What Is A Life Partner Visa In South Africa?

With our expertise, we’ll help you get a life partner visa.

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.

Under the requirements, eligibility criteria and cost for the life partner visa.


What Is A Life Partner Visa?

he immigration act of South Africa makes provisions for a foreign life partner of a South African citizen or a permanent residency holder to apply for the relative life partner visa.

Foreign nationals applying for the life partnership visa must prove the legitimacy of their relationship and 2 years of cohabitation.

There are two types of temporary residence visas the applicant can apply for. One falls under the relative category and the other under the visitor’s visa section 11.6

relative’s life partner visa or the visitor’s visa section 11.6 visa.

Here are the differences between the two:

 Relative Life Partner VisaVisitors Visa Section 11.6
Validity 2 years3 years
Work, Study or Business endorsementNoYes. A work, study or business endorsement can be added.
Qualifies for Permanent ResidenceYes, after 5 years.Yes, after 5 years

The Life partner permit allows the foreign national of a South African citizen or permanent resident holder to stay in South Africa for two to three years with the option to renew the visa.

Eligibility Criteria For The Life Partnership Visa

The following criteria must be satisfied to apply for the visa:

  • Proof of 2 years cohabitation.
  • Clear criminal record.
  • A valid life partner cohabitation contract (notarial contract) to prove a good faith relationship.
  • In a relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident holder.
  • Proof of financial assurance showing at least an income of R 8500.00 ZAR.
  • You are either a “girlfriend” “Boyfriend” “fiancée” “fiancé”

What Are The Benefits Of The Life Partner Permit?

  • You can reside legally in South Africa and build a life together with your South African partner.
  • You can qualify for permanent residency if you have been in a relationship for 5 years or more.
  • Less red tape when applying for a work or business endorsement. 

What Is the Difference Between A Life Partner And Spousal Visa?

There is no difference between the two as the immigration act of South Africa recognizes not only married couples, but also long-term partners who meet the two year cohabitation requirement.

The only difference is the requirements for long-term partners are getting cohabitation life partner contracts and providing proof of the two year cohabitation requirement.

What Are The Requirements For A Life Partner Visa?

The following documents are required life partner visa application:

Requirements (Documents)Explanation of Documents
Both foreign national and South African citizen or permanent residency holder present As of 2023 the Department of Home Affairs required both life partners to be present on the day of submission.
Recent sized photographs of both applicantsBoth applicants provide one passport sized photograph.
Electronic Application Form CompletedNo handwritten application forms accepted.
Original Passport PresentForeign national to present passport on day of submission.
Medical ReportNot older than 6 months at the time of submission, must be signed by a medical practitioner, showing the practice number, address and contact details.
Police clearance reportNot older than 6 months. A police clearance report must be obtained for each and every country you have lived in the last five years.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable)Required if you have traveled or plan to travel to/through a yellow fever zone. Direct transit through such a zone exempts you from this requirement.
Notarial Agreement (Apostilled)The agreement must confirm: the committed homosexual or heterosexual life partnership has existed for at least two years before the visa application.

The partnership continues to this day, and both partners are single (not married or already in a life partnership)
Spousal Relationship AffidavitAn affidavit attesting to your spousal relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident holder. Documentation demonstrating cohabitation. Proof outlining the division of financial responsibilities between the partners. Particulars of any children born within the spousal relationship.
Financial AssuranceProof that the couple receives an income of R 8500.00 or more per month.
Divorce Decree (If applicable)If either partner has been married before then a divorce decree is applicable.
Death Certificate (If applicable)If either partner has been widowed then a death certificate is required in respect of the late spouse.

It is important to remember that applicants are responsible for all immigration documentation. 

What Are Visa Costs? 

Processing FeesAmount
VFS (Visa Facilitation Centre’s) Processing feeR 1550.00 ZAR
Department of Home Affairs FeeNone

What Is The Processing Time Of The Life Partner Visa At Home Affairs

The processing time is quite lengthy as the Department of Home Affairs has a huge backlog. 

The backlog is due to the amount of applications received and the verifying of documents is what is causing the backlog.

What documents are taking long to verify:

  • Notarial Contracts
  • Identity Documents
  • Relationship Documents

The Department of Home Affairs is trying to process visas fast as possible by increasing the number of adjudicating officers.

Where Is The Visa Application Submitted?

The visa application is submitted through VFS global South Africa.

The Department of Home Affairs has contracted VFS services for the submission process.

VFS will check your documents, capture your biometrics and have your temporary residence visa application sent to DHA.

The above information has been cited from the following sources:

1. Charl Vollmer’s experience – He has 12 years of experience in dealing with life partner visas and assisted many clients.

2. Department of Home Affairs

3. VFS Global.

4. Visa Backlog information.