Section 26 of the Act – Direct Residence
Section 27 – Residence on other grounds
2. Section 26(b) – Evidence as “spouse” in terms of the Act for Five Years
The Act defines a “spouse” either as a party to a legal marriage or a party in a permanent relationship in terms of regulation 3 of the 2014 Immigration Regulations.
Spouses as defined in the Act often seek PR and may for example have been permanent partners for three years and then married for two years, making up the remainder of the five years, whereafter they then apply for PR.
Note: The Department must grant PR if the foreign applicant can show five years as a “spouse” regardless of how the five years are made as long as the evidence of the permanent partnership can be clearly shown in terms of the evidence, plus the marriage certificate. Thus, evidence of permanent partnership would be required and it is therefore critical to provide, inter alia:
- Shared banking accounts from South Africa or abroad;
- Joint medical or life cover;
- Payments to each other in so far as rent, purchases, expenses;
- Joint purchases or ownership of property, joint wills, lease agreement history to show cohabitation or utility bills.
Note: PR under the spouse category will require the spouses to be interviewed by the Department (in terms of the Regulations) in the last six months of the second year after being issued with the PR to determine that their relationship is still in good faith and intact.
Note: We are often called on to advise and assist where the marital or permanent partnership is under threat and the parties are no longer together and in this regard we would caution the parties to seek legal advice and contact our offices as the PR may be called into question by the Department.