There are all kinds of different visas to consider when relocating to South Africa and it can be overwhelming. This is especially true for foreign spouses or life partners of South Africans looking at the prospect of living and working in South Africa.
It’s vital that you understand the appropriate visa options available to you. And, to ensure that you possess the correct visa with the correct conditions. We’d hate for you to be negatively affected when it comes to the ability to stay in SA with your South African spouse or life partner.
Living and working in South Africa: The different visas explained
When it comes to being in a relationship with a South African, there are two kinds of visas that one can apply for.
- Relatives Visa – This is a standard spousal or life partner visa issued under the relatives section of the immigration act. The visa is issued for a maximum of two years at a time and only allows you to reside in SA with your South African spouse or partner. No activity is allows other than being here as a long term ‘visitor’.
- Extended Visitors Visa – We refer to this visa as the spousal or life partner visa with endorsement. It’s issued under the extended visitors section of the immigration act (section 11.6). It’s issued for a maximum of three years at a time and allows you to conduct the respective activity.
What is an endorsement?
In essence, a foreign spouse or life partner visa without an endorsement has the same rights and privileges as someone in South Africa on a visitor visa.
An endorsement is an extension of the conditions of a spousal or life partner visa. Making it possible for you as a foreigner to do more than reside in South Africa.
The three kinds of endorsements are:
- Work endorsement
- Business endorsement
- Study endorsement
The requirements for applying for a work endorsement
To apply for an endorsement to work in South Africa, the foreign spouse or life partner must have a job offer. A formal job offer or employment contract would need to be included in the application.
Unlike with some South African work visas, there is no need for the employer to advertise and prove that they could not recruit a South African local. This is normally a major obstacle for foreigners looking for work in South Africa.
Other requirements of South African work visas also fall away. This makes living and working in South Africa much easier for spouses and life partners as a result of:
- The foreign spouse or life partner does not have to demonstrate prescribed qualification levels or years of experience.
- There is no restriction in terms of the type of role the foreign spouse or life partner may take up.
Work endorsements are no longer specific
Endorsements were previously employer specific where the name of the organisation would reflect on the visa. As a result, a new application was necessary to change employers.
There have however been some positive changes in this regard. Work endorsements are no longer employer specific. Rather, they outline that you are able to work in South Africa thus allowing for more flexibility.
For more information on living and working in South Africa, contact us!
Intergate can provide guidance on preparing endorsement applications, so feel free to contact us for assistance. The same goes for any other questions around living and working in South Africa on a spousal or life partner visa.
Give us a call on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or email us at email@example.com.
Our team looks forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your immigration related matters!