Visa Services - Partners & Relatives

Family of South African Citizen or Permanent Resident

Spouses and life partners of South African citizens or permanent residents, who do not qualify for study, work or business visas in their own right, can obtain a visa in South Africa which will allow them to study, work or conduct a business on the grounds of their spousal relationship and without having to meet the much more stringent criteria applicable to foreigners without a South African spouse or life partner (often termed "life partner" or "spousal" visas). The term "life partner" includes opposite and same sex partnerships between a foreigner and a South African citizen or resident, where cohabitation and respective emotional, financial and physical support can be proven. As of May 2014, unmarried couples have to provide proof that the relationship has existed for at least 2 years in order to qualify as "life partners" for immigration purposes. 

Members of a South African citizen or permanent resident’s immediate family can obtain a South African relative’s visa if the South African host is able to prove that the necessary financial support can be provided. The relative's visa allows its holder to stay in South Africa for two years (renewable) and does not include the right to work, study or conduct a business.

Let us know if you feel you may qualify for this category; we will gladly advise you regarding the details and take care of all procedural requirements.

Visas for Family Accompanying Temporary Visa Holders

Family members of persons who hold extended visitor’s visas (3-36 months), study visas, work visas, retirement visas or business visas may obtain extended visitor’s visas allowing them to accompany the main visa holder. Included are spouses / life partners and dependent children, whereby the term "life partner" is again restricted to partners who have been in their committed relationship for at least 2 years. Where the laws in the foreign partners’ home country provide for this, official recognition of the life partnership is required. Accompanying children who are to attend school during their stay need to obtain study visas. Partners who wish to work in South Africa need to obtain work visas in their own right.

Permanent Residence Visa – Relatives

Spouses / life partners of South African citizens or permanent residents qualify for permanent residence on the grounds of such spousal relationship only if and when their marriage or spousal relationship has subsisted for at least 5 years. Life partners and spouses need to submit proof of their relationship or marriage still being intact after 2 years of permanent residence status having been issued to the foreign partner.

Family members of South African citizens of permanent residents within the first step of kinship also have a right to permanent residence. It needs to be noted that minor children of permanent residents are required to confirm their status within 2 years after having reached the age of 18.

The family (spouses as per definition and dependent children) of applicants for permanent residence may be included in the application either directly or indirectly.

Obtain your relatives or spousal visa or permanent residence in South Africa through IMCOSA, or contact us to find out more about this or any other category of interest.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you're considering applying for a Relatives Visa, it's a good idea to seek the advice of an immigration specialist. Our Relative & Partner Visa specialists can help you navigate the application process and ensure that you have the best possible chance of success.

Free assessment