Setting up a business on a spousal visa

Setting up a business on a spousal visa
Setting up a business on a spousal visa

So you have decided to join your spouse, either a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident holder, to make a new life in South Africa. But is setting up a business on a spousal visa possible?

It is very important to remember that a spouse visa only provides you permission to enter and stay in South Africa. The spouse visa alone does not allow you to set up a business. The good news is that by obtaining an endorsement you can however operate a business.

Making sure you apply for the correct spouse visa or permit

As you are married the correct visa / permit to apply for is either a spouse visa or spousal permit.

  • A spouse visa grants you temporary residence and should be applied for by those who have not been married for 5 years.
  • A spousal permit is for permanent residence and should be applied for by those who have been married for in excess of 5 years.

Setting up a business

Below we take you through setting up a business on a spousal visa. Please note that holders of a spousal permit, unlike spousal visa holders, require no other DHA permissions to set up a business as they are permanent residents.

Requirements for setting up a business on a spousal visa

As above, the spouse visa alone is not sufficient to allow you to set up a business, an endorsement will be required. If you do set up a business without the endorsement you put both your spouse visa and stay in South Africa in severe jeopardy.

  • Firstly you will need to either be in possession of a spouse visa or in the process of applying. If you are applying for a spouse visa then the endorsement application can be made at the same time.
  • You will need to have an appropriate business structure in place and prove that you have. For example a Sole Proprietorship or Proprietary Limited ((Pty) Ltd).

Note that if you are buying into an existing business the same process will apply.

What’s the advantage of an endorsement to your spouse visa rather than business visa?

Business visa’s carry with them a very complex criteria which includes:

  • Minimum investment amounts
  • 60% of workforce must be South African
  • Comprehensive business plan
  • Various undertakings

All of these are not required for a business endorsement on your spouse visa making it far easier to get the appropriate permission, as well as being less expensive and quicker to achieve.

Finding out more about setting up a business on a spousal visa

Consultations are free of charge and carry no obligation. We have been assisting South Africans to bring their spouses ‘back home’ since 2006 and boast of in excess of 6000 successful visa applications.

To learn more about setting up a business on a spouse visa, the requirements and how they apply to your circumstances, simply select your preferred method of communication or use our live chat feature.

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.


First Name *

Surname *

Email Address *

Telephone Number

Language *

Country Of Residence *

What Visa would you apply for? *

Where in SA would you move to? *

Comments *