All foreign students that wish to continue their education in South Africa will require a study visa. Below we look at the study visa requirements, from the prospective of a non-dependent student (where the applicant is not accompanying a parent or parents).
What is a student visa?
In this instance the information below applies to an individual seeking to further their education at an approved Department of Higher Education and Training learning institution.
If you are the parent of a child, of dependent age, and are either applying for a temporary residency visa yourself, or are already in possession of such a visa, please see here for details on dependent study visas.
What are the requirements for a study visa application?
Applicants will need to meet the following requirements in order to apply for a student visa:
- A duly completed temporary visa application form.
- You will be required to produce an official letter confirming that you have been accepted at that particular learning institution for the duration of the course.
- There are a number of undertakings from the Registrar or Principle of the learning institution you will be attending that they will disclose and update the Director General of Home Affairs with various notifications during your study period.
- A police clearance certificate.
- Where a foreign state, under a bilateral agreement, is accepting responsibility for you, a written undertaking of such must be provided.
- You will need to have in place an appropriate medical insurance scheme. The medical cover must also demonstrate that it is an annually renewable contract for the period of the study visa and that it is also a registered scheme in terms of the Medical Schemes Act.
- Whilst you may work on a study visa, more details below, you may not rely on any income you receive from this to support your study visa application. You must therefore provide proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of your study visa.
How long will a study visa be issued for?
In the case of a student at a higher learning institution (not a school) the study visa will be issued for the duration of your course.
Can you work on a study visa?
Yes you can. Study visa holders at higher learning institutions may work part time for up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.
What if I leave my studies or do not register?
If you receive a study visa for South Africa, and subsequently do not take up your registration, then the study visa shall automatically lapse. The same shall apply if you are de-registered from your studies at any time during the duration of your course. It should be noted that the learning institution has an obligation to inform the Department of Home Affairs if either event occurs.
Can I apply for a renewal of study visa?
You may apply for a renewal, which is in fact a new application with the same criteria as above.
Can a study visa lead to permanent residency or a work visa?
A study visa can be seen as a way to obtaining permanent residence, but it will be a two step process. The study visa itself does not lead to permanent residence, but can lead to a work permit for those students who are completing a PhD. This in turn can lead to permanent residence. You can read more on this here.
Learn more about the study visa requirements for South Africa
Intergate Immigration have successfully assisted in excess of 6000 applicants since our inception in 2005. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the right information, to make the right decisions, at the right time, all under the auspice of service excellence.
We are aligned with some of South Africa’s top universities and welcome the opportunity to tell you more about the study visa requirements and how we can help.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.
Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.
Our telephone contact details including local lines for our Dutch, German and United Kingdom clients can be found on top of this page, feel free to call us and discuss your prospective application or current situation for a study visa for South Africa.