We often get approached by clients who need assistance verifying their legal status on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) system. However simple the process might seem, it is not always as easy as one might assume to determine if Home Affairs has you registered as single, married, divorced, widowed, or deceased.
In this post, we will be looking at what it means to verify your status with the DHA and who might need to have it done.
What does it mean to verify your status with Home Affairs?
The simplest explanation for your DHA status is this: Information stored by the Department of Home Affairs pertaining to an individual’s living or deceased status combined with that individual’s current marital status.
Verifying your status becomes burdensome when you cannot get to a local DHA branch, and in most cases, that is precisely what happens to South Africans living abroad. Since the DHA’s online tool for status verification has been out of order since March 2018, it can be extremely hard to verify your status outside SA.
Home Affairs also offers an SMS-based verification process for South Africans, but more often than not, the system is out of order. It also cannot be used by South Africans residing abroad since these SMSs cannot be sent from overseas.
What does my status mean?
Your status on the DHA is an indication of whether or not you are married. You can be categorized into one of 6 statuses on the DHA system. These include:
A deceased status indicates that an individual has died and that a formal death certificate has been filed against the person’s ID number. The only way to obtain proof of a deceased status is by obtaining a death certificate.
Single status indicates that you have never been registered as married on a DHA register. It also indicates that you have the right and freedom to marry. Formal proof of single status can only be verified by a Letter of No Impediment.
A married status indicates that you are legally married according to South African law. The only formal proof of this status can be found in a marriage certificate.
This status indicates that you have been registered as divorced on the Department of Home Affairs’ register. It also indicates that an official decree of divorce was filed. Your decree of divorce serves as the only formal proof that you are, in fact, divorced.
If your status is classified as a widow, it means that your husband passed away while you were still married. It also indicates that you have not since remarried. Formal proof of widow status can only be obtained with an updated marriage certificate.
Having a widower status means that your wife passed away while you were still married. It also indicates that you have not remarried since her passing. Like widow status, formal proof can only be issued in the form of an updated marriage certificate.
How can South Africans verify their DHA status?
If you go through the process on your own, you will need to visit your nearest Home Affairs office. Alternatively, if you live abroad, this is a service that the nearest SA consulate or embassy can render. However, this process can be highly time-consuming.
Apostil.co.za offers a status verification service. We work directly with the Department of Home Affairs to verify our client’s status. If need be, we can also assist with having your status corrected.
Since this is a system check, the only way to obtain formal proof of your current status, should you need it, is through the relevant certificate like a decree of divorce to verify a divorced status.
Need help verifying your status on the Home Affiars system?
Verifying your status on the Home Affairs system can be helpful in an array of situations. Some individuals might have unknowingly fallen prey to immigration scams and would have been registered as married without their knowledge.
Many divorcees automatically assume that after their divorce was finalised in court, their status would automatically change on the DHA system. But this isn’t always the case. In this event, a status check could help identify a status that was never changed. It also allows you to make any corrections as soon as possible.
A status verification can also help you determine whether or not you must complete the determination of SA citizenship process if you are planning on obtaining foreign citizenship or residency.
Get in touch with Apostil.co.za today or visit our pricing page to learn more about our status verification services and estimated turnaround times.