- Spouse Visa for South Africans eligibility
- UK Marriage Visa requirements
- Spouse Visa Financial requirements
- The “Genuine “Relationship” test
- How to apply for a Spouse Visa from South Africa
- Alternatives to the UK Spouse Visa for South Africans
- Spouse Visa Extension for South African citizens
- UK Marriage Visa processing times
- Settling in the UK on a Marriage Visa
- How to apply for British Citizenship by marriage
- Frequently asked questions
- How can I get help from the IAS
Spouse Visa UK for South African Citizens
If you are a British citizen or settled person, you can apply for a Spouse Visa to bring your partner from South Africa to the UK.
As a South African national, your partner is a visa national for UK travel purposes. This means that they should apply for a Spouse Visa before they enter the UK, unless they hold a Fiancé Visa and you wish to get married in this country.
If you wish to find out more on the Spouse Visa for South African citizens application process, you can get in touch with our team of professional lawyers.
Call us on 0333 305 3612 today or enquire through our live chat to speak with our client care team.
Who is eligible for a Marriage Visa for South Africans?
If you are a South African national and your partner lives in the UK, you may be eligible to join them on a Spouse Visa.
You can submit your application if you are a South African citizen and your partner is either a:
- British passport holder
- EU passport holder (other than British)
- Ancestry Visa holder
- UK Settled person (holding Indefinite Leave to Remain)
Each of these cases may require different application processes, costs and qualifying requirements. For this reason, it is always recommended to seek the professional help of an immigration lawyer.
UK Spouse Visa requirements
The UK Immigration Rules states that, to be eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa for a South African citizen, you and your partner must:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Have met each other in person at least once
- Be legally married
- Intend to live together permanently in the UK
- Have enough money to support yourselves and your family without claiming public funds
- Have suitable accommodation for you and your family
In addition, your partner must satisfy the English language requirements and provide evidence of TB (Tuberculosis) testing.
Marriage Visa Financial Requirements
If you wish to apply for a Spouse Visa for your South African partner, you must act as a sponsor. This means that you must meet specific financial requirements, such as earning at least £18,600 per year (before tax).
Applying with dependents
If you wish to include your children in your application, the Spouse Visa financial requirements of up to £22,400. For each additional child, you need to add £2,400 on top.
You can use your savings to supplements your minimum required income, provided that the total is above £16,000 and was held continuously for 6 months or more in your individual or joint bank account. Savings held outside the UK (for example, by your partner in South Africa) can also be used.
The “Genuine Relationship” Test
To obtain a Spouse Visa for your partner from South Africa, you must demonstrate that your relation is genuine, subsisting and durable.
To demonstrate that you are in love with your partner, you must provide a portfolio of supporting documents, such as:
- Joint bills or bank statements
- Your South African marriage certificate
- Evidence of co-habitation outside the UK
- Birth certificate of your children (if applicable)
- Proof of ongoing communication and joint travel
- A selection of pictures of you two spending time together
How to apply for a Spouse Visa from South Africa
You can complete and submit your initial application online. Upon payment of the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), your application will be officially submitted to UKVI.
You will receive a confirmation email, and a link to access the website of TLS Contact to complete any additional stage.
TLS Contact must be used if you need to book your biometrics appointment in South Africa. You can attend your visa appointment at any of the five UKVI centers in South Africa (Cape-Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria).
Alternatives to the UK Spouse Visa for South Africans
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have a few alternatives to apply for a Visa to enter the UK from South Africa.
If you are a Commonwealth citizen and you are able to show that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for an Ancestry Visa for South Africans.
If you and your partner wish to get married in the UK, you can apply for a Fiancé Visa, which will give you entry clearance in this country, provided that you get married within six months from your application. If you want to settle in the UK with your British partner but you do now wish to get married, you can check if you meet the requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa.
Spouse Visa Extension for South African citizens
Your Spouse Visa is set to expire after 2 years and 9 months. If you wish to remain in the UK, you must apply for a Spouse Visa for South Africans before your existing permit expires.
When applying for a Spouse Visa renewal, you must meet the same requirements attached to your initial application.
The current standard fee for a Spouse Visa extension is £1,033. Besides, since a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be attached to your passport, you must take into account an additional fee of £19.20 to have your biometrics taken.
When will I receive a decision?
The normal timescale for a decision on your Spouse Visa application submitted from South Africa is 24 weeks from the application date. If your case is particularly time-sensitive, you can pay for a priority service, which allows you to receive a letter from the Home Office within 30 days from your biometric appointment.
It must be noted that the priority service does not affect the UKVI’s final decision on your application.
If you have any queries or concerns about your Spouse Visa processing time, you can get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers.
What sources of income can be included towards the Spouse Visa financial criteria?
After holding a Spouse Visa for a consecutive period of 5 years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This will grant you the right to live, work and study in the UK free from any immigration restrictions.
To be eligible, you must meet specific requirements. For example, you must demonstrate your knowledge of British customs and traditions. Most importantly, you must haven’t spent more than 180 days outside the UK.
Can a South African national apply for British Citizenship by marriage?
It must be noted that marrying a British national doesn’t automatically grant you UK citizenship. You need to apply for this status, and ensure that you meet all the requirements.
Once you are a UK settled person, you can apply for British naturalization. This will be the last step of your immigration path and will allow you to get a British passport. UK dual citizenship is allowed, meaning that you are not required to renounce your South African nationality to become a British citizen.
Get in touch with our immigration lawyers today to find out more about your options to apply for British Citizenship by marriage if you are from South Africa.
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You and your partner will need to present proof of adequate accommodation for you and your family. To prove that your accommodation meets the UK living standards, you must provide the Home Office with the following documents:
- A description of your property
- Evidence that your house has enough room to accommodate everyone
- Proof that you can afford to pay for your family’s accommodation
It costs £1,523 to submit your Spouse Visa application from South Africa. The charge will increase if you are applying with your dependents.
Yes, if you are a South African citizen holding a Spouse Visa, you can work and study freely in the UK.
As a South African national, you are not exempt from meeting the English proficiency requirement. This meet that you will need to sit an English test and prove your proficiency in speaking and listening. To be valid, your exam must be taken through an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider.
You do not need to sit an English language test if you hold a degree that was taught or researched in English (and it is confirmed by UK NARIC), or if you have a long-term physical or mental condition.
If you wish to find out more about your options to meet this requirement or to support your eligibility, you can speak to one of our immigration lawyers experienced in Marriage Visa applications for South African citizens.
The first step to get your visa is to submit the initial application online. Nevertheless, this is a difficult application to do on your own, and can be tricky to satisfy all the requirements. Besides, it is important to prepare an outstanding portfolio of supporting documents, to highlight your eligibility.
For this reason, it is always safer to have a professional look at your situation. To seek the help of one of the best Spouse Visa specialists in the UK, you can get in touch with IAS’ lawyers.
Our immigration advisers have already helped several clients achieve their goals and move to the UK with their partner from South Africa.
Call us on 0333 305 3612 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone