A Life partner visa for South Africa is a form of relatives visa. They can be applied for by applicants who wish to join either:
- Their partner who is a South African Citizen
- Their partner who is a South African Permanent Resident
It is more and more common for couples to not get married and the provision of a life partner visa in South Africa’s immigration rules caters for those in permanent relationships but not spouses.
Need to knows about a Life Partner Visa South Africa
- With a spousal visa proof of the relationship is easy – a marriage certificate. Proving the relationship for a Life partner visa is not so straight forward. The criteria as laid down by the Department of Home Affairs specifies “such relationship must be intended to be permanent, exclude any other person and involve cohabitation, an obligation of mutual emotional support between the parties and a reciprocal obligation to support one another financially …” It therefore follows that the application for a life partner visa for South Africa focuses on the evidence of this relationship.
- An application for a Life Partner visa now requires the applicants to have lived with the South African Citizen or Permanent Resident for a period of 2 years. If you do not posses this proof you will need to look at another visa options.
- Applications for a Life Partner visa generally need to be made in your country of origin. Recent amendments to the Immigration Act of South Africa make provision for denying applications made ‘in country’ for any change of status on a visa. In practical terms this means that the old practise of submitting an application for a life partner visa, when having already entered South Africa on a tourist visa, will no longer be permissible unless you are already on some form of valid visa (not a tourist or 90 day one).
- Working on life partner visa is not permitted, nor is running a business or studying. A life partner visa is purely permission to enter and stay in South Africa with your South Africa partner. However, that said, holding a life partner visa, or an entitlement to apply for it, does provide applicants wishing to undertake some form of activity with huge advantage. Applicants may apply for an endorsement to work, study or run a business rather than make a stand alone visa application under the specific category i.e. work, business or study which means meeting far less stringent criteria.
- The endorsement process for a life partner visa can be applied for in two ways:- At the time of the application for the life partner visa- At any time when holding a life partner visaThe right to apply is of particular importance as many foreign partners have not secured employment or ‘set in stone’ their plans when making their initial application. For more details on endorsements to life partner visas see here.
- Applications for permanent residence cannot be made on a life partner visa, but can be on a life partner permit. This is where the applicant is able to prove that the relationship has been in existence for a period of 5 years or more.For relationships that are yet to hit their 5 year anniversary, or lack substantive proof of such, then the life partner visa is the only option other than assessing their qualification under another criteria.
It is also worth bearing in mind the processing time for life partner visa applications for permanent residence. This can take up to 2 years for the Department of Home Affairs to process. So unless the planned move to South Africa is made well in advance, there is every likelihood that even when the permanent residence rules can be met an application for temporary residence (life partner visa) will also need to made.
Finding out more about applying for a Life Partner Visa
The starting point is of course to establish your eligibility for a life partner visa. Intergate Immigration has been passionately assisting South Africans and their loved ones to return home since 2006 and offer a free and no obligation consultation. We will talk you through the options, whether you qualify and a whole host of other issues that will be of importance to you. For your free life partner visa consultation simply select your preferred method of communication from below, or try our instant chat feature.
If you are in South Africa feel free to visit us at 199 Loop Street, Second Floor, Cape Town or Block D – Second Floor, Edenburg Terraces, 348 Rivonia Boulevard, Johannesburg and chat over a coffee.
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.
Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.