What is a Relative Permit in South Africa
You are allowed to change status in South Africa on a tourist visa if you are a child of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
The relative visa can be divided into different sub-visa categories which we will discuss in-depth in this blog post.
The relative visa allows foreign nationals to accompany their family member, spouse or life partner in South Africa.
A family member, spouse or life partner must sponsor the foreign national when they apply for the visa and proof of your family, marriage or relationship must be provided when you submit your application.
Do not qualify for the visa? These are the different South Africa visa types you can explore.
Who qualifies for a relative’s visa?
Who can apply for a relative’s permit?
A South African citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a foreign national if they are:
- Your parent
- A child
- A sibling
- Life partner
A foreign national who has a temporary residence visa for South Africa may not sponsor family as he or she does not hold permanent residency.
They are only allowed accompanying dependents on their visas such as their spouse and kids.
What is required to qualify for a relative visa?
Both the sponsor and the foreign national should provide the following evidence:
- Birth certificates or paternity tests to prove 1st or 2nd level of kinship.
- Marriage certificate in the case of marriage.
- Proof of cohabitation for at least 2 years and a notarial life partner agreement contract in the case of a relationship.
Does the life partner of a South African qualify for a relative visa in South Africa?
The Life partner of a South African citizen or permanent resident does qualify for a life partner visa.
This visa allows not only heterosexuals but same-sex couples to apply for this visa.
The couple needs to show the following proof that a legitimate relationship exists:
- 2 years of cohabitation proof
- Notarial life partnership contract
Does the spouse of a South African qualify for a relative visa in South Africa?
The spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident does qualify for a spousal visa.
The visa just like the life partner visa allows not only heterosexuals but same-sex couples to apply for the visa as well.
To apply for tor the visa you need to have the following:
- A marriage certificate
Relatives visa minor child section 18
A child may apply for a relative’s visa if one of his parents is a South African citizen or permanent residence holder.
The parent of the child would have to produce a birth certificate of the child with the parent’s name present on the birth certificate or submit paternity tests.
A minor child may not attend school in South Africa with a relative’s visa. Children who are attending school must apply for a study visa. The immigration act does not make provision for this.
Does a minor child require a radiological report and police clearance for a relative visa?
Children under the age of 12 do not require to undergo a radiological x-ray.
Police Clearance Certificate:
Children under the age of 18 are exempt from applying for a police clearance report.
Parent/s must have the necessary financial assurance to support the child. The minister has deemed this as R 8,500.00 per month.
Who fills out the application form for minor children?
The responsible adult can complete the form on behalf of the child when applying for the visa application.
Does a child need a vaccination certificate to apply for a relative permit in South Africa?
No, they will not require a vaccination certificate but they would require a yellow fever certificate if they are travelling through or intend to travel through a yellow fever endemic area.
Relatives Visa Major Child
An adult child who is 18 years or older can still apply for a relative’s visa to join their parent/s in the country.
They would have to produce the following:
- They would have to produce birth certificates with their parents’ names present on there or go for paternity tests.
Under this visa according to the immigration act, you are not allowed to:
- Take up employment.
- Start your own business by applying for a business visa.
Financial assurance from your parents is a must and they need to show that they can financially support you. The monthly amount is R 8,500.00 as determined by the Minister of Home Affairs.
Relative Visa Sister and Relative Visa Brother
Applying through your sibling for the visa is accepted and is thought of as 2nd level of kinship. The immigration act makes provisions to apply through family members.
You need to provide the following:
- Birth certificates from both siblings
- Financial assurance from the sponsor
You are not allowed to:
- Take up employment.
- Start your own business.
To work, study or start your own business you need to apply for the appropriate temporary residence visa. There are 5 South African work visa types.
Does a relative visa allow you to work
Can you work on a relative visa in South Africa is a popular question and this varies depending on the type of visa application you are submitting. Here spousal & life partner visa holders can read about the relatives visa work endorsement South Africa.
Can the spouse of a South African get work authorization for a relative?
Life Partner & Spousal Visa:
The Department of Home Affairs has made provisions for the holders of life partner and spousal visa holders to work, study or start their businesses.
This is not added automatically and has to be applied for together with the initial application. So in layman’s terms, you cant take employment if you have not applied for a working endorsement.
South African embassies abroad do not have the option to add these endorsements. So, you first apply for the temporary residence visa without the endorsement and when you enter South Africa, you then add the endorsement.
Relatives Visa – Sponsored through a parent or sibling
The immigration act does not make provisions for foreign national applicants to add endorsements to their visas.
This means they are not allowed to work, study or start their own business.
To take up one of these activities, they need to either apply for one of the following:
- Work visa.
- Study visa
- Business visa
How much is a relative permit?
The relative permit has the following costs per category:
- Relatives visa spouse/life partner – Department of Home Affairs Fee: No Charge / VFS fee R 1550.00
- Relatives visa (Siblings) – Department of Home Affairs fee: R 425.00 / VFS Fee: R 1550.00
- Relatives (Adult Child) – Department of Home Affairs fee: R 425.00 / VFS Fee: R 1550.00
- Relatives (Child) – Department of Home Affairs fee: No charge / VFS Fee: R 1550.00
How long does a relative permit last?
The relative permit is valid for 2 years and can be renewed.
Does a relative’s visa lead to permanent residence?
Not all categories under the relative permit will qualify for a permanent residence permit.
The sibling category under the relative permit will not qualify for a permanent residence permit.
The following relative permit category holders will qualify for a permanent residence permit:
- Spousal Permit – Married 5 years or more
- Life Partner Permit – In a relationship for 5 years or more
- Relative permit (adult child) – Immediately
- Relative permit (child) – Immediately
- Relative permit (parent) – Immediately
Charl Vollmer has 8 years of experience helping people immigrate to South Africa. I am passionate about helping people and making their dreams a reality. Charl constantly stays up to date with South African Immigration rules and regulations. To contact Charl, visit our contact page.