract of employment will be required.
  • In the case of applying for business authorisation to be endorsed on a Spousal Visa, an applicant must show that a business structure is in existence and that such a business structure has been registered with the South African Revenue Service.
halloSA's hot tip

A Visitor Visa on the basis of a spousal relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident should be the primary choice of visa category for foreign spouses as this visa gives a foreign spouse relative flexibility to conduct a wide range of activities while they are resident in South Africa.

Contact us for a free assessment to find out how halloSA can assist you with your Spousal Visa application. 

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