A family visa in South Africa, also called a relative’s visa, is issued to the family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
This means that the family member related to the applicant must have spent at least 5 years in South Africa and must have gone through the proper process for permanent residency or citizenship.
As in the case of other types of visas, such as for business, employment, or students, there are certain conditions that apply to the family visa.
Our immigration lawyers in South Africa can assist those who wish to submit an application for a family visa.
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Who qualifies for a relative visa in South Africa?
The following issues concerning the family visa should be taken into account:
- spouses, siblings, or parents can apply for the relative visa;
- partners who are unmarried can also apply for this visa, provided that one of them is a South African citizen or permanent resident and provided that their life partnership complies with other criteria, such as those concerning the duration, cohabitation, or mutual financial support;
- the holder of a family visa in South Africa is not allowed to work, start a business or study;
- one cannot apply for a relative’s visa based on the relationship with a minor South African child, not when the family member has obtained permanent residence as a relative.
The visa is valid for 2 years.
Applicants remain under the obligation to continue to renew their temporary residence offered by the relative’s visa while waiting for their permanent residence permit.
Given the fact that a foreigner holding a relative is not allowed to work, our team can provide you with information on how to apply for other types of visas that grant this right.
How do I apply for a family visa in South Africa?
The application for a relative’s visa is submitted to the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate in the family member’s country of origin or the regional office of the Department of Home Affairs.
The following documents are required:
- filled in application form;
- valid passport with at least 1 free page for the visa and valid for 30 days after the end of the visa;
- the payment of the fee;
- proof of sufficient financial means of at least R8,500 per month for each accompanying family member;
- statement proving that the applicant is an immediate family member;
- police clearance certificate from each country in which the applicant has resided for 12 months or longer starting with the age of 18;
- medical and radiology reports (the latter is not required for children under 12 years of age);
- documents proving the permanent residency status or citizenship of the family member whom the applicant will be joining in South Africa.
The authorities can also request other documents.
Original or certified copies are required for the application and those documents that are not issued in English need to be translated by a sworn translator.
How long does it take to get a relative visa for South Africa?
The estimated processing time for temporary visa applications in South Africa is 4 to 10 weeks.
Please note that this can take longer, depending on the applicant’s particular situation and whether the submission includes all of the needed documents.
Another route for a foreign national to have his family join him in South Africa is through business formation. Investors who open a company in South Africa (by observing the applicable requirements for a minimum capital and hiring permanent residents or nationals) can also have their family members apply for residence at the same time. Our team can give you more details.
How can you help me?
Our team of immigration lawyers in South Africa can assist you from the earliest stages of the visa application process.
For a family visa in South Africa, we can help you with detailed information about the documents, the financial thresholds, as well as what will be expected of you in order to prove the family relationships.
Different types of visas have their own requirements. Those who apply for the investor visa, for example, can have their family members apply with them at the same time, as this particular type of residence permit allows the holder to be accompanied by family members.
In addition to assistance with family visa applications, we also provide legal guidance for those who are ready to apply for permanent residence.
Contact us as soon as you decide to apply for a family visa in South Africa.
We also offer assistance to foreign nationals looking to apply for a different type of visa. Obtaining residency in South Africa is possible not only for family reunification, but also for business purposes, general employment, the employment of skilled professionals, or for students. The conditions for each permit depend on its type, and we advise applicants to get in touch with our team.
If you are interested in other types of visas or residence permits, you can confidently reach out to our team of lawyers specializing in South African immigration. We can answer specific questions about the visas or residence permits for business and work purposes, as well as the eligibility criteria and the conditions investors need to be mindful of before they apply.