Foreign Spouse Married Or Permanent Partnership (5 years to South Africa)

Section 26(b) – Evidence to show at least 5 years of being a “spouse” as defined in the Act.

Note: The definition of “spouse” envisages a foreign applicant who is with a South African permanent resident or citizen either as party to a recognised marriage or is a party to a permanent partnership as contemplated in terms of Regulation 3 of the 2014 Immigration Regulations.

Note: If the “spouse” relationship is that of being a permanent partnership it is required to present actual physical evidence to show actual “financial support” between the parties as well as the “extent to which the related responsibilities are shared” for at least 5 years. Of course, if the spouses are married then the need to comply with Regulation 3 is not required.

Invariably, the need to prove a permanent partnership from a physical evidentiary point of view will require one or more of the following at least for a minimum or in excess of 5 years: shared banking accounts locally or abroad, joint medical support or life cover, payments to each other as specific evidence of payments made by the one to the other dating back as far as possible, joint purchases or ownership of property, joint wills, lease agreement history to show cohabitation or utility bills.

Often, foreign applicants seek advice whether they would qualify if they made the 5 years through a combination of being permanent partners and marital spouses. We are of the view that the definition of “spouse” in the Act read with section 26(b) allow for this situation to qualify for a Permanent Residence Permit.

Note: When a Permanent Residence Permit is issued under this category the DHA impose a condition, which requires the holder to remain in a permanent relationship of good faith for a period of 2 years upon the issuance of such residency. It is recommended that you approach home affairs for an interview upon two years of issuance. In fact, Regulation 23(6) of the 2014 Regulations oblige a holder of such Permit to approach the DHA for an interview in the last 6 months of the second year of holding such Permit.

Note: If the relationship has broken down in the first two years then technically the condition has been breached and the residence lapses. We suggest you contact Legal Immigration Services should you feel that your relationship is at risk.