The new immigration regulations that came into effect in June 2014 saw a clearer distinction in the immigration options for relatives of South African Citizens or Permanent Residence holders. A relatives visa is now the option for those seeking temporary residency to South Africa, whilst a relatives permit is for permanent residence.
Below we take you through the relatives visa and answer some of the more frequently asked questions. 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.
Who can qualify for a relatives visa for South Africa?
Under the South African Immigration Act, applications for a relatives visa (temporary residence) allow for applications from individuals who are in a first or second kin relationship with either a South African Permanent Resident or Citizen. This category of permit is known as a relatives visa. If you are of first kin to a South African Permanent Resident or citizen see here for more details on the South African relatives permit.
What is a first and second kin relationship?
The regulations that govern the relatives permit define the degree of relationship as
- Child; or
Therefore an application for immigration, under the relatives visa can be made by the:
- The parent of a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- The child of a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- The spouse of a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- The brother or sister of a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident.
What parties are involved in a relatives visa application
A relatives visa, known as a sponsored visa in some countries, has two parties to it:
- The sponsor – who is the South African Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- The applicant – this will be the ‘foreigner’, with a second kin relationship to a South African citizen or permanent resident. The person who wishes to obtain residence in South Africa.
What must the sponsor do?
The sponsor is in essence the whole validation for the relatives visa application. There are two main roles this sponsorship brings with it:
- Evidence to prove that it is indeed their relative who is joining them.
- Ensuring that their relative, upon moving to South Africa, will not be a drain on the South African state. In other words that they can support themselves (the family unit) without recourse on public funds.
The first of these is proven by means of birth certificates and identification documentation. The second by documentary proof of income. With regards to the income, the Immigration Act states that income can be proven by:
- the sponsor in full;
- the applicant in full; or
- a combination of the sponsor or applicant.
How much income is required?
The relatives visa application must demonstrate that a monthly income amount of R8500 per person is available to the family. This is however waived when the applicant is the spouse or minor child.
Can you work as a relative visa holder?
No. The relatives visa only allows for entry and stay in South Africa and the holder may not undertake any other activity such as work, run a business or study.
In some ways it is very similar to a retirement visa but with less onerous financial requirements.
Does the relative visa lead to permanent residency?
Again, no. It does not matter how long you hold a relatives visa for, there is no allowance for this to lead to permanent residence based on holding a permit. Your eligibility is dependent on the degree of relationship you hold to your South African relative.
Finding out more about the relatives visa
Intergate Immigration are accredited with ISO 9001 and are South Africa’s largest independent immigration company.
We 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 visa 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.
Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.