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FIANCE has UK and SA Passport, I want to stay in SA! Marry in SA send docs to UK?

edited April 2011 in - Southern Africa
Hello, I need some help. I am engaged to a woman that has SA and UK passports. We reside in SA. We are looking to get married but getting married in SA is a MISSION!! They are so crazy with all of their immigration issues etc. I am looking to DENOUNCE my U.S. citizenship, so I can reside in SA and but since we live in SA can we get married here and submit documents to the UK for my UK citizenship so I can stay either in the UK (we have a house there, long story) or in SA? We are more than willing to move back to the UK but not before we get married.....for family reasons we must get married in SA. Any help you can give aside from political advice :-) would be helpful if you can answer: Can we get married in SA, send documents to UK for a UK passport/visa/other docs to help me stay in SA for me?


  • edited 1:41PM
    Hi. My field of expertise is 4X4 overland travel in Africa and other parts of the world, but I live in South Africa as a permanent resident with a UK passport. We were married in the UK and my wife holds both UK and SA passports. So we have some small similarities!I'm not quite sure what you are asking but a good start point would be have you been granted permanent residence in South Africa (I note you say you live here)? And why is it that you say that getting married here is a big problem? I cannot see why a US passport holder should find it any different to a South African or UK passport holder getting married here. Or maybe there's more to this than I am aware of.
  • edited 1:41PM
    You don't have to denounce your US citizenship straight away, as you probably won't get citizenship in either south africa or the UK anytime soon. To get citizenship in either country you'll have to be resident there for at least five years (I'm more familiar with South african immigration laws than the UK's btw).

    To get South african citizenship, you will go through a process that involves five years of temporary residence (renewing every 1-2 years), then two years of permanent residence (application takes about 18 months at this point). You'll then be eligible for citizenship. At no time during this period can you leave South Africa for more than 3 months.

    There are ways to speed things up, though. If you plan to work and have exceptional or critical skills, if you own property or liquid assets worth more than R2.5 million, or if you have children with your fiance/wife, you can get permanent residence more quickly.

    As I said, I'm less familiar with UK immigration laws, but I know that the timeline and requirements are similar. You will most likely be able to apply for a visa through the British Embassy in South Africa. Hope that helps. Depending where you live in South Africa, I can recommend an immigration agent that can act on your behalf with Home Affairs and smooth the process considerably.
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