Who can qualify for Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner?
A foreign national, who is married to a South African national, or a person holding South African permanent residence status, can apply for Permanent Residence.
You will also be able to apply for Permanent Residence if you are in a life partnership with a SA national or permanent residence holder. The parties to the relationship can be in a same-sex relationship or a heterosexual relationship.
Criteria to apply for Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner
- The marriage must have been concluded at least five years before the submission of the application.
- Proof of cohabitation and shared financial responsibilities for at least five years before submission of the application.
- The marriage or life partnership must exclude any third party.
- The applicant must be a person of good character.
- The applicant must generally be in good health.
After you receive Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner, the relationship must exist for at least another two years. If the relationship does not survive for another two years, your Permanent Residence will be cancelled. However, the status cancellation is not applicable in circumstances where the South African spouse or life partner pass away.
How to apply for Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner
Unfortunately, these type of applications takes at least two to three years.
We, therefore, recommend that applicants who reside in South Africa, apply for this status as soon as they are allowed to do so by law. This will prevent the need for them to extend their temporary South African visas every two to three years.
Once you obtain Permanent Residence, you will no longer have to apply for temporary visas every two to three years.
South African Citizenship
When you had the status of Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner for five years, you can apply for SA citizenship. This is known as South African citizenship through naturalisation.
How Breytenbachs can help you
The application for Permanent Residence as a Spouse or Life Partner is complicated, with many potential pitfalls. It is, unfortunately, also a long wait for the final decision of the application. However, you will have peace of mind that your case is in the experienced hands of our SA Immigration team.
We strongly recommend that clients who qualify proceed with their application as soon as possible. This will prevent having to submit temporary visas. Please do hesitate to contact our SA Immigration team for further advice, a consultation, or to proceed with your application.