Thursday, 29 March 2018

5 Facts Regarding Applying for a Study Visa in South Africa

A South African study visa (formerly known as a study permit) allows a foreign national to reside in the Republic whilst studying at a South African institution of primary, secondary or tertiary education. A study vias can cover a range of educational disciplines and even include practical training as well as internships pertaining to the field of study in some cases.

South Africa has a range of internationally recognised tertiary education facilities as well as being a popular destination for foreigners to learn and improve their english as well as a reasonable cost of living for students. Making it a popular destination for many foreigners looking to study aboard.

1. Who needs to Apply for a Study Visa in South Africa?

Any student who intends to study in South Africa, at a primary or secondary school (whether public or independent), college, further education and training institution, university, specialist skills school or other “learning institution”, can qualify for a study visa South Africa.

2. Who does not qualify for a study visa?

If the institution concerned is not a recognised “learning institution” insofar as the Department of Home Affairs is concerned then the applicant will not qualify. 

To qualify as a “learning institution”, the school must be registered with either the Department of Basic Education or the Department of Higher Education. 

Examples of institutions whose students may not qualify for a study visa are private language schools, game ranger schools (also called “bush schools”) and institutions which only offer short-term technical courses. Applicants should request proof of registration with the applicable industry body from the institution concerned. Always seek advice from an immigration attorney when in doubt.

3. Can i Run a Business while Studying in South Africa?

The study visa holders are permitted to work, but only for a maximum of 20 hours per week and only if studying at tertiary level. If the applicant needs the authority to work more hours per week, then a work visa should be applied for. Change of status applications may be made from within South Africa.

Study visa holders may not run a business.

4. Can i come to Study in South Africa with my family members on my study visa?

Yes. The study visa holder’s spouse and dependent children may apply for accompanying spouse or child visas. These visas can be issued for up to three years, but the accompanying family members may not run a business, work or study. The parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of a study visa holder do not qualify for accompanying family member visas.

Accompanying spouses and children cannot change their status from within South Africa. Change of status applications must be made from the applicant’s country of ordinary residence.

5. How long do i Stay in South Africa with Study Visa?

A study visa can be issued for the duration of the applicant’s studies at the learning institution concerned. If the applicant changes schools, then a new study visa must be applied for. Although study visas are issued for the duration of study, a maximum period of 8 years for primary school education and 6 years for secondary school education applies. In respect of tertiary education, the duration of the visa is only limited by the duration of the degree, diploma or certificate concerned.

There is no limit on the number of times a study visa can be renewed.

For more information regarding studying in South Africa, go to:

Useful Links Regarding Studying in South Africa

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