Many South Africans choose to live and work overseas and return back home at some stage. However, in many instances, they now have children and overseas spouses or partners, which give rise to many immigration issues and questions.
One of the most common issues for South Africans wanting to return home is what they need to do in order for their foreign spouse or partner to join them in South Africa.
Breytenbachs highly recommend that readers contact our SA Immigration department for specific advice in their unique circumstances.
If you have a South African spouse or partner and you want to reside with him/her in South Africa, the best option is the South African Temporary Relative Visa. The definition of a spouse also includes civil partners and parties in a permanent heterosexual or homosexual life partnership.
This visa is issued for a period of 24 months. It can be extended while you are in South Africa.
The SA Department of Home Affairs evaluates life partners in the same way as married couples or civil partnerships. The only difference is that you have to show proof of cohabitation and shared financial responsibilities for two years. It is important to note that proof of shared financial responsibilities will be of utmost importance. The applicant can prove this with joint banking accounts etc.
If you are applying for a permanent permit, you have to show these proofs for a period of five years.
Life partners normally have to attend an interview at the South African representative offices. The interview process is a normal procedure for this visa category.
The Temporary Relative Visa can be combined with permission to work or to be self-employed if a work offer or proof of SA registered company is available when the applicant applies for the initial visa.
Alternatively one can apply for work endorsement later on locally in SA when a work offer is available.
You cannot submit the initial visa in South Africa. The applicant has to submit the application from his/her country of origin or residence.
The visa is normally finalised within 35 days of submission.
It is possible to apply for permanent residence, if the couple has been married for five years or if they can show cohabitation for more than five years. Unfortunately, these applications take at least 18 to 24 months.
Are you considering moving back to South Africa with your foreign spouse or partner? Contact the Breytenbachs SA Immigration department today. They have many years of experience working with the SA authorities and have the know-how to navigate all the pitfalls. Visit our website at www.bic-immigration.com or please fill out the form below.