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How to apply for a Life Partner Permit

If you are in a relationship with a South African citizen or a permanent resident, and would like to join said partner when he or she returns to the country, you will need to have proof that you have been living with them for 5 years or longer in order to apply for a life partner permit. 

Even though the process appears simple, many couples in the past have found out that it is, in fact, one of the easiest to get wrong. 

For this reason we have answered some frequently asked questions regarding the application for a life partner permit.

How do I know if I qualify for a life partner permit?

There are three factors to consider in answer to this question. There needs to be proof that you have lived with your partner for 5 years or more. 

If you can only prove you have been living together for 2 years then refer to Life Partner Visas for more information. 

In cases where you are unable to prove that you have been living together for 2 years, then refer for more information on applying for a Temporary Residency Visas.

Whether you are in a relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident, you will need to have clear substantial evidence of this.

Finally, the status of your partners citizenship or permanent residency in South Africa needs to be in accordance with South African laws. Especially if your partner has taken on a second citizenship. 

Unfortunately, many had not obtained the appropriate permissions before acquiring their second citizenship, which will only create issues that require more work in order to determine the status of citizenship. 

In the application, how is a permanent relationship judged?

When applying for a life partner permit the applicants need to prove that theirs is, in fact, a permanent relationship, that they live together and that they provide emotional and financial support to each other. 

Shared bills, assets and liabilities cover the financial criteria for deciding if the relationship is permanent. 

However, in order to meet the emotional criteria the applicants are interviewed both separately and together in order to determine the legitimacy of this.

Where can I apply for a life partner permit?

Partners wishing to apply for a life partner permit have to submit the application in their native country. 

You will need to have a residency permit or visa which allows you to be in South Africa if you want to apply for a life partner permit in this country. 

However, if you have a tourist visa, legislation prohibits you from applying for a life partner permit. 

When applying for a life partner permit, what do I have to submit?

You will need to submit:

  • Evidence which proves your relationship is permanent as was mentioned in a previous question.
  • Original ID documentation of the South African citizen or the holder of permanent residency in the country.
  • The South African citizen or holder of permanent residency will also have to provide a Letter of Support with bank statements or payslips for financial proof.
  • The applicants Police Clearance, Medical Certificate and Radiological Report.
  • The background and supporting evidence regarding the Life Partnership.
  • A proof of address which states the current place where you live together and the future place where you will live together
  • Finally, you will need to submit a notarial contract and Life Partnership Affidavit.

What will be asked during the interviews?

There are no set list of questions and thus it depends on the official conducting the interview. 

As the role of the official is only to confirm the relationship is real, you shouldn’t be worried if you are a genuine applicant. Applicants should also expect the interviewer to focus on any discrepancies with their application.

Will I be able to work, study or run a business in the country?

If the applicant is successful the life partner permit will grant him or her permanent residence in the country. This will afford them the rights to work, study and run a business in the country without the having to apply to the Department of Home Affairs to obtain further permissions.

How long will the application take?

Unfortunately, you have to wait for the Department of Home Affairs to process the application. The turnaround time could be a few months or even two years. Thus, the best approach would be to expect the issuing of your permit it to take the maximum amount of time.

Because of all the confusing information available, the best solution going forward is ultimately to get professional help when applying for a life partner permit. 

This will reduce the stresses of having to submitting your application, and will allow you to make informed decisions going forward. While every case is unique, we hope that the answers to the above questions can assist you with applying for the permit.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated - Attorneys & Notaries Cape Town & Johannesburg

Contact us for all your notarial requirements and expert legal advice.