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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have done searching on here looking for an answer to my question, but have yet to find one.

I am currently in South Africa on a tourist visa until the end of November. My fiance and I have yet to set a wedding date (although we are looking at mid-October) and had a few questions. I have researched into what is needed paperwork wise for an American to marry a South African in SA, but cannot find out how long the process takes from the wedding to be able to receive a spousal visa. I will have to leave the country after my tourist visa expires, and as you can imagine as newly weds, we would not want to be apart for any longer than we would have to be. I was curious as to what the process exactly is and how long it usually takes. From my google research it seems that the spousal visa process is fairly simple, but we do not want to underestimate it.

Thank you in advanced!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also can I apply for the spousal visa while I am in SA or do I have to wait until I am back in the USA to apply?
 

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For a foreigner to marry a SA citizen you first need to book a marriage interview appointment at home affairs. From my experience the wait for the appointment was 3 months. Only with HA approval can you get married, they will ask for the details of who is performing the ceremony, when and where. Once you get married you need to apply at HA for an unabridged marriage certificate which takes several months to come through and you need this to apply for the visa. It is not a quick process unfortunately.
 

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I married an SA citizen in 2012 but we didn't have to book for a marriage interview appointment, we were planning a wedding and our pastor (a registered marriage officer) took us to a DHA office to complete a marriage register form (DHA-30) which we then signed on our wedding day, be sure to keep a copy of this form as it will come in handy in the future.

Before the wedding the only requirement was that I produce a letter/certificate of no impediment from my country of origin as proof of my marital status there, I assume you can get this from the US consulate/embassy, this and any prenup will be attached to the marriage register form (DHA-30) thereafter you will be issued with a hand written marriage certificate (BI-27) on your wedding day. Once the details are captured at DHA you will be able to request for a computer generated marriage certificate (DHA-5), I think it takes a couple of weeks.

I was on a work VISA so unfortunately I can't assist you with the spousal VISA application

Visit DHA Visa Information - South Africa - Temporary Residence Visa - Relative Visa for more details
 

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teegombaz is right - letter of no impediment is essential. In some embassies, this can be applied for (USA is usually good about it), others quote timing of 6 months or say they cannot assist. In such cases, you can find service providers on Google that can assist you - they are in SA and you are abroad. Then it usually takes 4-6 weeks maximum.
 

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Replying JTRyno

Hi JTRyno

I believe you can apply for a Section 11.6 visa (live with SAC and work) from within SA if you apply for a waiver. The waiver will basically say 'we are married so we cant be split' and I have a constitutional right to apply for a visa without being split from my wife (once you are married). The application for a waiver can be successful or it may not.

Many things that happened before 2014 have since changed, so I'd advise doing further research if any advice is pre-2014.

There is a Facebook group (SA Visa Forum) where questions similar to yours have been asked with answers from people who've been in your situation.
 
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