What is a Section 11.6 Life Partner Visa?
A Section 11.6 Visa is a Temporary Residency Visa granted to a non-South African citizen or resident who has been in a relationship with a South African citizen/permanent resident for 2 years. The section 11.6 Visa is similar to the Life Partner Visa. The difference between them is that the Section 11.6 Visa allows an applicant to work/study or run a business in South Africa while the Life Partner Visa does not. While the Life Partner Visa lasts up to 2 years, the Section 11.6 Visa is valid for up to 3 years. The duration of the visa depends on the official adjudicating the application.
Are you eligible for a Section 11.6 Life Partner Visa?
You are eligible to apply for a Section 11.6 Visa if you and your South African partner are able to prove you have been in a relationship for 2 years. You are required to provide proof of a minimum of two years’ worth of cohabitation and shared finances. If you wish to work/study or run a business during your stay in South Africa, the Section 11.6 Visa would be the most viable option for you. The non-South African citizen or resident will be required to provide a 3 month bank statement with no less than R3000 per month in the account at the time of submission.
Examples of evidence:
Shared cohabitation: Rental agreements, title deeds, post addressed for you at your partner’s physical address etc.
Shared finances: Joint bank accounts, signing rights of one another’s accounts, transfers into one another’s bank accounts.
If you do not currently hold a valid Temporary Residency Visa in South Africa, it is required that you apply for a Section 11.6 Visa in your home country. Processing times are currently up to 8 weeks.
If you currently hold a valid Temporary Residency Visa in South Africa and you wish to renew or change from one category to the Section 11.6 Visa, you may submit in South Africa. This is only a viable option if you have more than 60 days remaining on your current visa. Processing times can take from 8 to 12 weeks.
Frequently asked questions about the Section 11.6 Life Partner Visa?
Can I work/study or run a business on a Section 11.6 Visa?
Yes. It is required that you apply for an endorsement which will be included on your Section 11.6 Visa. This endorsement will allow you to legally take part in the desired activity in South Africa.
What do I need if I want to work in South Africa?
In order to work in South Africa, you will require a job offer or employment contract from the company you plan to work for. The application does not require a SAQA certificate and the company is not obligated to advertise the position.
What do I need if I want to study in South Africa?
In order to study in South Africa, you will be required to provide an acceptance letter from the particular registered learning institution. You will also need to have medical cover in South Africa.
What do I need if I want to run my own business?
In order to run your own business, you will be required to provide your company registration documents as well as a basic business plan. You are not obligated to invest any money into the business or hire any South African employees.
Can I apply if we are a same-sex couple?
Yes, you can. South Africa’s incredibly liberal constitution recognises all relationships that follow the criteria required to apply for a Section 11.6 Visa.
Can I change from a Section 11.6 Visa to a different type of visa from South Africa?
The Section 11.6 Visa is a Visitor’s Visa, therefore the Immigration Act states you are required to return to your home country if you wish to alter or submit a new application.
When do I qualify for Permanent Residency?
In order to qualify for permanent residency, you are required to provide proof of 5 years of shared cohabitation and shared finances with your partner who is a South African citizen/permanent resident. This is regardless of which country you have resided in together for these 5 years.
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