Temporary Residence Categories
2. Relative’s Visa
There are two types of relative’s visas envisaged in terms of section 18 of the Act:
a. Family Members – “Immediate members of Family”
A relative’s visa is issued in terms of section 18 of the Act, when the foreign applicant falls within the “immediate family” of a South African citizen or Permanent Resident holder.
It envisages a very wide definition of kinship in that It extends horizontally and vertically where “marriage is counted as one” to the second step of kinship “excluding common antecedents” who are “not so counted”.
Smiedt & Associates immigration department considers the following to fall within the definition and would become eligible for a relative’s visa:
Spouse, parents, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, children, stepchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and first cousins.
The Relative’s visa will also be issued for a maximum of two years without the right to work, which in our view is unconstitutional especially where the kinship is in the first line of kinship.
A requirement for the South African citizen or permanent resident must be able to financially support the foreign applicant in an amount of R8,500 per month, per person to qualify, which can be proved by a payslip or 3 months bank statement.
Note: In the case where the foreign applicant for a relative’s visa is linked to a South African citizen or permanent resident who is a dependent child, the child is exempt from showing the financial amount of R8,500 per month.
A relative’s visa is also envisaged in relation to foreign ‘spouses’ who are in certain relationships with South Africans, as defined in the Act, which would include:
- Spouses are legally married in civil union – it does not include Sharia marriages which in our view is unconstitutional;
- Spouses are in a permanent partnership in compliance with Regulation 3 of the 2014 Regulations;
- African customary marriage registered with the Department.
Regulation 3 requires that a permanent partnership:
- Two or more years in existence;
- Duly notarized spouse agreement;
- Spouse Affidavit in terms of Form 1712A; and
- Documentary evidence of shared financial resources and cohabitation in excess of two years.