Answer to a question from a reader

Can you get a spousal visa if you have not lived together?

The short answer

Yes because you do not have to live together. There is no minimum period of marriage either.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I am a US citizen, and have just married my South African partner, in South Africa. In one of your previous answers, you said that to apply for a life partner visa you need to live together for two years. My husband and I live in separate countries but I want to emigrate to SA to live with him. 

The long answer

If you are married, you can apply for a spousal visa. You don’t have to have lived together for two years as is the case with the life partner visa. There is no minimum period that you need to have been married.

A spousal visa is a temporary visa, usually given for two or three years. You can apply for a spousal permit after you have been married for five years. Once you have the spousal permit, you can apply for permanent residence. 

The documents you need for a spousal visa application are the following:

  • A marriage certificate;

  • Proof of your South African spouse’s citizenship or residence;

  • A letter of support from your South African spouse;

  • Proof of good health and standing;

  • A completed temporary residency application form.

It takes a minimum of ten weeks for Home Affairs to process any visa, and may take longer now because of Covid.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on March 23, 2022, 3:32 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.