South Africa Student Visas

South African study permits allow overseas nationals to temporarily relocate to South Africa in order to undertake a course of study at primary, secondary or tertiary level. In all cases South African study visas are issued as temporary residence permits which allow their holders to remain in South Africa for the duration of their course, but oblige them to return to their country of residence once their visa expires.

Start Your Free Visa Assessment

You can find out whether you qualify and initiate your South African visa application today by visiting the online assessment area. Just complete one of our assessment forms and a Global Visa South African immigration consultant will contact you to discuss your needs.

Studying in South Africa – Before you Apply

Applying for a South African study visa requires a candidate to have a sponsor in place. A South African study permit requires a definite offer of a place in a course of study. The offer must be from a recognised South African Educational institution, and the study permit granted will only be valid for the sponsoring institution and for the specified course. Any change of location or studies would require a new application to be made. It is important to recognise that whilst an offer of a place on a course is a prerequisite for obtaining a study visa for South Africa, it does not guarantee that the visa application will be successful.

Candidates should begin the application process as soon as possible, once they have received their letter of confirmation. The application process can take up to 8 weeks and must be completed in full before the educational institution can register the candidate as a student. A Global Visas consultant will be able to discuss the current processing times for applications from your country of residence.

Benefits of a South African Study visa

Studying in South Africa is possible on a visit visa, however, the course of study may not have a longer duration than the maximum visa validity of 90 days. Obtaining a study visa for South Africa allows a candidate to study for longer, since the visa will be granted based upon the duration of the course being undertaken. Study visas are normally granted for one year, however they may be extended as required in order to allow the candidate to complete his or her studies. A study visa does not constitute a route to permanent residency and does not allow the candidate to live and work in South Africa, however, limited employment may be permitted. Working in South African in a full time position is not permitted for student visa holders, however students may work for up to 20 hours per week in term time, and in vacation periods it may be possible to work longer hours if a letter of permission is sought from the institution.

Student visas – Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the key requirement of having a pre-arranged place on a course in South Africa, attention will also be paid to whether or not the student’s presence in South Africa may displace an existing South African citizen or permanent resident. Candidates must be able to show that they can finance themselves throughout their time in South Africa and although working may be permitted, this should be seen as an opportunity to supplement finances which are already sufficient. Candidates must also have medical insurance and police clearance may be required for any other countries in which the candidate has lived.

Spouse Immigration and Dependent Immigration

The period of time a student spends in South Africa will be dictated by the duration of their course, however, since this may mean that they are residing in South Africa for some time, the immediate family members of an applicant may join them in South Africa. Such dependents will be granted the same duration of leave as the principle applicant. Find out further information on our Tourist Visas South Africa page.

At Global Visas our team of specialist immigration consultants and migration lawyers are committed to helping you obtain the right South African visa for you. Visit the online assessment area today to find out Global Visas can help you.