What God has joined together. A spousal visa in South Africa is a visa that allows couples to stay with one another even if one of them is yet to get a permanent residency permit. It is an application to join your partner in the country for up to 3 years before you need to renew it again. An important thing to note is that your spouse needs to be either a citizen or permanent resident and to get a permanent residence to stay permanently, you will need to apply for a South African Spousal Permit which requires you to be married to your spouse for at least 5 years. But if you are going for the temporary one then that does not need a restriction on the number of years for you to be married for.
A completed visa application form
The country is currently working on an eVisa for travelers so they can just get and fill the application form online and submit but currently, you need to visit a South African consulate in your country to collect your form. The form for a spousal visa should be the BI-1738, it covers all purposes that require temporary residency.
The visa application fee
You will be required to pay a token for the form. Be it the form or the payment, you must keep both because you would be asked to present evidence for both on the day of your interview.
An eligible passport
One must possess a valid passport to travel to the country. It must not be expiring anytime soon and not during your stay in the country. Its validity must extend at least 30 days after you leave the country and it must have at least 2 blank pages.
Proof of financial means
Another very important requirement is proof of sustenance. You must be able to show that you can take care of yourself throughout your stay. Your bank statement is the surest way to convince them of this. Since you will be going to visit your spouse then they can take care of that. They just need to sign an affidavit on your behalf.
Proof of medical insurance cover
Medical records, psychological tests, vaccination certificates, and medical and radiology reports, as long as you have it, bring it along.
Police clearance certificates from each country in which the applicant resided for 12 months or longer since the age of 18
As additional proof that you are of good character and law-abiding, you can present a clearance certificate of the police from a country you have visited or resided in for more than a year. The dates must be after you are 18 and you can present for more than one country.
Proof of Language Proficiency
You must prove that you at least have the language requirement for a basic and simple conversation in the area where you will be residing.
A marriage certificate
Specific to the marriage visa is the proof of marriage. You must prove your marriage with your marriage certificate as issued or confirmed by the Department of Home Affairs.
Proof of your South African spouse’s citizenship or residence
Be ready to present proof that your spouse is a South African citizen or that he/she is already a permanent resident.
A letter of support from your South African spouse
Your spouse must be willing to sponsor and support you throughout your stay.
There is also another type of marriage visa in South Africa that you need to know about and it is the Life Partner visa. The life partner is when you and your partner are not yet married but you are already staying together. It is said that applying for a married visa in South Africa is easy since you can easily prove your relationship but the visa for Life Partner is more stressful.
Some of the criteria as stated by the Department of Home Affairs include:
The relationship must be with the intention of marriage and permanence
It must not include any other part and you must have been living together for a while at least 2 years.
An obligation and sense of responsibility towards each other; where both parties take care, sponsor, and support each other.
All these conditions can be difficult to prove and this is what makes the Life Partner visa a tricky one. If you do not possess any of these options then it might be advisable to look at other possible options.