South African Relatives Permit and Visa

south african relatives permitThe South African relatives permit and visa give immediate family members of South Africans the opportunity to also live in the country.

While the visa allows temporary residency, the permit allows permanent residency.

Up to 2014 there was no distinction, both statuses were called a ‘permit’, but this was changed across all South African visa types when the legislation changes came into effect.

Here’s all you need to know about the relatives category:


Who can apply under the relatives category?

The relatives category provides for both first kin and second kin family members of South African citizens or permanent residents.

What is the difference between first kin and second kin?

It is very important for you to understand the difference between first and second kin, as the requirements for each visa may be different. The visa which you apply for will be based on the category that you fit into.

First kin relatives apply to:

  • Parents; and
  • Children.

On the other hand, second kin relatives apply to:

  • Brothers and sisters.

Can I apply for temporary and permanent residence?

This depends on if you fall under the first kin category or the second kin category. First kin relatives can apply for both temporary and permanent residence, but second kin family members may only apply for temporary residence.

Can I work while living in South Africa?

This is all depends on whether you have temporary or permanent residency.

As a temporary resident, you will not be allowed to work, as a relatives visa only enables you to immigrate to South Africa for a set period of time, usually 2 years.

The good news is that if you apply for a South African relatives permit,  you will be allowed to work and you’ll have almost all the full rights of any South African citizen.

Must I be sponsored by my South African relative?

Yes, there is a requirement for financial assurance in the amount of R8500 per month, per person.

This financial assurance must be from the sponsor (relative) and/or the joint means of the applicant and the sponsor (relative).

Can a temporary relatives visa be renewed?

Yes it can, but in practice renewing a visa is the same as applying for a new one. You’ll have to again meet all the current criteria for the visa application to be successful.

How long does permanent residency take?

Unfortunately the time periods which are proposed by the Department of Home Affairs are never really adhered to. In many cases experience has shown that after submitting permanent residency application, people wait up to two years before their paperwork is finally issued.

It goes without saying that most people are not able to plan their immigration to South Africa two years in advance. It is therefore highly recommended that you apply for both temporary and permanent residence in order to get the timing right.

What are the requirements I have to meet?

There are many set requirements which you will need to meet. Should you wish to learn more about the specific requirements, please click here.

Getting help with your South African relatives permit or visa

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

You can take our free assessment here or request a call back for more information.