Tel: +27 21 555 0951

Proposed legislature changes/criteria for Life Partner and Marriage Visas

Foreign nationals looking to obtain their Life Partner Visa through their South African partner could see themselves in bit of a predicament, if latest draft legislature and immigration regulations get approved. Although an exaggerated proposal, this would affect couples who are planning to live and reside in South Africa.

Currently couples need to prove they are in a solid relationship (can be short-term) and some form of cohabitation before qualifying for the Life Partner Visa. If the new legislature changes take effect, couples would need to prove 5 years cohabitation and only then qualify for the Life Partner Visa.

Couples who don’t meet this criteria would likely be required to get the 5 years cohabitation in the foreign national’s country or elsewhere (meaning the South African partner would be required to live outside South Africa and only return afterwards) and only then be eligible to apply.

Clearly all countries have different rules anyway and proving the 5 years cohabitation would be a lot to ask for couples who are based in separate countries, especially if the country where the foreign national resides also has similar/ strict rules. The whole point should be to find a solution for couples to be together not to drive them apart, hardly a win-win situation or well thought out plan.

The alternative would be for the foreign national to have a different type of visa to reside in South Africa (e.g. General Work Permit) in the interim until they qualify.

Please note - these are only ‘proposed’ draft legislature changes at this stage, and one we hope to be rejected. For now the normal criteria applies. However, with constant updates and changes regarding immigration law we encourage couples to be decisive with applying for the Life Partner Visa, to avoid being affected by any possible future changes.

To apply for the Life Partner Visa please contact Asha on 021 555 0951, or


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