Your decision to get married is one of the most significant of your life.

Your decision to get married in beautiful South Africa is probably one of the best in your life.

We certainly don’t want The Home Affairs requirements to spoil your celebration in any way.  The following is our way of streamlining the process to make it as simple as possible – so that you are really freed up to enjoy your day.

It is important that all documentation is ready and correct before leaving your home country as sourcing it once you are here may be stressful or even impossible.

1. If you are a South African who will be marrying a Non-South African citizen.

As of December 2014 – Home Affairs have an added stipulation that all South African citizens applying to have a Marriage solemnized with any Non-South African citizen need to comply with the following:

Both Parties that wish to get legally married in South Africa will need to appear in person (with the correct documentation) at a Home Affairs Office (Preferably the same officer where your Marriage Officer is registered- to make an appointment booking with the immigration interviewing officer

The documentation (especially the “Letters/Certs of No Impediment”) will be verified by the official on duty to secure your Interview date/time (An Affidavit is permissible for all UK Citizens in lieu of this letter – Please request a pro-forma if needed).

Once the interview has been successfully concluded, an Immigration Report will be drawn up and submitted to the marriage section

Documentation Required;  

For the South African Citizen:

  • A copy of your ID
  • 3 x ID photo’s
  • If you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf. If yours is an antenuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.
  • If yours is an antenuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.

For the Non- South African Citizen:

  • A copy of the front page of your passport
  • A copy of the Visa Page in your passport – or the last entry stamp through customs found in your passport
  • 3 x ID photo’s
  • If you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf.
  • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry)
  • You will be required to sign an Affidavit on the day of your wedding – This is a stationary document supplied by Home Affairs (BI 31) – Required to verify that you are using your international passport as a means of documentation

Note: British Authorities do not supply this Letter to commonwealth countries such as South Africa.  If you are a British Citizen, a sworn affidavit stating that you are not married, and that there is no legal impediment to your intended marriage will be accepted by the South African Home Affairs Office.

*We no longer require that your witnesses provide their ID documentation.

2. You are an international couple coming to SA to get married.

There are a few possible ways for you to manage the legal aspect of your Marriage in South Africa as an international couple.  

The first and most popular method is for you to officially marry and register your marriage in your home country.

Your event in South Africa will therefore simply be a celebration of what is already legally in place  . .

No documentation or information will be required for Home Affairs, but you might prefer to have some reference to your Full Names in the vows that you choose with your Marriage Officer/Celebrant to enhance your experience of your ceremony.

The second approach is to have your marriage legally solemnized in South Africa – but without the registration onto the South African Population Registry.

In this case, you will receive the official Abridged Marriage Certificate (DHA 27) from your celebrant/Marriage Officer – along with the right to receive an Unabridged Certificate (which will be required for the registration of your marriage in the country of your choice).  

The most efficient means of obtaining this Unabridged Certificate is through a reputable Immigration Service who will apply and obtain the document on your behalf and then deliver safely into your hands.

Documentation Required:

  • A copy of the front page of your passport
  • A copy of the Visa Page in your passport – or the last entry stamp through customs, found in your passport
  • A copy of the front page of your fiancé’s passport
  • A copy of the Visa Page in your fiancé’s passport – or the last entry stamp through customs, found in your passport
  • 3 x ID photo’s each
  • If one or both of you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf.
  • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry)
  • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry) for your fiancé.

Note: British Authorities do not supply this Letter to Commonwealth Countries such as South Africa.  If you are a British Citizen, a sworn affidavit stating that you are not married, and that there is no legal impediment to your intended marriage will be accepted by the South African Home Affairs Office.

Each of you will be required to sign an Affidavit on the day of your wedding – This is a stationary document supplied by Home Affairs (BI 31) – Required to verify that you are using your international passport as a means of documentation

*We no longer require that your witnesses provide their ID documentation.

I hope this helps give you a basic understanding of what is needed from you to get legally married in South Africa. To make it a little easier please see a Printable PDF attached here.

Just remember laws are constantly changing so please double check these resources and regulations before you travel to South Africa.

Much love

Rebecca

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