Life Partner Visa

Life Partner visa is issued to someone in a long term relationship.

This type of South Africa life partner visa is available to people in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships and can apply for a life partner temporary residence visa or a permanent residence depending on the length of the relationship in question.

An application for temporary residence life partner visa requires that the partners are in a proven relationship for 2 years. Foreigners who are life partners of South African citizens or permanent resident holders may apply for permanent residence if they have been together for 5 years or more in terms the Immigration Act.

To obtain permanent residence, you would have to have been living with your partner for more than 5 years. This came about with the new regulations.

The life partner visa is very similar to the spousal visa but accommodates same sex partnerships. You will have to prove financial and emotional support and may be called upon to be interviewed by the department.

SA Migration Intl will guide you through the entire process and make sure that your application is fully compliant with the immigration law to ensure a successful outcome. Once your application has been submitted we ensure you will be able to track the progress of said application either directly via VFS or via our followup processes via our application tracking system and be kept fully up to date with the progress of your application.

Once we confirm that you will qualify for the visa we will ensure you have a successful application.

URGENT Petition Launched to Resolve Passport Crisis for South Africans Abroad

SAPeople has collaborated with the Democratic Alliance (DA) to petition South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister to resolve the passport renewal crisis that is currently brewing abroad.

SAPeople is inundated daily with cries for help from South Africans abroad who are unable to contact their own Embassies, and whose passports are expiring – putting their jobs, their health care and their ability to remain overseas with their families in jeopardy.

SAPeople Editor Jenni Baxter said: “We have tried contacting the official channels for urgent help on behalf of these desperate South Africans, but have largely been met with curt replies or silence, despite even offering to assist. As the matter is urgent, we have collaborated with the DA who will be able to use this petition to raise the issue in Parliament and hopefully resolve this situation as soon as possible for South African citizens abroad. We call on all those affected, as well as their families and friends to please sign the petition, so that we can move this frustrating situation forward for them.”

A residency permit crisis looms for South Africans living abroad as some have started to get orders to leave due to expired passports.

South Africans living, working and studying abroad wait six to twelve months for their passport renewals. In stark comparison, India recently announced a two day to two week turnaround time for their nationals renewing passports abroad!

The Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened an already unacceptable situation with South African embassies closed and South Africans citizens stranded, said DA MP Adrian Roos and DA Abroad Leader Dr Rory Jubber in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Many embassies that are now open have four to six week waiting lists just to apply for a passport renewal.

Section 21(4) of the Constitution grants every citizen the right to a passport and for those South Africans living abroad the expiry of their passport means their visa expires and they are subject to daily fines and deportation.

It is an untenable situation and the DA wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to request that his department finds some mechanism to grant South Africans an emergency validity extension to their passports.

“From media statements by the Minister, it is clear he does not understand the problems that South Africans living abroad are confronted with when they are unable to renew their documents in a timely manner. South Africans living abroad do not only need their passports to return to South Africa.

“They need their South African passports and other documents to be able to function legally in their countries of residence; to work, to remain as legal residents and to access vital services like healthcare and education,” said the statement.

Therefore, to assist South Africans abroad, the DA and SAPeople will petition the Minister of Home Affairs to:

  • Ensure South Africans living, working and studying abroad who are facing long waits for their renewed passports have an emergency extension to their passport that covers the 6-12 month average wait.
  • Co-ordinate with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to ensure all facilities where applications are made abroad are fully open for business and are Covid-19 safety compliant.
  • Put in place measures to reduce the turnaround time for passport applications from abroad including electronic applications at larger missions and the option to courier applications.

SAPeople receives a deluge of desperate emails daily, and can no longer stand back and just report on this matter. We hope that by collaborating with the DA – who also do not want to stand idly by while South African citizens are in need – that this petition will ensure this matter reaches the highest offices, and can soon be resolved.

Financially Independent Visa

An alternative to the Retirement Visa route exists in the financially independent visa for which candidates would need to be able to demonstrate a net asset value totalling not less that R12 million.

In addition, it would also be necessary to demonstrate proof of payment of R120,000 as a non-refundable sum to the Director General of Home Affairs. The application for a financially independent visa will lead to permanent residence.

  • A retired persons visa may be issued for a period exceeding three months to a foreigner who intends to retire in the Republic, provided that the foreigner provide proof that such foreigner has the right to a pension or an annuity or retirement account which will give such foreigner a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of his or her life from the country of his or her origin; or a minimum prescribed net worth.
  • The Department may authorise the holder of a retired person Visa to conduct work under terms and conditions as the Department may deem fit to determine under the circumstances.
  • A retired person visa may allow its holder to sojourn in the Republic on a seasonal or continuous basis; and not exceed a four-year period, at the expiry of which it may be renewed one or more times.

Why would I use a registered migration agent?/ Practitioner?

Although you do not have to use a registered migration agent to lodge your visa application, they might be able to help you if your case is complex or you require immigration assistance.
Registered migration agents are required to:
• have a sound knowledge of migration law and procedure
• act professionally and in a timely manner
• abide by the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents
• have appropriate insurance
• be a fit and proper person to give immigration assistance and be a person of integrity (this will involve criminal history checks).
If you have a problem with a registered agent, you can make a complaint to the Authority – FIPSA .

Why shouldn’t I use an unregistered migration agent?

In South Africa, unregistered people working as migration agents are not breaking the law but are unregulated and you have no recourse for poor advice which will have devasting consequences on your application and your future in South Africa .
This is because people who are not registered might:
• not know about current South African legislation and procedures
• give you incorrect advice
• make false claims about your chances of success.
Advantages of a registered Immigration Practitioner:
• knows the current South African Immigration legislation and procedures
• writes a licensing exam and is registered with FIPSA / Law Society
• will always give you correct advice
• will be honest about your chances of success
• will go for regular training with Department of Home Affairs, Department of Labour, VFS and Department of Trade and Industry.
Applying in South Africa: if you want to report an unregistered person, you can contact us (free of charge).

Applying outside South Africa: if you are outside South Africa and suspect that an unregistered person has broken the law, you can report them to your local law enforcement authority and tell your nearest immigration office or SA Embassy .

If you think that a migration agent is acting unprofessionally, you should also tell your nearest immigration office ( Department of Home Affairs ) .

SA Migration International is registered with FIPSA ( Forum of Immigration Practitioners ) and the Department of Home Affairs

General Work Visa

Under the General Work Visa there are very strict requirements. The South African government, although trying to promote work and trade in South Africa, recognize the need to give South Africans the chance to obtain employment ahead of any foreigner.

You will have to prove that you are the only person who can fill that position and that no other South African can play that role. This is done by placing an advert in a national newspaper advertising the position.

A Department of Labour report would need to be obtained.

You will also need to have a job offer/contract from your future employer.

The most important part of the process is skills assessment by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) in SA which evaluates your formal qualifications and compares them to a SA qualification. This process is mandatory and for this we would need your academic transcripts and award diplomas. Note under the regulations provision is made for the recognition of work experience in the absence of formal qualifications and this therefore makes provision recognition of prior work experience (RPL).

This is a paper based system which merely compares the foreign qualifications and arrives at an equivalent qualification in SA, and if qualified in SA then no SAQA needed.

Next your employer has to prove that you are the only person that can fill the position and no other South African can fill that role. This is done by placing an advert in a national newspaper advertising the position.

Please note the work Visa is issued in the name of the employer so the person is tied to the employer. If they change the job they will require a new work Visa.

There is some good news for people who are qualified through work experience only and they can qualify if they don’t require formal qualifications, ie SAQA.

Inter Company Transfer Visa

An intra-company transfer work Visa may be issued by the Department to a foreigner who is employed abroad by a business operating in the Republic in a branch, subsidiary or affiliate relationship and who by reason of his or her employment is required to conduct work in the Republic.

An important factor is that the applicant has to have been employed with the company abroad for a period of not less than 6 months.

The Intra company transfer is not designed to be a long term visa. The idea is to bring in foreign workers employed by the company abroad with a branch or subsidiary branch here in South Africa; they work or conduct training for four years, and then return home.

This Visa does not require the hassle of proving the company could not find suitable applicants and it does not require the hassle of verifying an applicant’s formal qualifications. It is based purely on employment. If you are a company that needs to transfer in foreign employers, please contact us and we will make this go as smoothly as possible.

It is important to note that this category of work Visa cannot be granted for more than four (4) years and this type of Visa is not extendable.

Critical Skills Work Visa

The Critical Skills Visa South Africa is for skilled workers whose occupation is on the Critical Skills Visa List for South Africa. This list reflects the occupations that are in demand in South Africa.

The newly published “Skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic of South Africa in relation to an application for a Critical Skills Visa or Permanent Residence Visa”

This category of work visa may be issued to an applicant who falls within a specific professional category or specific occupational class determined by the Minister by notice in the Government Gazette. This is done after consultation with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Trade and Industry.

If an applicant falls within one of the professional categories listed on the critical skills list and also has the appropriate post qualification working experience in that profession then such applicant may qualify to apply for this category of work Visa.

The applicant also needs to where applicable register with the relevant South African professional accreditation body regulating that industry as stipulated by Minister of Home Affairs. Such body must also confirm the applicant’s skills, qualifications and working experience.

Furthermore, such applicant’s qualifications need to be evaluated relevant to a South African level. An applicant for a Critical Skills Visa may enter South Africa on such visa without having secured a job offer first. It is, however, required of the applicant to confirm employment with the Department of Home Affairs within a period of one (1) year upon arrival in South Africa, failing which, the Visa would automatically lapse.

The Critical Skills Work Visa is tied to an individual and not to an employer so under this Visa a person can leave from one employer to the next without obtaining a new work Visa.