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Life Partner Visas for South Africa

Life partner visas for South Africa are relative visas which can be applied for by applicants wishing to join a partner who is a South African citizen or permanent residence holder. 

As it has become a common practice for couples nowadays not to get married, the provision of the life partner visa caters for these unmarried partners who are in permanent relationships.

Here are some facts about the Life Partner Visa for South Africa:

When couples apply for a spousal visa they can prove their relationship by providing a marriage certificate. However, proving this is not so straightforward when applying for a life partner visa. 

This is because applicants of a life partner visa need to provide evidence that the relationship is intended to be permanent, that it doesn’t include any other person besides your partner and that the two of you have to be living together. Also, there needs to be emotional and financial support from both parties.

It is a requirement for applicants of a life partner visa to have lived for at least two years with their partner who is a South African citizen or permanent residence holder before applying. Other visa options will have to be considered if there is no proof of this. 

You will need to apply for a life partner visa in you native country. In the past, the applications could be made in South Africa on a tourist visa or 90 day visa, however, an amendment to the Immigration Act did away with this provision. 

Now, you are only allowed to apply for a change in the status of your visa if you are already on a valid visa.

You are not allowed to work, run a business or study on a life partner visa. This is because such a visa only permits you to live with your South African partner in the country. 

Life Partner Visa Endorsement

If you hold a life partner visa you will be able to apply for an endorsement to work, study or run a business instead of having to make a visa application for a specific category.

You can apply for an endorsement either when submitting your application for the life partner visa or when you already hold one. 

This provision is necessary because most of the time employment hasn’t been secured by a foreign partner of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder. 

When you have a life partner visa, you will not be allowed to apply for permanent residence. 

Life Partner Permit vs Life Partner Visa

However, you can apply if you are on a life partner permit. With a life partner permit there is proof that the relationship has existed for 5 years or longer. 

But if there isn’t substantial proof of this then the only option is the life partner visa. Otherwise, applicants would need to see if they qualify under another criteria.  

Another thing to consider is the fact that it could take up to 2 years for the application to be processed by the Department of Home Affairs. 

Thus, if advanced steps haven’t been taken, applicants may have to apply for temporary residence in the form of a life partner visa even if they meet the criteria for permanent residence.

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