Study Visas for International Students in South Africa
All students who hold permanent residence outside South Africa and are not South African citizens are required to obtain a study visa upon acceptance to a South African university. Upon receiving a visa, students are granted official permission to reside in South Africa.
To begin the visa process, you must first make an application to the nearest South African Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission. Because this procedure can take up to eight weeks, it is recommended to start the application as soon as possible upon gaining admittance to a university.
Once a study visa has been issued, it is valid for the entire duration of a student’s stay in South Africa.
Required Documents for Student Visas in South Africa
- Valid passport
- Proof of application payment
- Acceptance letter from the university with the course duration
- Confirmation of registration
- Police Clearance Certificate issued by a security authority in the country from which a student is applying
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate if student has or intends to travel through a yellow fever endemic area
- Proof of access to the necessary financial means while residing in South Africa
- Proof of medical coverage
- Marital status documents when applicable
Visa Application for Family Members
A study visa’s spouse and independent children are also eligible to apply for a visa to accompany a student on their studies in South Africa. However, a family visa is only valid for three years and does not grant the holder to work or study.
Working While Studying
Student visas in South Africa allow students to work while pursuing their studies. However, international students may only work up to a maximum 20 hours per week. The student can work part time till the expiry of the student visa and not after.
Learn more about being an international student in South Africa: