Answer to a question from a reader

What visa can I get if my child is South African and I want to get a job?

The short answer

You can apply for a relative's visa, but you will need it endorsed to allow you to work if you are offered employment.

The long answer

As you are a parent of a South African child, you can apply for a relative’s visa. The relative’s visa is issued for two years only, but can be renewed. Unfortunately, on a relative’s visa, you may not work, study or run a business, but you can apply for the visa to be endorsed to allow you to study and to work if you are offered employment. 

To have your visa endorsed for study, you need an acceptance letter from the learning institution, and for work, you need an offer of employment with a valid contract of employment. 

As your son is a minor child, he will not be required to provide the financial assurance that the Department of Home Affairs requires to grant a relative’s visa, so you will have to show proof with three months’ bank statements that you have a minimum of R8,500 a month to support yourself.  

This is what you would have to present to Home Affairs through VFS Global, to get a relative’s visa:

  • An application fee to Home Affairs of R1,520

  • A processing fee to VSF Global of R1,350

  • Proof that you are your son’s parent through an unabridged birth certificate. Home Affairs may also want paternity test results from DNA test.

  • Your unabridged birth certificate or certified copy

  • A correctly filled application form 

  • Biometrics taken by VSF Global (e.g. palm prints, fingerprints, etc.)

  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate if you are from a country where yellow fever is endemic

  • A police clearance certificate

  • A medical report  

  • Radiological report (i.e. X-ray)

  • Two passport photos

  • Proof of financial support (at least R8,500 per person per month)

  • Proof of your son’s South African citizenship through ID or passport, but if he is a minor child, his unabridged birth certificate would be enough.

It could take more than 60 days for Home Affairs to process your visa, as they have a massive backlog of visa applications.

Once you have had work visas for at least the past five consecutive years, you can apply for permanent residence if you have got a permanent job offer in South Africa. The five years’ work permits need to have been endorsed in your passport.

So, though none of this is at all easy, it is possible.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on April 5, 2024, 2:13 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.