UK Spouse Visa From South Africa 2024 Requirements, Fees & Processing times


This article will discuss making a UK spouse visa application from South Africa in 2024.

We will discuss the following:

What you will get if you apply for a UK spouse visa from South Africa

The UK spouse visa fee/cost in South Africa in 2024

The UK spouse visa online application form from South Africa

The UK spouse visa from South Africa processing time in 2024

The visa centres in South Africa the applicant will have to attend

How to submit your supporting documents for a UK spouse visa application from South Africa

The UK spouse visa requirements from South Africa in 2024

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What will you get if you apply for a UK spouse visa from South Africa?

#1 South African nationals and people who hold any type of long-term residency in South Africa (“applicants”) can apply for a UK spouse visa. If successful, they will be able to enter and stay in the UK with their UK partner (the “sponsor”) for 33 months initially.

Before the 33-month visa expires, they will then be able to extend the visa for another 30-months by submitting an FLR M application.

This article discusses applicants making a UK spouse visa application from outside the UK.

If applicants are applying from inside the United Kingdom, details about this are available in our FLR(M) visa guidance.

“Can I make the UK spouse visa application from inside the UK instead of South Africa?”

If an applicant already has a UK visa that has been issued for over six months (& is not a visitor visa), they will generally be able to apply from inside the UK.

If they do not have a visa which has been issued for 6+ months (which is not a visitor visa), South African nationals or those that hold any type of long-term residency in South Africa (for example, those holding a work visa), will be required to apply from outside the UK (either from South Africa or their other country of nationality or residence).

Please be aware that applicants in the UK on a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partnership visa are an exception here, as they can normally submit their application from inside the UK.


#2 A UK spouse visa will permit the South African applicant to work in the UK.

UK spouse visa holders are entitled to work in the UK.

This is different to – and an advantage over – a UK fiance visa in 2024, which does not give the applicant permission to work.


#3 Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British Citizenship can be obtained via the UK spouse visa route.

Applicants on the spouse visa route typically must live in the UK with their partner for five years before obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

However, if an applicant is granted leave on the ten-year route to settlement rather than the 5-year route, they will have to live in the UK for ten years with their partner before obtaining ILR.

In summary, if an applicant submits an application that meets all the spouse visa UK requirements in 2024 and continues to meet the requirements, they should be able to apply for ILR after five years.


What is the UK spouse visa fee/cost in South Africa in 2024?

A UK spouse visa application from South Africa costs 44,079 South African Rand in Home Office fees. This amount is based on the current Home Office application fee of £1,846 and the conversion rate at the time of writing (1 GBP/23.88 South African Rand).

UK spouse visa applicants from South Africa must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS fee amounts to 74,147 South African Rand.  This figure is based on the current IHS fee of £3,105 and the conversion rate at the time of writing.

The amount an applicant has to pay will depend on the exchange rate used at the time – as discussed in our UK spouse visa fees article.

If an applicant chooses to pay for an immigration lawyer to assist with the application, there will be a further cost to consider.

We charge a fixed fee of £2,250 for our full legal representation service.

This service is provided by Ed Lowe, Wendy Foy & Matthew French – all of whom worked in the Home Office (the UK government department that will process the partner visa application).

This bespoke & comprehensive service involves us making the application as easy and stress-free as possible whilst ensuring that the application is put together in an Immigration Rules compliant way.

We charge a fixed fee of £435 for our DIY application pack service. This service involves providing you with a detailed & tailored written guidance (including a detailed document checklist & letter templates) that answers the most commonly asked questions that we’ve come across after having helped process more than 3,000 partner visa applications.


Where is the UK spouse visa online application form from South Africa?

Applicants must visit this webpage, as discussed in our spouse visa UK application form 2024 article.

The next step, as shown in the screenshot below, is to click the link under the sub-heading “Outside the UK”:

uk spouse visa from South Africa application form


What is the UK spouse visa from South Africa processing time in 2024?

UK spouse visa applications submitted from South Africa take 2-3 months on average. 

The latest information about processing times can be found in our spouse visa UK processing times in 2024 article.

UK spouse visa full legal representation


Where are the TLS visa centres in South Africa?

There are 5 TLS visa centres in South Africa.

TLS is the Home Office’s commercial partner for UK visa applications from South Africa.

Location Address Opening hours
Cape Town Cape Town Visa Application Centre

Upper Ground Floor, Media Quarter Building, Corner of De Smit Street and Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, South Africa

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 09:30 – 15:00.

Passport collection: Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 15:00

Prime time appointment: Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 08:30.

Durban Durban Visa Application Centre

 

430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, 3rd Floor, The Atrium, Durban, South Africa

 

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30.

Passport collection: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30

Prime time appointment: Monday to Friday: 07:30 – 08:30

Johannesburg Johannesburg Visa Application Centre

 

2nd – 3rd Floor, 24 Central Building, Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30.

Passport collection: Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 15:30

Prime time appointment: Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 08:30

Port Elizabeth

 

Port Elizabeth Visa Application Centre

 

Ground Floor Building 66, Fairview Office Park, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30.

Passport collection: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30

Prime time appointment: Monday to Friday: 07:30 – 08:30

Pretoria Pretoria Visa Application Centre

 

1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, Growth Point building, Corner of Lois/Atterbury Road, (Opposite to Menlyn Park Shopping Centre) Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 15:30.

Passport collection: Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 15:00

Prime time appointment: Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 08:30

Applicants should be aware the above is subject to change at any time.

The current availability of centres can be found on the TLS website.


How do we book the visa centre appointment in South Africa?

First, applicants should complete the spouse visa online application form in 2024.

After submitting the online application form (which is when the Home Office fees are paid), applicants are redirected to the TLS website.

Once on the TLS website, applicants can book an appointment at one of the locations above and choose any additional, optional services they may opt to pay for (such as the priority service).

It will also be on the TLS website where you can upload the supporting documentation.


How do we submit the supporting documents from South Africa?

There are usually the following options to choose from when submitting supporting documentation from South Africa.

#1 You may be able to post the documents to a specified address in the UK.

Applicants can post their supporting documentation to the TLS scanning hub in the UK to be scanned. There is an additional fee for this service.


#2 You may be able to submit the documents at the visa centre in South Africa using an assisted scanning service.

A member of TLS staff will scan the documents at the centre for an additional fee.


#3 You can upload the documentation via the self-upload portal on the TLS website.

Supporting documents can normally be self-uploaded from an applicant’s home computer.

This can be done after the applicant has:

  1. Paid spouse visa UK fee in 2024; and
  2. Paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

This is the document-submitting procedure that we generally recommend.


#4 You may be able to post the documents to a scanning hub in the UK

The instructions, if available at the time, will be provided to you as you progress through the application process.


What are the UK spouse visa requirements from South Africa in 2024?

UK spouse visa applicants from South Africa in 2024 must:

requirement 1

The Financial Requirement For Spouse Visa Applications Made From South Africa in 2024

The financial requirement, which is the biggest cause of UK spouse refusals, can be relatively complex.

We discuss this in detail in our spouse visa financial requirements in 2024 article.

Spouse Visa UK DIY Application Pack

requirement 2

The English Language Requirements For Spouse Visa Applications Made From South Africa in 2024

There are several ways applicants from South Africa can meet the English language requirement.

#1 Applicants who have a disability (a mental or physical condition) preventing them from meeting the English language requirement (or have exceptional circumstances) may be exempt from the English language requirement.


#2 Applicants are exempt from the English language requirement if they are aged 65 or over when the online application is submitted.

This is discussed in more detail in our List of Home Office Approved Secure English language tests (SELT) in 2024 article.


#3 Applicants from South Africa who also hold a majority English-speaking nationality automatically meet the English language requirement

Please note that South Africa has not been deemed to be a majority English-speaking country in the Immigration Rules.

The majority English-speaking nationalities, as defined in the Immigration Rules, are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Overseas Territories, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK and the USA.


#4 A Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD degree taught in English can also be used to meet the English language requirement.

If an applicant has a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree certificate from an educational institution (usually a university) in the UK, this can typically be used to meet the English language requirement.

An applicant with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree certificate from an educational institution in South Africa or another country outside the UK which was taught in English will need to provide the certificate and documentation from Ecctis (previously UK NARIC) stating:

  • The qualification meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s degree in the UK; and
  • The qualification was taught or researched in English at or above A1 level (if the qualification was not awarded in a majority-speaking country excluding Canada).

With the above being said, applicants often prefer sitting an English language test as they find this more convenient and straightforward than the Ecctis process.


#5 Sitting an English language test.

Applicants from South Africa can satisfy the English language requirement by sitting a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

There are a few things to be aware of if an applicant chooses this option.

i) Applicants must book an English test at least A1 level of the CEFR.

Our article “A1 English test for UK spouse visas in 2024” discusses the best A1 tests to take (& which ones you may want to avoid).

Please be aware applicants can consider taking a test at either A2 or B1 level. These tests can usually be relied on in later applications to extend leave to remain in the UK, for Indefinite Leave to Remain and for British citizenship. More information is available in our UK spouse visa English test requirements 2024 article.

In addition, the English test must be on the list of Home Office approved Secure English language tests in 2024.

For your convenience, the list of Home Office approved test centres in South Africa is provided below from this link.

Exam City Name of test centre Address
IELTS for UKVI Life Skills Cape Town BC Cape Town South African Medical Research Council, Francie Van Zijl Drive, Parow Valley, Cape Town 7501, South Africa
IELTS for UKVI

Life Skills

Cape Town BC Cape Town BC Cape Town – CCCC, Century City Conference Centre, No.4 Energy Ln, Century City, Cape Town 7446, South Africa
CD IELTS for UKVI Cape Town BC Cape Town – MP Montrose Place, First Floor, 2 Bella Rosa Street, Tyger Valley, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa
PTE Academic UKVI

PTE Home UKVI

Cape Town Pearson – Cape Town Fourth Floor Auto Atlantic Building, 4 Rua Vasco Da Gama Plain, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Skills for English UKVI Cape Town TLScontact Visa Application Center – Cape Town Corner of De Smit Street and Somerset Road , De Waterkant , Cape Town
CD IELTS for UKVI

Life Skills

Durban BC Durban Westway Office Park, 7 The Blvd, Westville, Durban
PTE Academic UKVI

PTE Home UKVI

Durban Pearson South Africa Umhlanga 1 Umhlanga Ridge Boulevard, 1 on Lunar Row, Umhlanga New Town Centre, Durban North, 4319, South Africa
IELTS for UKVI Johannesburg BC Johannesburg – FR Focus Rooms, Heaton Lane, Longlake 20, Modderfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
IELTS for UKVI

Life Skills

Johannesburg BC Johannesburg Global Continuity, 41 Wordsworth Avenue, Senderwood, Johannesburg 2145
PTE Academic UKVI

PTE Home UKVI

Johannesburg Language Testing Centre 59 Linksfield Road, Dowerglen, Gauteng, Johannesburg, 1609, South Africa
PTE Academic UKVI/PTE Home Johannesburg Pearson Professional Centers-Johannesburg 6th Floor Office Tower, Sandton City Shopping Centre, Cnr Sandton Drive & Alice Lane, SANDTON Johannesburg, 2146
Skills for English UKVI Johannesburg TLScontact Visa Application Center – Johannesburg 24 Central Building, Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton, Johannesburg 2196
IELTS for UKVI

Life Skills

Pretoria BC Pretoria Hotel 224, 596 Francis Baard Street, Arcadia Pretoria, 0007 In
CD IELTS for UKVI Pretoria BC Pretoria – GC Global Continuity, 1011 Pretorius Avenue, Lyttleton Manor  Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa
IELTS for UKVI Pretoria BC Pretoria – HA Heartfelt Arena, 1000 Voortrekker Rd, Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT Pretoria Pretoria CTU Training Solutions (Pretoria campus), Glen Manor Office Park, Block 6, Frikkie de Beer St.

Menlyn, Pretoria, ZAF 0063


requirement 3

Tuberculosis (TB) Test Requirements For Spouse Visa Applications Made From South Africa

Applicants submitting their application from South Africa are normally required to provide a TB test certificate showing they do not have TB if:

  • the applicant has lived in South Africa (or any of the listed countries) for 6 months or more; or
  • the applicant was living in South Africa (or another listed country) within the last 6 months.

Please note that the Home Office will only accept TB tests from Home Office approved clinics.

The TB test is only valid for six months.

The test must be valid when the online application is submitted – it does not need to be valid when the application is decided or when the applicant enters the UK.

What is the TB test fee/cost in South Africa?

The current TB test fee varies depending on the Home Office approved clinic attended.

How do I book a TB test in South Africa?

You should contact the clinic directly – the contact details of the clinics can be found here.

When contacting the clinic, applicants should clarify that the test is for a UK visa application.


Requirement 4

The Relationship Requirements

To summarise, the main relationship requirements that must be met are: 

#1 The applicant and sponsor must be 18 or over on the date the online application is submitted.


#2 The partners must intend to live together permanently in the UK. 


#3 Applicants must be married, in a civil partnership or have lived with someone for two years who is British, has settled status, has refugee leave or humanitarian protection or has settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

Alternatively, the partner may be a person from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (& started living in the UK before 1 January 2021);

Applicants who are engaged to be married or plan to enter into a civil partnership in the UK can apply for a UK fiancé visa or a proposed civil partnership visa from South Africa.

If an applicant applies as a married or civil partner, the marriage or civil partnership must be lawfully recognised in the country where the marriage or civil partnership took place.

Partners applying based on having lived together for two years before applying can find more details about the requirements for an unmarried partner visa in our unmarried partner visa UK 2024 guidance.


#4 The applicant and sponsor must have met in person.


#5 Previously legally recognised relationships of either the applicant or sponsor must have broken down permanently (unless the relationship falls within a small number of exceptions).

This, in essence, means that such partners would typically have to provide a decree absolute (or equivalent).


#6 The applicant and sponsor must have a genuine and subsisting relationship.

The Home Office caseworker will look at the application and supporting documentation when assessing whether the relationship is genuine and subsisting.

requirement 5

The Adequate Accommodation Requirements

Applicants must provide evidence that adequate accommodation is available for the applicant, sponsor and any other dependents when the online application is submitted.

It is important to note – as discussed in our free video series – the accommodation cannot be prospective.

Therefore, applicants must provide evidence of sufficient accommodation when the supporting documentation is submitted.

In addition, the accommodation cannot be classed as ‘overcrowded’.


Requirement 6

The Suitability Requirements

The suitability requirement will only apply to a minority of spouse visa applicants from South Africa. Still, it is nevertheless essential that applicants are aware of these before applying.

The suitability requirements state an application will be refused if any of the following apply:

uk spouse visa suitability requirements from South Africa


The suitability requirements state an application will normally be refused if any of the following apply:

other uk spouse visa from South Africa suitability requirements


Please note an application may also be refused if an applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office or has outstanding NHS charges amounting to at least £500.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

At what date do the documents have to show that the requirements for the UK spouse visa application from South Africa are met?

The date at which the documents must show that the requirements are met ordinarily relates to the date that you apply by paying the Home Office fees. The date at which the applicant attends the visa centre in South Africa is not normally relevant.

What is the most common reason for refusals for UK spouse visa applications from South Africa?

The most common reason for refusals for UK spouse visa applications from South Africa is the financial requirement. It may come as a surprise to many, but refusals most commonly arise not because of a lack of income (or cash savings), but rather because the financial documents submitted do not satisfy the document-specific Immigration Rules.

Can we book the visa centre appointment in South Africa before we submit the online application?

No. The visa centre appointment in South Africa can only be booked after the online application is submitted.

If the sponsor (UK partner) submits the supporting documents in the UK, does this mean that we will be making an in-country application rather than an out-of-country application?

The document submission procedure that you choose does not change the fact that it is only applicants who are in the UK on a 6+ month visa (not as a visitor) who can make an in-country application. An exception to this are applicants who are in the UK on a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partnership visa (who can make an application from inside the UK).


Are you applying for a UK spouse visa from South Africa?

We are an OISC-regulated immigration law firm based in the UK that only deals with UK spouse and partner visas. This is because the only way we can provide the best possible service to our clients is by specialising in UK spouse and partner visas only.

Our full legal representation service, which is offered by Ed Lowe, Wendy Foy & Matthew French (all of whom have worked in the Home Office for many years), is a bespoke comprehensive service which ensures that you put the best application forward in the least stressful way possible.

On the other hand, our DIY application pack service is for partners who want to save money by applying themselves with the assistance of our tailored written guidance, a detailed document checklist & set of letter templates. This service has helped thousands of partners and has been continually developed to address the commonly made mistakes that partners make, as well as discuss the most frequently asked questions.

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