A South African study visa (formerly known as a study permit) allows a foreign national to reside in South Africa whilst studying at an institution of primary, secondary or tertiary education. Foreigners who want to study in South Africa – at whatever level – must apply for a South African study visa before arriving in the country. Here is everything you need to know about South Africa’s study visa.
South Africa has a range of internationally recognised tertiary education facilities, as well as a reasonable cost of living for students. Making it a popular destination for many foreigners looking to study aboard. A study visa 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.
To study in South Africa, you must be accepted (or provisionally accepted) to study at the school concerned. You will also need to prove that you have access to the funds necessary to sustain yourself for the duration of the course while studying in South Africa. You will also need to be covered by South African medical aid for the duration of your studies.
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 you need the authority to work more hours per week, then you will need to apply for a work visa. Change of status applications may be made from within South Africa.
The processing time for a study visa application submitted in South Africa is between 4 and 8 weeks. The processing time for a study visa application submitted at a foreign mission abroad varies greatly depending on the high commission concerned and the time of the year. The most common reason for delays in visa applications is incomplete and missing documents.
If you’re looking for more information, or to apply for a study visa in South Africa, you can get in touch with one of our consultants today.