Relatives permit for immigration to South Africa

Relatives permit for immigration to South Africa
Relatives permit for immigration to South Africa

The South African Immigration Act allows applications for permanent residence from those who have a first kin relationship with either a South African Permanent Resident or Citizen. This category of permit is known as a relatives permit.

You can learn more about the relatives permit by viewing the below information, or if you prefer the human touch simply call us on any of the above numbers, request a call back here, or email your enquiry.

What is a first kin relationship?

The regulations that govern the relatives permit define a first kin relationship as:

  • Parent.
  • Child.

Therefore an application for immigration, under the relatives permit can be made by the:

  • Child of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder.
  • Parent of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder.

About the role of the South African citizen or permanent residency holder.

Applications for a relatives permit have two parties:

  1. The sponsor – this will be the South African citizen or permanent residence holder.
  2. The applicant – this will be the ‘foreigner’ wishing to obtain residence in South Africa.

What must the sponsor do?

As with most permit or visa classes the Immigration Act seeks to ensure that immigrants to South Africa are able to either support themselves, or have some sort of financial support in place to support them.

With the relatives permit the sponsor acts as the financial support for the applicant. Therefore the required sponsorship amount can only be met by the sponsor.

How long will the application for a South African relatives permit take?

The compilation and submission of the application is fairly quick but backlogs can experienced in the decision making process. The decision making process is the sole responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs and whilst they publish guidelines for this there are often delays. In some cases these are extreme meaning the relatives permit is not issued for up to 2 years.

If your plans dictate your need to arrive in South African prior to this period, you should consider other visa options, which include the relatives visa (temporary residency) which is processed much quicker.

Does the applicant submit from overseas or in South Africa?

The spouses, life partners and children (minor or major) of South African citizens and permanent residents can submit their relative visa applications in South Africa from a visitors visa, following the issuance of Directive 7 of 2019 implemented in July 2019.

Unfortunately, this does not extend to parents of South Africans. Parents and other eligible relatives must submit their visa applications at an embassy or consulate abroad.

Can you work as a relative permit holder?

As a relatives permit provides the holder with permanent residence status you will be permitted to work, run a business or study with no further permissions required from the Department of Home Affairs.

As an example if you are seeking employment you can apply and take up the role exactly the same as a South African Citizen can. There is also no extra responsibility on the employer.

Finding out more about relatives permits

Intergate Immigration have successfully processed applications for visas and permits of in excess of 6000 since our inception in 2006.

To ascertain whether you qualify for a relatives permit and whether this would be the correct permit for you, please use the links below:

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. Alternatively simply call us on +27 (0)21 424 2460.

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


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