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As an international student who wants to study in South Africa, you are to obtain a South African student visa. This is no different from a study permit that gives you the right to live and study in another country.
The country is one of the best study destinations in Africa and is known for its tourism, thanks to the natural beauty, and cultural diversity, to mention but a few.
Education is also an aspect that the government prioritizes with Cape Town and Johannesburg, the best places that foreign students are often glued to. If you intend to study in SA, you should follow this guide on how to get your student visa.
1 Do I need a Student Visa to Study in South Africa?
You will need a student visa if you are not a national of South Africa. It does not matter where you are from, be it from Africa, Asia, Europe, or America, you will need to apply for a visa to gain entry and study in South Africa.
Most importantly, the student visa is for students who want to stay and study for more than 90 days.
2 Requirements for German Student Visa
- Letter of offer or acceptance letter from a recognized university in South Africa.
- A non-refundable visa application fee. This is otherwise known as the Visa processing fee.
- Proof of sufficient funds for studies and upkeep.
3 What is the cost of the South African Visa application?
Foreign students are to pay $36 for the South Africa processing fee. This fee is to be paid to the embassy or consulate during registration and is non-refundable.
The fee is payable in the local currency of the country you are in and a small charge may also apply depending on the payment gateway you will be using to make the payment.
4 What is the duration of validity for a South African student visa?
The validity of your South Africa student visa is determined based on the duration of your course. The Department of Home Affairs takes into account various factors to establish the appropriate validity period for your student visa.
5 Can I Extend My South Africa Student Visa?
Yes, all foreign students will be able to extend their study visa and must be submitted a maximum of 60 days before the current visa’s expiration date.
6 How Do I Apply for a South African Student Visa?
We often receive reports of students complaining about difficulties usually encountered when trying to obtain a study permit. This is not usually the case although that may also depend on the country you are from. Follow the guide below to get your study visa for South Africa:
1. Get accepted into a recognized university in South Africa
How do you proceed? Of course, you will need to apply for admission into an accredited South African university and receive a letter of acceptance or offer. The document will make part of the documents you will need to complete your visa processing.
There are lots of top schools with the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria, Stellenbosch University, the University of Johannesburg, and Rhodes University among to be considered.
As a student who intends to study in an unfamiliar place, you are to carry out extensive research on your selected universities and make a decision on the school you want to go to based on the location of the school, your program, and other findings that may influence your decision.
2. Gather the necessary documents required for your visa application
Foreign Students are also to get ready some important documents that will be required for the processing. As per the guidelines provided by the South African government, you will require the following documents:
- Duly and completely filled and printed visa application form.
- A valid passport with a validity of at least 30 days beyond your intended stay.
- Two photocopies of the bio-data page in color, along with one photocopy of all the visas present in your passport.
- 2 identical passport-size photographs measuring 45×45 mm (1.8inx1.8in) with a white background.
- Proof of accommodation.
- Marriage certificate and Birth Certificate (If applicable).
- A letter of acceptance from a college or university in South Africa.
- Evidence demonstrating sufficient financial means.
- Appropriate medical records such as a Radiological report, and vaccination certificate (if applicable).
- Sufficient funds to cover the visa application fee.
3. Begin your Visa Application
Once you have every document available including the acceptance letter from the school, you can now proceed to apply for an SA study permit.
You are to apply at the South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate, or official partner of the Embassy of South Africa in the country you are or the one close to you.
You can begin the process by looking up their contact details to set up an appointment. Your application will be entered in on the appointment date provided you meet all the necessary requirements.
7 How Long Does It Take for a South Africa Student Visa to Be Ready?
Usually, it does not take much time for the South Africa to be processed. If you applied for an SA study visa, it will take 4 to 8 weeks for the visa to be ready.
Sometimes, it may also take more depending on when you apply, the workload of the staff, and other factors. It is still advisable to apply early to avoid unusual occurrences.
8 Can I work with a South African Student Visa?
If you have a valid study permit/visa and schooling in a higher educational institution, you will be able to work 20 hours per week during your studies. You will not be able to work during the school break.