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This is How to Marry a South African Woman if You are a Foreigner

This is How to Marry a South African Woman if You are a Foreigner

If you are a foreign national living in South Africa for any reason(work, study, business…) you might end up finding you love or the person you would like to spend the rest of your life with, if that person is you and decide to get things to the next level (marriage), here is what you need to know.

Before you are allowed to get married in South Africa, however, you must prove you are legally eligible to marry in the country. Couples that are not residents of the country are entitled to a South African marriage licence, provided the correct procedures have been followed.

Marriage in South Africa is a legally binding contract. The regulations are governed by the South African Marriage Act of 1961 and the Civil Union Act of 2006, both of which outline the regulations regarding how a marriage is performed, and who may marry one another — thanks to the latter act, gay marriage in South Africa is legal , as well as where and how the wedding may be conducted and by whom. If you fail to comply with the regulations, your marriage could be declared null and void.

Whether you are a foreigner marrying a South Africa citizen, a South African marrying a foreigner, or you are both foreigners, every couple planning to get married in South Africa is obligated to follow the outlined procedures.

If you are planning on getting married, you must:

ensure that you are legally allowed to marry
understand the legal consequences of a marriage, particularly that marriages in South Africa are automatically in community of property, unless a valid ante-nuptial contract has been entered into before the marriage, and
make sure that your marriage will comply with all the legal requirements for a valid marriage

Documents required to enter into a marriage

On the day of the marriage a couple must present the following documents to the person officiating at the wedding:

  • Identity documents(for each person getting married).
  • If a foreign national is marrying a South African citizen, they should both present their valid passports as well as well as a completed BI-31 Form (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage, Letter of no impediment).
  • If the wedding is for a minor (a person under the age of 18 years), the written consent of both parents/ legal guardian or the Commissioner of Child Welfare or a judge should be submitted on Form DHA-32 as well. If the minors getting married are under the ages of 18 for boys or 15 for girls, the written consent from the Minister of Home Affairs will also be required.
  • If any of the persons getting married are divorced, then the final decree of divorce should be furnished
  • If any of the persons getting married are widowed, the deceased spouse’s death certificate must be submitted.

As a foreigner living in other country but married to a South African and want to get a permanent residency and maintain your Spousal Permit for permanent residency you need to ensure you visit South Africa at least once every 3 years.

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