Getting married in South Africa

Hi all,

We invite all the ones who got married in South Africa or who are about to get married in South Africa to participate in this thread :)

What are the formalities to get married in South Africa? Is it the same for a couple of foreigners of for a mixed couple (between a foreigner and a native of South Africa)?

Are the procedures complicated?

How long does it take to carry out all the formalities?

Thank you in advance for participating,


you can alsovisit the home affairs website for info.

with south african law anyone can get married as long its for the right reasons not just to get citizenship

Thanks for the tips Gabicape!;)


Home Affairs will give you a different story at each office but we got married here in October.

There are different rules for 2 foreigners and if 1 is an SA resident.

This is what I found out
If you want to get married at Home Affairs you need to go in person and make an appointment. Waiting period about 6 weeks. When booking you will need both original ID books or ID and passport they also wanted asked for an affidavit and a certificate that you are not already married issued from your country and transalated in english by a sworn translator. You must also have a valid visa even if it is only tourist to get married.

We went the easy route booked through a marriage officer arranged everything over the internet and presented the documents on the day. The marraige officer did not ask for the certifcate of non impediment or the medical certificate but both were required later on when applying for the spouse resident permit. He did need to see our visa. Everything was arranged and booked in a few days and cost a little but was worth it.

Certifiate of non impediement " certificate that you are single" was not the easiest thing to come by in Egypt and it diffes from country to country. It would normally come from a government department of the country where you live/have your passport from.

In our case it had to come from the head of the coptic church  in Egypt

Hello Armand
My information is similar to Minasab.
I am from Mauritius and hubby from SA.
I had to get an affidavit from the court to say that I am single in Mauritius (as Mauritian civil status bureau does not issue the letter of non impediment)and used that at the local home affairs office in SA. Also needed ID of hubby + my passport+ my visa. We had gone to make an appointment and there was lots of drama with regards to the affidavit as it did not look like the usual letter of non-impediment. Eventually they faxed the affidavit to the Mauritian Embassy in Pretoria; the latter confirmed that it was correct. We were about to go make an appointment but lady who was assisting us told us to come the next day at 08 00, she will perform the ceremony. So that's how we got court married!

My best advice is to go in person to the home affairs to get all the information that you require.

Also coming to what Gabicape said; getting married to the right reasons; it is true. The application for accompany spouse permit is quite a lengthy and detailed one. I am convinced that the information that they ask in the form is to find out if the marriage took place for the right reasons or not.

Hope this helps

Thanks a lot for your contribution :)


You are welcome :-)

Hi!! We are foreigners and we got married here last year!!! everything supposed to be easy... as per our wedding officer...
To make the story short we just received  the unabridged certificate 2 weeks ago...  Dealing with Home Affairs was a nightmare... they said as we were foreigners we couldn't get the certificate... At some point we thought our wedding was a fraud... the wedding officer didn't help us at all... we consult with some lawyers ...some said Home Affairs should be able to give us a certificate some said was an illegal wedding... anyway by a miracle we got our certificate after 7 months... 

if you can avoid to deal with Home Affairs or any legal thing in this country!! DO IT!!!

Thank you for sharing caro14! :)


I am foreigner, husband is South African, got married in August 2012, the officer did everything for us, marriage certificate and registry he did the whole Home Affairs things and delivered the documents in less than a month. He actually apologize for taking so long!
My advice check the 'practice' before commiting to anything!

Thank you for your input Silvana_Arocha! :)


My pleasure!

Dear Silvana,

Can you kindly give me the details on where you got married ?

thank you

Hi Guys and Girls,

I'm a British national and I'm looking to marry my South African partner in South Africa and then for both of us to move to the UK to live.

Can anyone let me know which documents I need to bring with me to SA in order to get married.

I know I need a document to prove I'm not married already (anyone know the exact name of this?) but is there anything else other than the obvious ID etc that I would need to bring with me.

Thanks in advance for any help :0)

Hi Evangelista,

I got married in Garden World, but the minister was not from the place, but someone we contacted...I can send you his details if you want?

Let me know


Hi bigpickle88,

The document is a Certificate of Non Impediment, which is basically what you said before, a piece of paper that certifies  there is no legal impediment or other lawful cause to prevent you from getting married. You may need to have ian Apostille Stamp attached to your certificate so confirm with your embassy and ask them to stamp it for you.

If I rememeber you'll need 2 photo ID's, bring copies to the minister of everything!

Other than that you need 2 witnesses with South African ID to sign the marriage certificate and you are good to go.

Good luck!


Hi Silvana,

Thanks for your reply!

I tried to get a non impediment from my local registry office in the UK but they said I couldn't get one for South Africa as it was part of the commonwealth?!

Also could you possibly message me the details of the minister you used?

Many thanks :0)

Hey Bigpickle88,

I don't know about that, but maybe just write it down and have it certified by a Notary/Judge or whatever is the name. If you do it here in SA you might need to go to an Embassy/Consulate.

Will Inbox the details :)

Enjoy and let me know if you need anything else.

Hi. I also got a marriage office to do everything and I submitted the documents at home affairs myself for capturing. I am a SA citizen and my wife is on a tourist Visa. what is the next step? her visa is expiring in 2 months. do I need the computerized capture form from home affairs to apply for spouse permit, or can apply with the marriage officers hand written one? thanks

I'm Registered marriage officer from johannesburg, contact me for that special moment in your life, i will solemnize your marriage according to the marrimage act in south Africa, 0748500661

Go to home affairs and apply for an extension to her visa, once done you can change her status by applying for trip, based on spouse marriage, itsfree at any home affairs

Is there any way that can help you, what do you want .to know about getting married in south Africa

An impediment letter is just .to state that you are not married in your country, i mean if you are not from south Africa by born

You need valid passport, valid visa showing that you entered legally, also a letter from your country consult5e stating that you are not married in your country, you are single.

Hi reverend akash chathuri. thanks for your help. Her visa says "Non-Extendable" and "cannot change conditions". It takes 6 weeks to get the system printout of the marriage certificate from home affairs, then only i can apply for spouse permit. apparently it has to be captured on the system first at HA. i'm just worried that her visa will expire before then.  does that mean she has to go back to county of origin?

[Moderated: No free ad on the forum please]

Hi Reverend Akash Chathuri. I am using an Assylum(refugee permit) in this country, for 4 years now.My partner is South African, hence he has an ID. I also have a valid passport with no Visa or permit. Therefore i would like to be advised on which documents to use when we book for our marriage?

Hi, I am South African, my fiancee is not and we are about to marry in South Africa. From what I understand, one no longer needs a letter of no impediment to marry in SA....

Can anyone confirm this?

Mr.v1 wrote:

Hi, I am South African, my fiancee is not and we are about to marry in South Africa. From what I understand, one no longer needs a letter of no impediment to marry in SA....

Can anyone confirm this?

My sister married a foreign national in South Africa and needed no such letter or proof of single status.  I do not know when this was changed or if it only applies to certain nationalities.


I got married in 2012 and it was a pre-requisite to have that letter. It had to come from my country or stamped by the Embassy. I wrote the letter and went to the Consulate here in South Africa they stamped and all good...
hope that helps

I think it may have changed since then.  Or perhaps it only changed for people from certain countries.

I wanted to get married overseas and also needed a letter of no impediment and a police clearance from SA. After hunting around I came across a lady by the name of Machelle working for Doc Assist (can google it - its one word for the website)  in Sa and they were just awesome. Their service was just amazing to say the least as it is very difficult to get this done if you are not in SA!

If you marry in another country then you have to follow their rules, obviously.  Many still require the letter or affidavit.  I was only speaking about marriage within South Africa.  I do not want to give the wrong impression.

Is it possible to type up the letter of non impediment oneself and have it stamped at the Consulate..\

If so what would the wording be ?

Please let me know what wording you used and what info besides passport number is needed on it?

that's exactly what I did..have it in your country language and a copy in English...
basically...what you see below...

I, XXXX residing at XXXX do solemnly and sincerely declare that the information given here is true.  I am a Single and have never been married.

I was born on DD-MM-YY at City, Country.

My fathers name is XXX. My mother's name is XXXX.

I am a citizen of Country of origin. My passport number is xxxxxx was issued on DD-MM-YY in City, Country.

My Fiancé XXXX he is a South African national. He was born DD-MM-YY.

We plan to get married in DD-MM-YY in City, South Africa

To the best of my knowledge and belief there is no legal impediment or other lawful cause to prevent me from getting married.

Hope that helps!!!

Thank you My Angel!

No problem!

Good luck!

Hi - im getting married to a UK citizen in August. We are getting married in SA.

This is an inter-faith wedding and therefore we decided to get registered and have a reception.

The registrar requires a Certificate of Impediment from my fiancee.

Where can he get one in London.

All blogs are saying the the UK does not issue them to British citizens that are getting married in SA.

Please please help!     

This is nerve wrecking