Monday, June 21, 2010

South Africa Student Visa

South Africa Student Visa

In South Africa, immigration services permit a foreign national student to apply for a South African study visa in order to undertake a course of study within the Republic.
Study visas apply to those immigrating to South Africa to study at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and much like a South African work permit they require an offer, in this case of a place at a recognised educational institution, to be in place before an application is submitted.
It is essential to apply for a South African student visa after receiving your offer and prior to departing for the country. Although the offer of a place is a  pre-requisite it does not of guarantee that you will be successfully granted a South African study permit.

A South Africa study permit application should be submitted as early as possible as the process can take up to eight weeks to complete. Since educational institutions are unable to register foreign students until the process of obtaining valid South African student visas is concluded, it is advisable to apply as soon a place is offered.
The options presented to those wishing to migrate to South Africa are broad and a range of different South African immigration services are available depending on the duration and purpose of the visit.
As a specialist immigration consultancy, We can help you to assess the different categories of South African visas available; enabling you to establish which route is the most appropriate for your relocation to South Africa.
We can help to obtain all classes of South Africa visas from the range of temporary resident permits through to permanent resident permits for long-term immigration to South Africa.
Visa applications can be monitored and managed throughout the process and our immigration consultants can offer immigration lawyer advice helping you to relocate to South Africa as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Visa Benefits

South African study permits fall into the temporary residence permit classification of South African immigration services, a group which also includes work permits and South African visit visas.
These visa services are not designed to provide a route to permanent residence and are granted for the duration of the course of study in question.
Whilst short courses of study can be carried out on a South African visitor visa, or travel visa as it is sometimes known, the 90-day restriction means that courses lasting more than three months will not be allowed.
Applying for a South Africa study visa allows foreign nationals to undertake full time study in the country for as long as the course takes to complete.
In addition, whilst holders of South African study visas may not engage in full time employment they are permitted to work part-time for no more than 20 hours per week.
However, no restriction upon working hours will be imposed in vacation periods if a letter of permission is obtained from the educational institution.

Visa Eligibility

Studying in South Africa places few restrictions upon those obtaining a South Africa student visa and The Department of Home Affairs generally welcomes foreign students who choose to further their studies by migrating to South Africa.
However, one key point to observe is that much like South African work permit visa applications, student visas require that a foreign national immigrating to South Africa in order to study must not prevent a South African citizen or permanent resident from studying by displacing them.
Candidates must also be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves throughout their period of study in South Africa including tuition fees and medical insurance.

In South Africa, visa applications for students must include:

  • A letter from the educational institution which will act as Confirmation of Acceptance and which details accommodation arrangements for the candidate.
  • Evidence of the applicants' ability to wholly support themselves financially.
  • A valid return ticket.
  • Medical insurance and a statement from the applicant's doctor.
  • A valid passport with a minimum of thirty days upon completion of study.
  • For applicants over 18 years of age police clearance is required for all previous countries in which they have resided for a year or more.
  • For minors, a letter of consent from the parents will also be necessary.

In addition, a range of documentation including the applicant's birth certificate and photographs will be required. This migration consultant will be happy to discuss the requirements with you in detail.
South Africa study visas are granted for a one-year period and can be extended as necessary in order to complete the relevant course. Much like working permits, permits to study are valid only for the original course for which they were obtained. Any change of institution or course will require a new permit.


As discussed, a visa for study in South Africa does not constitute a route to permanent residence and is regarded as part of the temporary resident permit group of South African visa services.
However, since a course of study may last for an extended period, spouse immigration and dependent immigration are permitted where applicable and applicant's immediate relatives may immigrate to South Africa for the same duration as the principle holder.

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