Relatives visa versus spousal visa?

Relatives visa versus spousal visa?
Relatives visa versus spousal visa?

A source of confusion for many applicants is the technical use of the term relatives visa versus spousal visa. Imagine the surprise of many married couple’s when they receive through a relatives visa as opposed to a spousal visa.

But what does this really mean and how does it effect the holder. Below we take you through the main points and welcome any enquires on the above numbers or email us here.

What’s the difference between a spousal visa and a relatives visa?

Very little, the term spousal visa is something that has been adopted in the industry as it more accurately describes the relationship that exists between the applicant and the South African relative.

Both the relatives visa and the spousal visa entitle the holder to enter and stay in South Africa but do not grant the holder the permission to work, study or run a business.

The main difference, and an important one, is the ability to work thereafter by means of an endorsement to the visa.

What’s an endorsement?

An endorsement is an extension to the visa, not a new visa. This endorsement then allows the holder to work, study or run a business. The main attraction of an endorsement is that it negates the normal criteria that is applied if an application is made under this categories directly. As an example a work visa will require the sponsorship of an employee, qualifications being verified and proving no South African is suitable for the position; an endorsement requires nothing other than a job offer.

Can a relatives or spousal visa be endorsed?

Only the spousal visa can be endorsed.

So what if I am issued with a relatives visa?

This can happen at certain missions around the world and if it does there is no need to be concerned about your right to work, study or run a business.

  • If you are making your visa application in conjunction with an endorsement application you will be issued with the appropriate visa type and endorsement, this will be an extended visitors visa with work rights and is perfectly legal.
  • More common is you will enter South Africa on the issued relatives visa and subsequently confirm your plans, for example set up a business or find suitable employment. Once you have decided what to do an endorsement application will need to made. This endorsement application is much the same as a visa application and will therefore be issued correctly giving you the right to engage on the commercial activity specified on the endorsement application.

Read more

To learn more about endorsing a spousal visa please see here

Getting help

Immigration law can be complex and the relatives visa versus spousal scenario explained above is just one example. Intergate Immigration were established in 2006 and we quickly become the go to company for immigration advice.

With over 6000 successfully processed applications, your move to South Africa could not be in better hands.

Simply select your preferred method of communication from below and we will be delighted to give you our advice.

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. Or simply call us at +27 (0)21 424 2460.

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


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