Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for a child grant if my partner isn't South African?

The short answer

You can apply for the child support grant if your partner is a refugee or permanent resident.

The long answer

If you are a South African citizen, or a refugee or a permanent resident, you can apply to SASSA for a child support grant. It is a means-tested grant, so SASSA will take into account both your own and your husband’s income. These are the SASSA rules:

  • The primary caregiver must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee,

  • Both the applicant and the child must reside in South Africa,

  • The applicant must be the primary caregiver of the child/children concerned,

  • The child/children must have been born after 31 December 1993,

  • The applicant and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test. (If you're a single parent you must not earn more than R48,000 a year, or R4,000 a month. If you're married then your combined income should not be above R96,000 a year, or R8,000 a month.),

  • Applicants can not apply for more than six non-biological children,

  • The child cannot be cared for in a state institution.

 How to apply for the Child Support Grant:

  • You must complete a form at the SASSA office in the presence of a SASSA officer,

  • You will then be given a receipt once the application is complete. This receipt must be kept safe as it is your only proof of registration,

  • Provide the birth certificate of the child,

  • Provide identification documents of the caregiver,

  • Once your grant is approved you will be paid from the date on which you applied,

  • You will be issued with a SASSA payment card and this card is used to access the money; however, you may request to receive the payments using alternative methods. Such as at banks including Postbank or other institutions.

When you come in to apply, you need to bring the following documents:

  • Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded,

  • The child's birth certificate, which must have an ID number, 

  • Your salary slip, bank statements for 3 months, or pension slips, and any other proof of income,

  • If you’re unemployed, your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card – "blue book" – or a discharge certificate from your previous employer,

  • Information that shows that you’re the child's primary caregiver.

If your application is refused, you can appeal.

Usually, you can apply for the child support grant on a Wednesday and Thursday at the SASSA offices, but under the new lockdown conditions this may have changed, and you should contact SASSA to find out, on their toll-free number on 0800 601 011 or 013 754 9428 / 54 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

The fact that your husband is a foreigner should not affect your application for a child support grant, as long as your joint income is not more than R8,000 a month.

If you need more advice about how your husband’s situation may affect your application for a child support grant, you could contact the Scalabrini Organisation at: or WhatsApp 078 260 3536.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on July 12, 2021, 10:35 a.m.

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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.