Foreign nationals who wish to obtain South African citizenship by marriage are now faced with stricter rules introduced by the Department of Home Affairs.
These rules are a means to limit the number of fraudulent marital unions undertaken by Foreign Nationals in order to obtain citizenship in South Africa.
There is now a strict investigation and interviewing system in place which is meant to sidestep marriages of convenience by Foreign nationals in South Africa.
Any couple due to enter into a marriage must book an interview with an immigration officer at their closest Department of Home Affairs. This must take place at least two weeks before the date of the ceremony.
During the interview, both partners are thoroughly questioned about the legitimacy of their relationship.
The foreign nationals are asked questions on the period of time they have been in the country and whether or not they have a valid visa.
Valid passports and visas are required if two Foreign Nationals plan to wed in South Africa. Additionally, two witnesses must be present at the ceremony and signing of the marriage register.
The Marriage Officer enters the marriage into the register along with the signatures of the couple as well as the witnesses.
Once the register is signed, the marriage officer issues the newly wed couple with a handwritten marriage certificate.
The couple can then hand the certificate into the Department of Home Affairs where they will be issued with an abridged marriage certificate at no cost.
The abridged certificate can be taken back to their home country where they can then register their South African marriage.
The new rules implemented by the Department of Home Affairs regarding foreign marriages in South Africa have made the country a less desirable wedding location for foreigners.
However, it has played an important role in preventing unlawful marriages of convenience in order to obtain citizenship in South Africa.
Our marriage attorneys in Cape Town and Johannesburg are experts in marital law, including foreign marriage rules in South Africa.
For more information regarding citizenship by marriage in South Africa or other legal matters, contact us and speak to one of our attorneys.
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