Updated March 2020
When a South African Citizen gets married to a non South African Citizen in South Africa an interview with an immigration officer at Home Affairs is required prior to you getting married
Couples are not able to set up interviews telephonically and marriage officers or family members are not able to make appointments or submit documents on behalf of couples. Couples have to present themselves and the relevant documents to Home Affairs in person
The purpose of the interview from Home Affairs point of view is to ensure your relationship is authentic and to clamp down on marriages of convenience which is a problem in South Africa
I will ensure your docs are correct and will go with you to Home Affairs to submit your documents. I am based in George along The Garden Route and this is the process there
In terms of your planning you will need to allow for 10 days from handing in your marriage documents to having your interview with an immigration officer. Remember the interview needs to happen before your wedding ceremony or me officiating the legal side of your marriage at my office in George
Why does it take so long from handing in the documents to having an interview?
The immigration officer will send a copy of the entry stamp in the passport of the non SA citizen to The Ops centre for verification. This process can take a few days. Once the immigration officer at the local Home Affairs has received confirmation from the Ops Centre that the entry stamp is valid and has reflected on the movement system, the couple will then be called and a date will be set for the interview. Immigration officers also have to verify that the no lawful impediment letter (if the country of origin issues a no lawful impediment letter) is valid
Documents that are required by the couple to take to Home Affairs Marriage department at George Branch for a referral:
Please note that when you go for the interview with an immigration officer you are to take a family member or close friend with you to the interview who can vouch that they know you and that your relationship is authentic
SA Citizens who do not have green SA ID Books or the new ID Card. Home Affairs requires the green ID book or the new ID card for SA Citizens getting married in SA. SA Passports are not accepted.
No Lawful impediment letter is required for the non SA Citizen getting married in South Africa, This letter is obtained from your relevant government department in your country of origin confirming there is no lawful impediment to you getting married. Please note that the no lawful impediment letter will not be accepted if it is dated older than three months from your wedding date
If they do not issue no lawful impediment letters (like for British Citizens) then you need an official letter on a letterhead signed and stamped from them stating this and only then will Home Affairs in SA accept a notarized oath which I will email you. For British Citizens, I offer the service of obtaining the above letter from the British Embassy in Cape Town
Please note that it is the groom or bride’s (whoever is the SA Citizen) responsibility to make sure that your marital status on the Home Affairs system is correct. This is not an issue if you have not been married before but if you are divorced, please make sure you have a final decree of divorce issued from SA containing a case number and the court name. and stamp.
As a disclaimer, the above information is the latest information (March 2020) we have received from Home Affairs. If couples are getting married in December close to Christmas or Easter where there are a number of public holidays, there could be more delays and a longer lead time might be required in terms of setting up an interview with an immigration officer. As marriage officers, we are not involved in the interview process and cannot be held accountable for Home Affairs actions in this regard. If in doubt then it is advisable to call Home Affairs George Branch