Study Visa

Overview

Study permits are valid for the duration of the course for which they are issued, alternatively 36 months for school and 24 months for other institutions.

As a holder of a study permit you may also apply for permission to work for the purposes of getting work experience, as part of your studies to obtain a diploma or degree by submitting:

  • an offer to do practical training
  • consent from the educational institution
  • proof that your are still a registered student

The Department’s consent to get practical training as part of your studies is issued free of charge provided that you are a registered student and that your study permit remains valid for the entire duration of the training period.

Alternatively, as a foreigner studying at a higher educational institution with a valid study permit, you may work part-time for no more than 20 hours per week. However, you may not work during academic vacations.

The overriding consideration in processing applications for study permits are that:

  • No foreigner may displace a South African citizen/resident at a local educational institution
  • The student must have proof of sufficient funds to pay for day-to-day living expenses, accommodation as well as tuition fees during his/her stay in South Africa
  • The student must have adequate medical cover with a registered South African medical scheme and proof thereof

Documents Required

    • Duly completed online form. Handwritten forms will not be accepted by Department of Home Affairs.
    • Valid passport which expires in no less than 30 days after expiry of the intended date of departure from the Republic
    • The application is being submitted in person, no less than 60 days prior to the expiry date of the applicant’s visa and if the visa was issued for less than 30 days, not later than seven working days before the expiry of the visa.
    • A yellow fever vaccination certificate if that person travelled or intends travelling from or transiting through a yellow fever endemic area: (Provided that the certificate shall not be required where that person travelled or intends travelling in direct transit through such area)
    • Original Police clearance certificate issued by the police or security authority in each country where the relevant applicant resided for 12 months or longer after attaining the age of 18 years except for South Africa, in respect of criminal records or the character of that applicant, which certificate shall not be older than six months at the time of its submission: (Provided that the certificate shall not be required from a foreign country in the case of renewal or extension of a visa)
    • Biometric enrolment fee applicable: Yes
    • A medical report not older than 6 months
    • A radiological report. Provided that a radiological report shall not be required in respect of children under the age of 12 years or pregnant women;
    • Marriage certificate or in the case of a foreign spousal relationship, proof of official recognition thereof issued by the authorities of the foreign country of the applicant (where applicable).
    • The affidavit where a spousal relationship to a South African citizen or resident is applicable, as well as documentation proving cohabitation and the extent to which the related financial responsibilities are shared by the parties and setting out the particulars of children in the spousal relationship.
    • Divorce decree, where applicable.
    • Court order granting full or specific parental responsibilities and rights, where applicable.
    • Death certificate, in respect of late spouse, where applicable.
    • Written consent from both parents and full parental responsibilities, where applicable.
    • Proof of adoption where applicable.
    • Legal separation order, where applicable.
    • An official letter confirming provisional acceptance or acceptance at that learning institution and the duration of the course.
  • An undertaking by the Registrar or Principal of the learning institution to-
    1. provide proof of registration as contemplated in the relevant legislation within 60 days of registration; or
    2. In the event of failure to register by the closing date, provide the Director-General with a notification of failure to register within 7 days of the closing date of registration;
    3. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General that the applicant is no longer registered with such institution; and
    4. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General when the applicant has completed his or her studies or requires to extend such period of study
  • Proof of payment of the applicable fee

In addition to the above requirements, in the case of a foreign state accepting responsibility for the applicant in terms of a bilateral agreement:

  • A written undertaking from such foreign state to pay for the departure of the applicant.
  • An official letter confirming provisional acceptance or acceptance at that learning institution and the duration of the course.
  • An undertaking by the Registrar or Principal of the learning institution to-
  1. provide proof of registration as contemplated in the relevant legislation within 60 days of registration; or
  2. In the event of failure to register by the closing date, provide the Director-General with a notification of failure to register within 7 days of the closing date of registration;
  3. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General that the applicant is no longer registered with such institution; and
  4. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General when the applicant has completed his or her studies or requires to extend such period of study

In addition to the above requirements, in the case of a learner under the age of 18 years-

  1. an unabridged birth certificate;
  2. a valid passport;
  3. proof of physical address and contact number of the adult person residing in the Republic, who is acting or has accepted to act as such learner's guardian, including a confirmatory letter from that guardian; and
  4. proof of consent for the intended stay from both parents, or where applicable, from the parent or legal guardian who has been issued with a court order granting full or specific parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship of the learner.
  • Proof of medical cover renewed annually for the period of study with a medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act.
  • An undertaking by the parents or legal guardian that the learner will have medical cover for the full duration of the period of study
  • Proof of sufficient financial means available to the learner whilst resident in the Republic.

Notes:

  • In respect of an application by a person who is a learner under the age of 18 years and is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, a certified copy of such holder's visa and a written undertaking by parents or legal guardian that the learner will have medical cover for the full duration of the period of study shall be required.
    • Where the learner is under the age of 18 years and is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, there is no need for a separate medical aid membership for the applicant where proof exists that the learner is a registered dependent on a medical scheme of a holder of a valid visa.
    • If the applicant for a study visa is the main applicant and is not accompanying a holder of a valid visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, then proof of medical cover renewed annually for the period of study with a medical scheme registered in terms of the South African Medical Schemes Act shall be required.
    • Visas issued for studies at a learning institution, other than a school contemplated in section 1 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), shall be issued for the duration of the course for which the applicant has registered;
    • Visas issued for studies at a learning institution, which is a school contemplated in section 1 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), shall be valid for the duration of the period of study: Provided that the study visa issued for studies at a primary school shall not exceed eight years and for a secondary school shall not exceed six years.
    • However, any visa issued for studies at all learning institutions to a learner who is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, shall NOT be issued longer than the validity period of the visa issued to the accompanied parent or accompanied holder of the section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 visa of the Act.

    STUDY VISA RENEWAL

    • Duly completed online form. Handwritten forms will not be accepted by Department of Home Affairs.
    • Valid passport which expires in no less than 30 days after expiry of the intended date of departure from the Republic
    • The application is being submitted in person, no less than 60 days prior to the expiry date of the applicant’s visa and if the visa was issued for less than 30 days, not later than seven working days before the expiry of the visa.
    • A yellow fever vaccination certificate if that person travelled or intends travelling from or transiting through a yellow fever endemic area: (Provided that the certificate shall not be required where that person travelled or intends travelling in direct transit through such area)
    • Original Police clearance certificate issued by the police or security authority in each country where the relevant applicant resided for 12 months or longer after attaining the age of 18 years except for South Africa, in respect of criminal records or the character of that applicant, which certificate shall not be older than six months at the time of its submission: (Provided that the certificate shall not be required from a foreign country in the case of renewal or extension of a visa)
    • Biometric enrolment fee applicable: Yes
    • A medical report not older than 6 months
    • A radiological report. Provided that a radiological report shall not be required in respect of children under the age of 12 years or pregnant women;
    • Marriage certificate or in the case of a foreign spousal relationship, proof of official recognition thereof issued by the authorities of the foreign country of the applicant (where applicable).
    • The affidavit where a spousal relationship to a South African citizen or resident is applicable, as well as documentation proving cohabitation and the extent to which the related financial responsibilities are shared by the parties and setting out the particulars of children in the spousal relationship.
    • Divorce decree, where applicable.
    • Court order granting full or specific parental responsibilities and rights, where applicable.
    • Death certificate, in respect of late spouse, where applicable.
    • Written consent from both parents and full parental responsibilities, where applicable.
    • Proof of adoption where applicable.
    • Legal separation order, where applicable.
    • An official letter confirming provisional acceptance or acceptance at that learning institution and the duration of the course.
  • An undertaking by the Registrar or Principal of the learning institution to-
      1. provide proof of registration as contemplated in the relevant legislation within 60 days of registration; or
      2. In the event of failure to register by the closing date, provide the Director-General with a notification of failure to register within 7 days of the closing date of registration;
      3. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General that the applicant is no longer registered with such institution; and
      4. Within 30 days, notify the Director-General when the applicant has completed his or her studies or requires to extend such period of study
    • Proof of payment of the applicable fee
    • An official letter from the Registrar or Principal of the learning institution confirming that the
      1. Applicant is required to extend his or her period of study and the duration of such study.
      2. An undertaking by the parents or legal guardian that the learner will have medical cover for the full duration of the period of study
    • In the case of a minor (i.e. a person under 18):
  1. proof of physical address -and contact number of the adult person residing in the Republic, who is acting or has accepted to act as such learner's guardian, including a confirmatory letter from that guardian; and
  2. proof of consent for the intended stay from both parents or, where applicable, from the parent or legal guardian, who has been issued with a court order granting full or specific parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship of the learner.
  • In the case of a foreign state accepting responsibility for the applicant in terms of a bilateral agreement:
      1. a written undertaking from such foreign state to pay for the departure of the applicant.
    • Proof of medical cover with a medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998 (Act No 131 of 1998).
    • Proof of sufficient financial means.
    • Proof of payment of the applicable fee

    Notes:

    • In respect of an application by a person who is a learner under the age of 18 years and is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, a certified copy of such holder's visa and a written undertaking by parents or legal guardian that the learner will have medical cover for the full duration of the period of study shall be required.
  • Where the learner is under the age of 18 years and is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, there is no need for a separate medical aid membership for the applicant where proof exists that the learner is a registered dependent on a medical scheme of a holder of a valid visa.
    • If the applicant for a study visa is the main applicant and is not accompanying a holder of a valid visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, then proof of medical cover renewed annually for the period of study with a medical scheme registered in terms of the South African Medical Schemes Act shall be required.
    • Visas issued for studies at a learning institution, other than a school contemplated in section 1 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), shall be issued for the duration of the course for which the applicant has registered;
    • Visas issued for studies at a learning institution, which is a school contemplated in section 1 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), shall be valid for the duration of the period of study: Provided that the study visa issued for studies at a primary school shall not exceed eight years and for a secondary school shall not exceed six years.
    • However, any visa issued for studies at all learning institutions to a learner who is a dependent child of the holder of a visa issued in terms of section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 of the Act, shall NOT be issued longer than the validity period of the visa issued to the accompanied parent or accompanied holder of the section 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22 visa of the Act.

Processing Time

All temporary visa applications accepted at the Visa Facilitation Centre will have a minimum average processing time of 8 - 10 weeks for the decision to be returned from Department of Home Affairs. You can track your application online on VFS Global website to determine status of your application.

Visa Fees

Category

DHA Application Fee

VFS Service Fee

Study Visa

425

1350

Premium Lounge (Optional Service)

 

 500


All fees are inclusive of VAT and to be paid in South African Rand. Above listed fees are non-refundable once the application is received by VFS Global and Department of Home Affairs.

Once all supporting documentation is available as per the documentary checklist kindly proceed to complete the online application form. You will be required to pre-pay a minimum amount of R1350 in order to secure and schedule your appointment online.

Payment to secure your online appointment can be made in three methods:

  • Online payment via Debit/Credit card through the secure online portal
  • Pre-payment at Standard Bank by downloading and completing the online generated bank receipt and depositing the cash into the nearest Standard Bank
  • EFT payment through the secure online portal

Note- When selecting the pre-payment option, after payment has been done you are required to visit your online application form after 3 working days to proceed to schedule your appointment.