Answer to a question from a reader

I'm an asylum seeker married to a South African. Can I apply for a spousal visa?

The short answer

Yes, you can apply for a spousal visa.

The whole question

I'm an asylum seeker but legally married to a South African citizen for six years. We have two children.

Is it possible for me to apply a spousal visa? 

If yes, how do I go about it?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking if and how you can apply for a spousal visa, as you have been married to a South African for six years and have two children together.

Yes, you can certainly apply for a spousal visa.

In December 2018, the Immigration Act was amended concerning the rights of spouses in a “permanent homosexual or heterosexual relation”. These are the important points:

  • Applications need to prove to the Director-General that the applicant is a spouse to a citizen or permanent residence permit holder.

  • Applicants need to sign an agreement stating that the permanent homosexual or heterosexual relationship has existed for at least two years before the date of application for a relevant visa and that neither of the parties is a spouse in an existing marriage.

  • Both partners to a permanent homosexual or heterosexual relationship may be interviewed separately, on the same date and time, to determine the authenticity of the existence of their relationship.

These are the documents needed:

  • A marriage certificate.

  • Proof of your South African spouse’s citizenship or residence (ID document).

  • A letter of support from your South African spouse.

  • Proof of good health and standing. (This means a medical and radiological report (x-ray) not older than 6 months to prove you don’t have TB etc.)

  • A completed temporary residency application form.

  • Documents detailing the financial support you and your spouse provide to each other need to be provided, like bank accounts and municipal accounts which show shared costs.

You apply through VSF Global, which is the company that handles all applications to Home Affairs. Their helpline is 012 425 300.

You will need to fill out the correct online form, pay the fee of R1,350 to schedule an appointment after filling in the application form. On the day of your appointment, you need to bring your appointment letter, printed online application form, proof of payment and all the supporting documents.

You could also ask Lawyers for Human Rights for advice. Here are their contact details:

Lawyers for Human Rights (Refugee and Migrant rights Programme (RMRP)) on 011 339 1960

Answered on July 18, 2019, 1:03 p.m.

See more questions and answers

Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.