What Is A Life Partner Visa In South Africa?
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This service is for people who are ready and willing to put in the effort to apply for a visa.
• We’ll prepare and compile your application.
• Access to immigration experts.
• Service you can’t find anywhere else.
• We’ll tailor our service according to your needs.
This visa allows a foreign national who is in a relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident to live with them as long as they remain in a relationship.
In other words, if you are a boyfriend or girlfriend and one person is a South African citizen or permanent resident then you can apply for a visa.
Many couples opt not to get married these days for personal reasons and beliefs but the Department of Home Affairs has made provision for couples who have decided to become life partners.
The visa allows both heterosexuals and same-sex couples to apply for the visa as long as they qualify.
The life partner permit falls under the relative’s visa section.
When the foreign applicant applies for the visa it allows him or her to legally enter the country and remain with their loved one.
The life partner permit in South Africa is categorized as a temporary residence visa.
The couple has to prepare an application that is based on solid evidence that a real relationship exists between the two of them
Any clues within the application that could lead the Department of Home Affairs to believe that your relationship is not genuine can lead to a refusal of your visa.
How do you Prove Life Partnership?
You need to prove to the Department of Home Affairs that your relationship is genuine and not fake.
You have to prove that your relationship is not merely for convenience such as doing someone a favour to get into the country and being paid for it.
You need to show that both of you have willingly entered into the relationship.
To this end, you need to compile an application with a lot of documents to make your case to the officials at Home Affairs.
Compiling a perfect application means there needs to be no room for cracks in your application because this is precisely what officials are looking out for when they have received your application.
If you are married to a South African citizen or permanent resident then you can apply for a spousal visa for South Africa.
You’ll need a valid marriage certificate to prove your marriage.
So How Do I Prove That My Relationship Is Genuine And Not Fake?
When you submit your application through VFS or a South African embassy, the officials will inspect your supporting documents to find out whether your partnership is indeed fake or genuine.
The application needs to provide facts to convince the official that nothing suspicious is going on.
Evidence To Support Your Application:
- Provide evidence that you have been cohabiting for two years at the time of the application.
- Provide officials with shared financial responsibilities between the two of you.
- Letters of support from your friends and family.
You must have been staying together for two years when applying.
Failing to provide proof of this will immediately raise doubts to the officials handling your application and possibly be denied based on insufficient proof.
These are strict requirements that you must satisfy to be considered for the visa.
If all else fails, then your best bet is to look at alternative South African temporary residence visas which you could qualify for.
The Validity Of the Visa?
The visa is valid for 2 years and can be renewed as much as you’d like to renew it or until you decide to apply for permanent residence.
The visa must be renewed no less than sixty days before the expiry of the initial visa.
Failing to do so will end up you facing serious legal issues with the Department of Home Affairs unless you have a perfect reason as to why you could not.
If you were seriously ill and hospitalized, that could be a sound reason as to why you could not renew your visa.
We assist with life partner visa renewal for South Africa.
Can I Work On A Life Partner Visa in South Africa?
There are three options you have:
- Start your own business.
- Further your studies at a college or university.
- Take up employment.
Adding the life partner visa work endorsement is something you need to do when applying for the visa.
The endorsements are not added automatically, but for the work endorsement, you need to have a job offer at the time of applying.
Your work endorsement is tied to your employer and when you are changing employers you need to reapply for the working rights.
The working rights hold the same validity as the visa.
The Advantages Of The Endorsements?
The advantages of the endorsements outweighs why you should rather apply for this visa as opposed to a business visa or work visa.
Advantages Over A Business Visa:
When applying for the endorsement to start a business on a life partner permit for South Africa, then you do not need to do the following;
- Invest R5 Million within the business.
- Employ at least 60% SA citizens or permanent residents.
- You can start the business immediately and not wait for a go-ahead from the Department of Labour.
Advantages Over A Work Visa:
- You do not need to show that your prospective employer has exhausted all avenues in first finding a local citizen or permanent resident before offering you the job.
- You do not need any qualifications assessed by the South African Assessment Qualifications Authority.
- Your prospective employer does not need to undertake responsibilities for you, places fewer responsibilities on them.
- Less complicated than applying for a work visa.
- No need to register your occupation with a professional body, council or board for instance with a critical skills visa.
Advantages Over A Student Visa:
- You do not need to show the cover for medical aid as required with the study visa.
How Do I Get A Life Partner Permit in South Africa?
To get a visa in South Africa you need to be on a temporary resident visa to apply for a change of status in the country.
This means that if you have a valid work visa then only are you allowed to apply for the visa in-country.
If you are currently using a visit visa then you will not be allowed to submit in-country.
First-time applications must be submitted abroad in your country of residence or where you hold some sort of residency in another country at a South African Embassy.
A crucial aspect that you need to remember is that every embassy might have different requirements for the visa and this is something you need to adhere to.
Applying in South Africa
- Schedule an appointment on VFS’s website.
- Pay the prescribed fees.
- Submit your application on the scheduled date.
- Collect your outcome once you have been notified.
How Much Does A Life Partner Visa Cost In South Africa
There are various costs you need to keep in mind besides the government fees.
Keep these costs in mind before starting the document collection process:
- Medical costs such as medical and radiology reports.
- Translation fees if your documents are in a foreign language.
- Any documents which need to be certified.
The Processing fees are as follows:
- VFS – R 1550.00
- Department of Home Affairs – None
Applying abroad at the embassy or consulate, the fees will vary depending on if they are contracted to VFS or not. Most embassies work on an appointment basis and some only allow submissions or collections at a certain time.
How Long Does A Life Partner Visa Take in South Africa
The processing times for all visas have been affected by COVID-19.
The Department of Home Affairs during lockdown closed and was not accepting visas in an attempt to clear the backlog of permanent residence permit applications they had.
This has caused a huge backlog as many applicants were given a grace period before they had to submit their renewals for their visas.
Previously foreign nationals could be expected a turnaround time of three to four months.
Now the processing period has extended to five-seven months before receiving your outcome.
We receive countless emails every day from people who have submitted ages ago and still have not received any outcome. All these applications were submitted in late 2019 and earlier 2021.
Migrate With Q follows up with all our clients’ applications directly with Home Affairs.