“Do You Take This Woman To Be Your Lawfully Notarised Partner?”

I have ten full days in South Africa before I leave for Los Angeles but… What am I missing?

Laurrel Allison
4 min readAug 23, 2018


Big Bay Beach, Bloubergstrand

My nerves are not giving me a break, these days. However (somehow), I have still managed to knock a bunch of things off my to-do list. Since my last post, I have acquired my medical and radiology reports, sent off for a couple more police clearances (just to be on the safe side), notarised letters and passport copies from Jonathan’s parents, got mine and Jonathan’s passport copied and notarised, and got my eye exam out of the way. While that looks like a lot of stuff got done, unfortunately there are a few things that I either a) forgot about or b) didn’t realise I needed. So here is what my to-do list for South Africa looks like now:

- open joint bank account/give signing power to me

- acquire notarial contract

- print Jonathan’s last 3 months bank statements

- letter of invitation from hosts

- look over the life partner application form together… is it necessary to fill out?

Well, to be fair, I did try to get a joint bank account. Unfortunately, they are either scarce or nonexistent in South Africa. I can, however, have signing power on Jonathan’s bank account. I didn’t realise that “counted”. So, I guess it’ll be back to the bank for me.

I also accidentally deleted the invitation off my to-do list. I’m really glad I was looking back over the list of requirements and caught it. This may not be extremely necessary, since I haven’t seen it on every list of requirements for the LPP application. However, I prefer to go all out. This is evidently referred to as “front loading”, the definition of which is a little confusing to me. It’s a term I picked up from a forum discussing this whole applying-for-a-life-partner-permit thing. In this context, “front loading” just means to bring as much documentation, proof, and other things which may or may not be required in an effort to be as prepared as physically possible.

The one thing that really threw me for a loop was the notarial contract. I was under the impression that all the letters would back me up. That “life partner” was just a fancy word for “boyfriend/girlfriend”. I have referred to Jonathan as my partner for a long time now, and just (wrongly?) assumed it was the same thing. Partner = Life Partner. It’s just an extra word tacked on, right?

Well, I guess it’s wrong.


So what does that mean? Am I going to get kinda-married to Jonathan now? Do we have to save the date (sometime within the next ten days)? Does that mean he can’t leave me unless he kinda-divorces me? I have so many questions! And I have tried to email several visa services about this very thing, but they pretty much all want that cash money before they let loose a peep about this. Figures. Ugh. I intend to sort all this nonsense out before I leave, so that means I gotta majorly hustle.

Well, for anyone interested, I am going to drop the form that (I think) is the correct form for the Life Partner Permit application. It’s called the (DHA-1738) Form 8, and it’s a long one! So if you need to fill it out, I recommend having a coffee and putting on some Netflix in the background while you work.

Laurrel Allison is an American writer traveling around the world. Follow Laurrel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what she’s doing and where she is.



Laurrel Allison

Founder of Copy Fox Pro. Writer, cat parent, entrepreneur. Connect with me: hello@copyfoxpro.com