South African Spouse Permit – Quick Guide

Below we give you our quick guide to the South African Spouse Permit (permanent residence). Please feel free to explore our further information box on the left hand side of this page for more in-depth details on the spouse permit or contact us here.

Who can apply for a South African Spouse Permit?

A South African spouse permit can be applied for by all non South Africans who are married for more than 5 years to either:

  1. A South African citizen; or
  2. A South African permanent residence holder.

What residency status will holding the spouse permit give you?

You will receive permanent residency.

What does holding a South African spouse permit allow you to do?

The holder of a South African spouse permit may enter South Africa and stay in South Africa. You are also able as a permanent resident to carry out any work, business or study that you wish.

Where must applications be made?

Applications should generally be made in your home country or within South Africa if you are already resident here on a spouse visa and seeking a renewal.

What if you are not married for 5 years?

You should apply for a spousal visa.

What if you are not married?

You should apply for a life partner visa.

Must we live in South Africa?

You must enter South Africa every 3 years to maintain permanent residency but you need not live here.

Are there any ongoing requirements?

Yes, you will need to prove the marriage is still valid to retain your spouse permit. You need to do this only once, during the 18 – 24 month window since receiving your spouse permit.

What about our children?

The children should be entitled to South African citizenship but this will depend on what steps you took when they were born and if permanent residency was achieved by your partner via another permit route.

Get more advice on a South African Spouse Permit

You can contact one of our Immigration consultants on the below methods. Your consultation will carry no costs nor any obligations and you can expect a full reply within 24 hours.

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 *