Applying for a South African Spousal Permit

Applying for a South African Spousal Permit
Applying for a South African Spousal Permit

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.

The status of the South African Spouse

The South African spouse will need to either be a:

  • South African Citizen; or
  • South African Permanent Residence holder.

Whilst this may seem straight forward, complications can arise when the South African has obtained another nationality. If this has not been done correctly it may be that their citizenship status is at risk. If this is the case you may need to carry out a citizenship check. If citizenship has been lost there is no need to panic. The South African will revert to a permanent residency status and the Spousal Permit application will be made on this basis.

What if you are not married?

Where you are not married but in a permanent relationship you may qualify for a Life Partner Visa or Life Partner Permit.

Does it matter how long we have been married for?

Applications for a Spousal permit will need to demonstrate that the marriage has been in existence for more than a 5 year period of time. This can be done by submission of the marriage certificate.

If you have not been married for 5 years

For those couple who have not been married for 5 years they will first need to apply for a spouse visa.

How long will a spousal permit application take?

Applying for a South African Spousal Permit can be a lengthy process. Whilst the Department of Home Affairs may indicate certain turn around times they often suffer major backlogs therefore no Immigration company can guarantee a specific turn around time.

Applications can take as much as 2 years but a good amount do get issued before this time frame.

What if we are in a hurry?

It is often the case that couples are unable to plan 2 years in advance to submit a Spousal Permit application in ample time. The need to obtain a permit before then can be achieved by also submitting a Spouse Visa application. 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.

Where should we submit our application?

Different scenarios will dictate where you submit your application.

  • If you are outside of South Africa and do not hold a current spouse visa – here you have the option of submitting the application to your local South African Mission as well in South Africa. Although applications can be made in South Africa, the time restraints in waiting for the permit decision make it more practical to carry out the submission in your home country.
  • If you are inside South Africa and currently hold a spousal visa -you should make your application for a spousal permit here in SA.
  • If you are inside South Africa and hold neither a spouse visa nor any other type of visa (other than tourist) – you should apply first for your spousal visa abroad before submitting your application for a spousal permit in South Africa.

Where can we get help?

Intergate Immigration, the official partner of Home Coming Revolution, has been assisting South Africans and there families to return to South Africa since 2006. We are South Africa’s largest independent Immigration company and the only one holding ISO 9001.

Getting help with your visa or permit application

We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

You can take our free one minute assessment here or request a call back for more information. Or simply call us at +27 (0)21 424 2460.

Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.


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