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A personalized immigration service to private individuals as well as corporate companies.

  • Writer's pictureSue-Allan Mehl

Am I allowed to work as the spouse of a South African Citizen or PR holder?

Spouses belong together and should not be separated by continents or oceans. In an earlier post, we briefly referred to spouses who may work, study or conduct own business in South Africa.

Options for foreign spouses:

In this edition, we would like to look at options foreign spouses have if they wish to conduct an activity in South Africa. This activity can be conducted on a Spousal visa (commonly known as the Section 11 (6) visa) and is made available as a long-term visitor's visa.

a) Spousal visa with authorization to work:

Spouses can opt to look for employment with a South African company. As part of the application process, an offer of employment or a contract must be included. The contract must stipulate the basic labour law items and be signed by the applicant as well as a representative of the company.

b) Spousal visa with authorization to conduct own business:

For this category, the applicant must submit a business plan of the company he or she intends to open in South Africa. Most spouses also register the company with The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) as invoicing and trading will be done from within South Africa. Unlike the normal Business Visa, the foreign spouse is not required to invest the required R5 million into the book value of the business.

c) Spousal visa with authorization to study:

Lastly, if the foreign spouse wishes to study in South Africa, he or she may do so. As part of this application, a provisional or formal letter of acceptance from the learning institution must be submitted.


It is important to note that the foreign spouse must still submit the usual legal requirements such as police clearances, medical and radiological, proof of kinship to the SA spouse and other documents. The visa has a duration of maximum three (3) years and the South African or Permanent Residence spouse will remain the basis of the visa application.

Lastly, the foreign spouse may submit a change of conditions application within South Africa from a tourist visa as per Directive 07 of 2019.

For more information on the spousal visa process, please reach out to us via our Contact Form on Alternatively, we are available on +2773 5357 534 or


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