Permanent Residence For Relatives Of South African Citizens

Section 27(g) – Relative’s Category

The Relative’s Category is determined by the relationship of the foreign applicant in relation to a South African citizen or permanent resident.

The Relative’s Category for permanent residence under the Act and the 2014 Regulations envisage an applicant in a relationship in the “first step of kinship” to a South African permanent resident or citizen relative who is 18 years or older provided the South African relative is “able and willing to support and maintain the applicant”.

Thus it would conceivably apply to a foreign parent of an adult South African son or daughter. The converse would apply to a South African parent whose foreign son or daughter is 18 or older and wishes to apply for residence.

Note: There is much debate and discussion around whether it allows an applicant to apply on the basis of his or her South African child born of his or her relationship with a South African citizen. The DHA as a matter of course refuse applications made by the foreign biological or adopted parent on the basis of a minor South African child as it requires the South African ‘relative’ to be able to support the applicant and of course a minor South African child is not able to do so.

We view the current wording and application of this category for permanent residence as unconstitutional since it thus only allows a foreign parent who owes a legal duty of support to his or her South African minor child to simply be eligible for temporary residence on a Relative’s Visa and that does not permit work.

How then would such foreign parent of a South African minor child remain in South Africa on an indefinite basis and work in order to fulfill his or her legal obligations to support and maintain his or her minor child. It is thus wholly unfair not to allow such foreign parent such indefinite rights not only to the child’s future upbringing but the foreign parent’s legal duty of support.