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This month we explain permits for spouses and life partners of South Africans that want to live and work in South Africa.
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You can read the transcript of the December edition of the monthly Intergate Immigration podcast below.
Intergate Immigration Service – Podcast December 2012 Edition
Hi I am Claus Lauter from Intergate Immigration, and as always thanks for joining me on our monthly podcast.
As promised this month I am going to tell you about spouses and life partners of South Africans that want to live and work in South Africa.”
For the purposes of this discussion we are assuming that the application is for a temporary spousal or life partner permit. If however you have been in a relationship or married for 5 years plus please contact one of our client managers for further advice. Just type intergate immigration into google and you will find us easily.
Lets begin with what constitutes a spouse or life partner.
The easier of the two to define is of course that of a spouse. In its most basic definition it is an individual, who is in this case, married to a South African citizen or permanent resident. It should be noted that unlike in some other countries there is no specified duration of the marriage before a spousal application can be made.
A life partner can be described as an individual who is in a permanent relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident. Again there is no prescribed duration for the relationship but there is an onus on the applicant to prove the relationship is indeed valid and of a permanent nature.
It should be noted that same sex relationships and hetro-sexaul relationships are handled in exactly the same manner and governed by the same rules.
So to the application itself. According to whether it is a spousal or life partner relationship, the appropriate permit always needs to be applied for. This permit only allows for the foreign partner or spouse to enter and reside in South Africa. It does not permit them to work, study or set up a business. It can be looked upon almost as a tourist visa but for an extended period of time.
Now for many of the foreign partners you may wish to take up some form of occupation, business or maybe study.
I repeat here again that even those individuals that have already made successful applications and in receipt of a spousal or life partner permit you are not able to undertake any of these activities – whether this is on a paid or unpaid basis.
So just how do you get to work, study or set up a business. Lets start with work and see how you can legally work in South Africa as the spouse or life partner of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
In reality most individuals first apply for the appropriate permit then travel to South Africa to obtain a job, this means in many cases you may already be in South Africa and in possession of the appropriate spousal or life partner permit, if not, now is the time to apply.
The next step is to obtain a valid job offer from an employer, please note if you have not made your permit application, and have in your possession a valid job offer, the following steps can be done concurrently with this application.
The job offer is taken along with the required information and supporting documentation to apply for an endorsement to work. This endorsement is made to the spousal or life partner permit. The endorsement is specific to that employer and for a period of time that either the employment contract is for, or , the spousal or life partner validity period (whichever is the longer).
Therefore if you change jobs a new endorsement is required.
Worth knowing when applying for a job, and worth pointing out to potential employers, is that this endorsement is not the same as a work permit. Mainly the employer does not have to prove that no South African can carry out the role nor need sign any undertakings. In short they can treat your application exactly the same as one from a South African or permanent resident.
For those setting up a business, if this is known prior to applying for your spousal or life partner permit, both the permit and endorsement can and should be applied for concurrently.
If not and you are already in possession of a spousal or life partner permit a separate endorsement application must be made.
The key here is proof that you are indeed setting up or even buying into a business. This usually takes the form of incorporation papers, now normally of a Pty Ltd. The permit is issued for the period of the permit and should your situation change, for example setting up a new business, another endorsement is required.
For those wishing to study, the same application process would apply and be dependent upon whether you hold a spousal or life partner permit already. If so it is an endorsement application, if not then the permit and endorsement can be applied for together. The endorsement is issued for the period of the permit or course (the shorter of the two). Should your situation change a new endorsement must be applied for.
Here, proof of your acceptance by the learning institution is required when applying for the endorsement whether independently or as part of a life partner or spousal application.
So in summary, for those wishing to work, set up a business or study not only must you apply for a spousal or life partner permit but also an endorsement, this is often a two step process. Changes in your circumstance mean more often than not a new endorsement application must be made.
If you want to find out more information have a look at our website on intergate hypen immigration.com or just type intergate immigration into google. Why your there why not try our instant call back feature we have introduced – it puts you in touch with one of client managers instantly and at no cost or obligation – we even pay for the phone call.
As always a big thank you to the regular followers of our podcasts, we thank you for joining us again this month. For those newcomers welcome and we hope to see you become a regular.
We look forward to seeing you online and at our next podcast when we are going to talk about relatives permits, the do’s and dont’s and the qualifying criteria