Relative Visa

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Relative visa South Africa explained

What is a relative visa permit in South Africa?

A relative visa is a long-term visa which can be issued to the relative of a South African citizen or permanent resident who intends to take up residence in South Africa.

Who qualifies for a relative visa in South Africa?

Foreign relatives within the second step of kinship of a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder may qualify for a relative visa.

How long does a relative permit last for?

A relative visa is issued in terms of section 18 of the Immigration Act for a period of up to two years.

Can I renew a relative visa?

A relative visa is renewable from within South Africa.

What is required to qualify for a relative visa?

A relative visa application requires documentary proof of the kinship between the foreign applicant and the South African relative and requires the South African relative to give sufficient financial assurance to the Department of Home Affairs that he or she can financially sustain the foreign relative for the duration of the visa.  This requires no less than R8,500.00 per month per foreign relative.

Compliance with the relevant immigration regulations is necessary as per any other visa application.  Kinship alone does not grant eligibility.

Can I work with a relative visa?

A relative visa does not allow its holder to conduct any activity whilst in South Africa.  A relative visa holder cannot work, study, volunteer or conduct a business.

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Can I apply for a relative visa in South Africa?

Only a foreign relative who is already in possession of a temporary residence visa that allows him or her to change status in South Africa may apply for a relative visa from within South Africa.  Alternatively the foreign relative needs to submit his or her application for a relative visa from his or her country of origin.

The spouse (by marriage or life-partnership) and/or the child of a South African citizen or permanent resident may apply for their relative visas from within South Africa should they have a visitor visa and this includes short term tourist visas

Does the life-partner of a South African qualify for a relative visa in South Africa?

Life-partnerships of at least two years that meet the criteria of exclusivity, cohabitation and mutual financial support are recognized to be spousal relationships in terms of the South African Immigrazion Act.  Documentary evidence must prove to the satisfaction of the Department of Home Affairs the existence and good faith of the relationship over time.

Does the child of a South African citizen need a Radiological Report for a relative visa?

Only if the child is 12 years or older he or she is required to submit a Radiological Report.  The same rule applies to all categories of visa and permit applications.

Does having a relative visa qualify me to get South African permanent residency?

A relative visa may make you eligible to apply for permanent residenceas long as you fall within the first step of kinship with a South African citizen or permanent resident. 

Brothers and sisters and other family members that do not fall within the first step of kinship cannot apply for permanent residence on the basis of their siblings or relatives.

My child is a South African citizen can I apply for a relative visa based on my child?

When an application for a relative visa is based on a dependent child the child is not required to supply financial assurance for his or her parent.

Can the spouse of a South African get work authorization on a relative visa?

Should the foreign spouse have a secured offer of employment then she or he may apply for a spousal based visitor visa with the necessary endorsement to work.

Does the child of a South African need to submit a Police Clearance certificate for a relative visa?

Only applicants who are 18 years or older need to submit Police Clearance Certificates from every country they have resided since turning 18 for at least 12 months.

Who fills in the application form for minor children?

The parent or legal guardian of the child needs to complete and sign any official documents on behalf of the minor child.

Can the child of a South African citizen who holds another citizenship need a relative visa?

If the child was born in South Africa and his or her birth was duly registered with the Department of Home Affairs the child is a South African citizen by birth and should be issued a South African passport. The child’s birth certificate would reflect a South African Identity Number.

If the child was born overseas the date of birth is fundamental in understanding whether the child may be eligible to claim citizenship by descent and how.

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Does a minor child need a vaccination certificate to apply for a relative visa in South Africa?

The only vaccination certificate that is required for applicants of any age is a yellow fever vaccination card only if the applicants have traveled or originated from countries that fall within the Yellow Fever Belt according to the World Health Organization.

My child has a relative visa and his permanent residence permit application is pending  but the school will not register him unless he has a study visa is that allowed?

A child who intends to register for a course of studies with a registered learning institution must obtain a study visa enabling him or her to take up studies.

Usually a study visa will be required from grade R (6 years of age) or grade 1 (7 years of age) for most learning institutions.

How long does it take to get a relative visa in South Africa?

The average processing time of all temporary residence visa applications submitted in South Africa is 6-10 weeks or longer.

Applications submitted overseas experience different processing time frames depending on the submission location.

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