US citizens getting married in South Africa - What you need to know | Legal Articles


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US citizens getting married in South Africa - What you need to know

US citizens getting married in SA

When marrying a foreigner in South Africa, there are various legal requirements which must be met in order for the marriage to take place.

Marrying-US-Citizen-South Africa

Foreign citizens are required by law to present a Letter of No Impediment to Marry which has been issued by their embassy as part of their application to for a marriage license in South Africa.

However, the US does not have a central database which displays marriage records. Therefore U.S consular officers are unable to certify a U.S citizen’s eligibility or marital status.

American marrying a South African

In such cases where the foreign citizen is American, he or she may write an affidavit in the presence of a U.S Consul to serve as a substitution for the Letter of No Impediment.

The South African government has been informed by the U.S Diplomatic Mission to SA that U.S consular officers cannot issue a letter of no impediment and will only notarize an affidavit.

Officials at smaller Department of Home Affairs (DHA) offices may not accept these affidavits as they are not familiar with the policy regarding them.

In this case, it’s recommended to visit a major city such as Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria or Johannesburg.

Marrying a South African Citizen

In order to write an affidavit in lieu of the Letter of No Impediment, you are required to make an appointment at the American Citizen Services Unit of the United States Consulates General in either Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg.

Only the U.S citizen who will be writing the affidavit is required to appear in person.

Furthermore, a fee of $50 is applicable for the notarization of the affidavit. This fee is not refundable and is payable in cash or with a credit card on the day of the appointment.

Documents required at the time of your appointment
  • U.S passport
  • Your appointment confirmation printout
  • If previously married, either divorce decrees or death certificates to prove that you are legally free to marry
  • Either U.S Dollars, South African Rands or a major credit card to pay your notarization fee

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated – Attorneys in Sandton

Irrespective of the citizenship of the person you are marrying, it is critical that you still choose the most suitable marital regime, for both your sakes.

For more information about marrying a foreigner in South Africa and how to go about it legally, contact us.


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