Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for a relative visa for my life partner of 15 years?

The short answer

You can apply for a Section 26 (B) Life Partner Permit, which is a permanent resident permit that caters for people who are in a long term relationship, but who have not married, as in your case.

The whole question

I am a permanent resident. I have also applied for permanent residence permits for our three children.

My wife of 15 has a ZEP (Zimbabwean Exemption Permit). We are not legally married but we have a registered Life Partnership Agreement. Lobola has been paid but no white wedding. Can I still apply for a relative visa for her?

 

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking whether you can apply for a relative visa for your wife of 15 years.

You can apply for a Section 26 (B) Life Partner Permit, which is a permanent resident permit that caters for people who are in a long term relationship, but who have not married, as in your case.

Life partners who want to apply for temporary residence based on a life partner visa will need to prove that they have been together for two years before applying for the permit, and prove shared finances for each of those years. Those applying for permanent residency will need to prove that they have been together for five years and prove shared finances for each of those years. This would involve shared bills, bank statements, assets and debts

You will need to prove emotional support as well and both of you will be interviewed separately at the same time to satisfy Home Affairs that the relationship is genuine. Home Affairs specifies that “such relationship must be intended to be permanent, exclude any other person and involve cohabitation, an obligation of mutual emotional support between the parties and a reciprocal obligation to support one another financially …”

You will also need to provide a Life Partnership Agreement which has been registered with the Deeds Office, and a spousal affidavit (Part A on form 12) confirming that your relationship is ongoing. If the visa is issued, a spousal affidavit (Part B on form 12) must be submitted to Home Affairs within two years to confirm that your relationship is still ongoing.

You will need to submit proof of your permanent residence permit, and identity document and a letter of support from you as the permanent resident. Your partner’s ZEP permit, her police clearance certificate, plus her passport, medical and radiological reports will all need to be submitted. You will also need to submit proof of your shared address plus proof of payment for the application to VFS Global and Home Affairs.

As stated above, if your partner is granted permanent residency, she will have to confirm to Home Affairs in the last six months of the second year that she is still in a permanent relationship with you.

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

Lawyers for Human Rights (Refugee and Migrant rights Programme (RMRP)) at

Johannesburg: 011 339 1960

Cape Town: 021 424 8561

Answered on April 11, 2019, 12:53 p.m.

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