Apply For A South African Study Visa (Study Permit) Online | SAvisas.com (2022)

What is Study visa for 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.

Apply for a study Visa

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Who is a Study visa for?

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.

Which learning institutions qualify students for study visas?

(Video) How to apply for a South African Study Visa

Qualifying for a Study visa

To study in South Africa, the applicant must be accepted (or provisionally accepted) to study at the school concerned. Acceptance is proven by way of a letter of acceptance which must be on the school’s letterhead and signed by or on behalf of the registrar or principal.

The learning institution concerned is held strictly liable for the study visa holder’s compliance with the Immigration Act. The following forms part of the school’s responsibilities towards the Department of Home Affairs:

  • It must confirm that the student’s registration has been confirmed within 60 days after the closing date for registrations;
  • It must notify the Department of Home Affairs within 7 days if the student fails to register by the closing date for registrations;
  • It must notify the Department of Home Affairs immediately if the student is de-registered or expelled; and
  • It must notify the Department of Home Affairs if the student completes his or her studies or wishes to extend the period of study at the institution.

The applicant must prove that he or she has access to the funds necessary to sustain him or herself for the duration ofthe course while studying in South Africa.

What are the financial requirements for a study visa?

The applicant must be covered by South African medical aid for the duration of the studies. Some high commissions abroad will accept foreign medical aid and travel insurance policies in lieu of South African medical aid, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

What are the recognized medical aid schemes?

Study visa renewal applications must be made at least 60 days prior to the visa expiry date.

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.

List of deregistered and bogus learning institutions.

South African Study visa duration

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.

Provisions regarding minor children

Due to concerns about child trafficking, there are strict requirements relating to children under the age of 18 years. If the application for a study visa is in respect of a minor under the age of 18 years at the time of application, then a number of other requirements must also be complied with. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The identity of both parents must be proven.
  • Both parents must consent to the child’s travel to, and study in, South Africa. If the parents are divorced, or if any one of the parents are predeceased or if the applicant is not in the care of his or her biological parents, then the decree of divorce, death certificate, or court order granting full parental responsibilities (as the case may be) will be required.
  • It must be proven that the child will have a guardian in South Africa. The guardian must be proven to be willing and able to act as guardian and must prove his or her physical address and contact details.
  • A police clearance certificate is not required in respect of applicants under the age of 18 years.
  • Children under 12 do not need to submit radiological reports.

Working and running a business on a study visa

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.

Changing schools on a study visa

The holder of a study visa may only attend class at the learning institution for which the visa was issued. If the visa holder changes schools, a new study visa must be applied for.

Which learning institutions qualify students for study visas?

Study visa processing time

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. Applications submitted at the High Commission in Brussels have been approved in as little as 3 days, while applications submitted at South Africa House in London generally take around 5 weeks.

The most common reason for delays in visa applications is incomplete and missing documents. It is not the Department of Home Affairs’ mandate to cure applications or to advise on applications.

Rightly or wrongly, the Department of Home Affairs only considers the application based on what has been submitted. Contact us to ensure that your application is correct and approved as quickly as possible.

(Video) Applying for a South Africa study permit

The financial requirements for a study visa

No official financial requirements have been set for study visas, but the Department of Home Affairs have adopted a policy whereby the applicant must show access to R3 000 per month for the duration of studies. If the course for which the applicant is enrolled is for a year, then the applicant must show
R3 000 x 12 = R36 000.

Can my family members accompany me 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.

Will the South African study visa qualify me for permanent residency?

No, a study visa never qualifies its holder for permanent residency. To qualify for permanent residency, the holder must first change status to a visa which can qualify for permanent residencies, such as a work visa or business visa.

Benefits of the study visa in South Africa

The holder of a study visa may apply for a change of visa status from within South Africa. It is not necessary for the applicant to leave the country and to submit a change of visa status or visa renewal application from abroad. Visa holders in many other categories must submit a change of status applications in their home countries.

Study visa holders at tertiary education level are allowed to work part-time, but for no more than 20 hours per week. Study visa holders who work for more than the allowed hours contravene the terms of their study visa, may be declared undesirable and deported.

Family members can accompany the primary study visa holder on accompanying family member visas.

The study visa can be issued for lengthy periods of time, meaning that the holder does not need to renew the visa as regularly as with some other visa categories.

The financial requirements for a study visa are much lower than for many other visa categories.

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

What are the drawbacks to the South African study visa?

Study visa holders never qualify for permanent residency.

The limit on a number of hours study visa holders are allowed to work in the Republic means that many study visa holders struggle to maintain their financial independence.

Study visas have in the past been abused by applicants who do not qualify for any other visa type. Accordingly, the Department of Home Affairs assesses study visa applications strictly.

Each time the study visa holder changes schools a new study visa must be applied for.

Study visa holders must have medical insurance for the duration of their study visa. The medical insurance must cover the candidate for the duration of studies in South Africa.

Other South Africa visa types to consider

Candidates who do not meet the requirements for this visa type may also consider:

  • Visitor’s visa for academic sabbatical, voluntary activities or charitable work; or
  • Exchange visa

What qualifies as a “learning institution”?

Any school contemplated in section 1 of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, which includes:

  • Public schools from grade R (Reception) to grade 12, including ordinary public schools, special needs schools or special talent schools (e.g. sport, performing arts or creative arts);
  • Independent schools which have been registered as such by the Head of the Department of basic education;

Public Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) colleges (formerly known as Further Education and Training (FET) colleges), of which there are 50.

For a list of registered public TVET institutions (a.k.a. registered public FET institutions):

  1. Public FET/TVET colleges – 10 September 2014

Private Further Education and Training (FET) institutions (soon to be renamed private TVET colleges), of which there are around 462 registered institutions and 28 provisionally registered institutions.

(Video) How To Apply For Canada Study Permit - Easy Guide

For a list of registered private FET institutions:

  1. Private FET/TVET colleges – 05 October 2021
  2. Private FET/TVET colleges – 15 March 2017
  3. Private FET/TVET colleges – 08 December 2016
  4. Private TVET colleges – 18 December 2014
  5. Private FET colleges – 18 December 2014

For a list of registered private higher education institutions:

  1. Private higher education institutions – 13 December 2017
  2. Private higher education institutions – 22 March 2017
  3. Private higher education institutions – 13 December 2016

For a list of accredited skills development providers:

  1. Accredited skills development providers – 19 December 2016

Apply For A South African Study Visa (Study Permit) Online | SAvisas.com (2)

Known deregistered learning institutions

Learning institutions must strictly comply with the registration requirements of the Ministries of Basic and Higher Education.

Institutions which fail to comply with compliance notices from the authorities are deregistered.

For a list of known deregistered learning institutions:

  1. Degresitered Private FET colleges – 18 December 2014

Known bogus learning institutions

The public is cautioned about the following bogus private colleges:

  1. Bogus Private FET Colleges – 18 December 2014

Recognized medical aid schemes

Not all medical insurance schemes are recognised for purposes of a study visa. For a list of registered South African Medical Schemes which are recognised by the Department of Home Affairs, click here.

South African Visa Options

Life Partner Visa

Medical Treatment Visa

Relative Visa

Retirement Visa

(Video) HOW TO APPLY FOR A CANADA STUDENT VISA 2021 | CANADA STUDY PERMIT STEP-BY-STEP Online

Spouse Visa

Treaty Visa

Visitor Visa

Volunteer Visa

FAQs

How long does a study permit take to process in South Africa? ›

The processing time for a study visa application submitted in South Africa is between 4 and 8 weeks.

How much bank balance is required for South Africa student visa? ›

How much bank balance is required for a South African student permit? The high commission requirements state that you will need funds of an equivalent of at least 13650 INR for each month of your stay to apply for the student visa.

How much is it to apply for a study permit in South Africa? ›

If you're hoping to study abroad in South Africa, you'll need to apply for a student visa. The total cost of applying for a South African student visa is around R 1,775 or $107.00.

How do I apply for a student permit in South Africa? ›

If you are a foreign student and wish to study in South Africa you can apply for a study visa by completing Form BI-1738. Study visas must be applied for at VFS Centre across the country near the educational institution you will be studying at or at the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad.

How do I know if my visa is approved? ›

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov. If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

How do I know if my South Africa visa is approved? ›

Track an application

Check whether this service is available at the Visa Application Centre you are visiting. You can also track your visa application status online. Use the Reference Number present on the invoice/receipt issued by the Visa Application Centre along with your last name to access this service.

Can I use online bank statement for visa application? ›

Yes. However, the e-bank statement will have to hold an original stamp from your bank to confirm the authenticity of the document and has to show the name of the account holder.

What bank statements are needed for visa? ›

The bank statement should cover the full account history of the last three (3) or six (6) to meet the minimum requirements of the Embassy or Consulate. If the history is incomplete the applicant should provide an explanation letter.

Does South Africa visa need bank statements? ›

Documents required to apply for a visa

Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of: Bank statements. Salary advances. Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa.

How long does a study permit take? ›

It usually takes at least 10 weeks for your application to be processed. It is also important for you to note that your study visa is issued to study at one institution and you would have to apply for a change of conditions, should you want to change institutions.

How long do student visas take to process? ›

US Student Visa Processing Time

Your student visa in the United States will on average take 3 days to a few weeks long. Learn more about US Visa Processing Times in 2022.

What documents do I need to apply for student visa? ›

You will need the following documents for your student visa application:
  1. Passport (with six-month validity). ...
  2. Student visa application form. ...
  3. Passport pictures. ...
  4. Proof of admission. ...
  5. Evidence of financial means. ...
  6. Civil documents. ...
  7. International student health insurance. ...
  8. Previous university records.

How can I get my 2022 student permit online? ›

Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License (APL) e-Form. Presentation of the Student Driver's Permit. Electronically transmitted medical certificate from LTO accredited medical clinic. Submission of one (1) photocopy and presentation of original medical certificate.

How early should I apply for study permit? ›

Apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. The times needed to process your application may vary among visa offices. Check our application processing times for details.

How many days does it take to get South Africa visa? ›

The seven working days are counted from the next working day after receipt of visa applications at the counter. The Mission/Consulate makes all possible efforts to process the visa applications within the stipulated timeframe yet this must not be construed as an obligation on the part of Mission/Consulate.

How do I know if my visa is rejected? ›

Upon visa refusal, you will get a letter from the consulate stating the reason for refusal. This will help you reapply after a specific period of time by rectifying the mistake. Also, some of the consulate websites provide the visa status with the reason for rejection, if any.

Do you get an email when your visa is approved? ›

Yes. When your eTA is approved, you will receive an email confirmation.

What happens after submitting visa application? ›

Once you submit your application, you must wait until the Embassy has made a decision on your case. This process will take two to three weeks depending on nationality (please see Processing Time page on Visa Types section for more information), and provided that a complete file is submitted.

Is South Africa issuing visa now? ›

The South African electronic visa, also known as the eVisa system, is now live. They launched the South Africa eVisa in February 2022 for travelers from 14 countries. The South African Government will add more countries to the list soon. The eVisa system makes traveling to South Africa more accessible.

How long does VFS visa take? ›

As a legal rule, a decision on a visa application is taken within 15 calendar days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended to up to 30 days and, exceptionally 60 days, if a more detailed examination of your application and/or additional documents are required.

How long can an Embassy hold your passport? ›

If the passport is not collected within 14 calendar days from the selected location, the passport will be sent back to the respective Embassy or Consulate and you can pick it from there.

Does embassy check bank statement? ›

The Embassy does not check bank statement in case of every applicant. It is done on random basis or in case of doubt.

Does immigration check your bank account? ›

Bank verification letters are used for immigration purposes to demonstrate that you have available financial resources to support yourself or your immediate relatives on a visa in the United States.

What if I dont have bank statement for visa application? ›

Employees without bank accounts may submit 6-3 months worth of payslips that can serve as proof of the money you are receiving. But hey, if you have an ATM, you can use your payroll account.

How much money do you need for a student visa? ›

F1 visa costs are around $510 per application, and you should apply at least three months before your course start date.

Do visa officers check social media? ›

The consular officers, according to a State Department FAQ, “would only use this information to determine the applicant's eligibility for a visa under existing U.S. law.” In effect, these social media background checks are used to verify your identity and to ensure that you are coming to the U.S. to study.

How old can bank statements be for visa? ›

Some Embassies/Consulates require the statements of the last 3 months while some others require the statements of the last 6 months.

How much is bank statement for South African visa? ›

It should be a 3 months bank statement up to current date of submission. A 3 months Bank statement up to the current date of submission accompanied by a bank letter, confirming account name, account number and account balance.

How much does a South African visa cost? ›

child visitors
Visa typesVisa application fee (ZAR)
Short-term (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry)2134
Longer-term (valid for up to 2 years)8022
Longer-term (valid for up to 5 years)14295
Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years)17858

How recent does a bank statement have to be for a visa? ›

You must include 6 months bank statements for the third party and yourself as well as 3 last payslips. 10.

How long does it take to get a study permit? ›

It can take up to 3 months to get a study permit, depending on the country where you are applying.

How long does a student visa take to process? ›

US Student Visa Processing Time

Your student visa in the United States will on average take 3 days to a few weeks long. Learn more about US Visa Processing Times in 2022.

How long does study visa take? ›

There is no standard processing time for an Indian student visa, but most students will receive a decision within two weeks of submitting their application. Although visas can be processed quickly, it's well worth starting your visa application as soon as you've received your acceptance letter.

How long does VFS visa take? ›

As a legal rule, a decision on a visa application is taken within 15 calendar days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended to up to 30 days and, exceptionally 60 days, if a more detailed examination of your application and/or additional documents are required.

What is the difference between student visa and study permit? ›

A Student Visa is an authorization to enter into a country,” says Hari. “[This is a] conditional authorization, which means that even if you have a student visa, the officer at the border has the authority to deny you entry into the country.” “A Study Permit gives you the authority to stay in the country.

Can I apply for study permit and visa at the same time? ›

Your eTA or visa will be issued to you at the same time as your study permit. You do not need to apply separately or to pay an additional fee.

Is study permit same as visa? ›

Your study permit is not a visa.

You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If we approve your study permit, we'll issue one to you with your study permit.

Is student visa easy to get? ›

It is not difficult to get a student visa for the USA from India, but you must follow all student visa requirements for the USA from India and give yourself plenty of time to complete and submit your paperwork.

What do visa officers check for student visa? ›

If you are a prospective student, the interviewing officer may ask about your specific plans or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-range plans and career prospects in your home country.

What are your plans if your student visa is not approved? ›

Re-apply in the Same Country

If your visa application was rejected the first time, you have the option of re-applying. Many students are granted a Student Visa the second time around whose visa applications were denied the first time. You must identify and rectify the reasons which may have caused the rejection.

How long does SDS visa take 2022? ›

About the SDS

IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the eligibility requirements are met.

Does SDS visa get rejected? ›

Student visa may get rejected if your selected specialization doesn't match with your past qualifications and work experience. If the course you are applying for is not consistent with your past work experience and educational qualifications, then you must be able to explain why you are changing your field of interest.

What are the documents required for student visa? ›

Documents required for a US student visa

Acceptance at a SEVP approved school and your Form I-20. Application fee payment for the SEVIS. Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160 confirmation page. Your photograph in the requested format, and number.

How long does it take for South African visa to be approved? ›

The processing time for Visa Application is approximately 6 Working Days.

How do I know if my visa is rejected? ›

Upon visa refusal, you will get a letter from the consulate stating the reason for refusal. This will help you reapply after a specific period of time by rectifying the mistake. Also, some of the consulate websites provide the visa status with the reason for rejection, if any.

Does VFS take your passport? ›

At the end of the passport collection process VFS requests that every collecting person signs off the Register of Passport collection. Upon collection of passports, applicants are advised to check that the visa granted meets with their travel schedule.

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