Study Visa

Q: Do I require a Study Visa to study at Stellenbosch University?

A: Yes, all non-South African students, including students who will only be doing research require an appropriate visa. 


Q: When do I apply for my Study Visa?

A: As a study visa is specific to an institution, you can only apply for the Visa once you have been accepted/admitted to study at Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch University International (SU International) will issue a Letter of Admission to assist you with the study visa application. SU International will also facilitate your application for health cover from a provider that is registered in South Africa.


Q: How do I obtain a Visa?

A: You are required to apply at a South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Mission in your country of origin. Confirm the requirements with the SA Mission and collect all supporting documents. 

Students must apply for a study visa and await the outcome before leaving for South Africa. Acceptance by Stellenbosch University does not guarantee that you will be issued with a study Visa.

Please note that no changes may be made in South Africa where the holder has a Visitor’s or Medical Visa, thus students cannot enter South Africa on a visitor's visa and then apply for a study visa.


Q: Does the university apply for study visas on students’ behalf?

A:  No.  It is the students’ responsibility to apply for their study visa.   


Q: Can I study at Stellenbosch on a visitor’s visa?

A: No, all non-South African students require a study visa. Students who will only be doing research will require a ‘visitor’s visa endorsed to study’. You should lodge your application in your country of origin and await the outcome BEFORE travelling to Stellenbosch.


Q: Who is responsible for maintaining the validity of a Study Visa?

A: It is the student’s responsibility to keep the study Visa valid at all times. Renewals should be applied for at least 90 days prior to the expiry date. Assistance and forms are available at Stellenbosch University International.


Q: I am only coming to Stellenbosch University for less than 90 days.  Do I need a Visa?

A: No, not if you are from a visa exempted country and coming for less than 90 days. You will get a “Port of Entry’’ visa.

    Yes, if you are from a non-visa exempt country.

    Please note that you will not be allowed to register if you do not possess a valid visa.


Q: Can I work on a study visa?

A:  Yes.  If you have a valid study Visa and are registered with the Institution, you are allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week (but not during vacations).


Q: I have a study visa and I want to leave the country for a holiday. Will I need a re-entry visa?

A: No. All visas are multiple entry. Make sure of your visa’s validity and expiry date!


Q: I want my family to accompany me. Is it possible?

A: It is possible, but you are strongly discouraged from bringing your family, at least not initially. You should first come and investigate the opportunities, costs, accommodation and school options before you make the decision to bring your family.


Q: I am a foreign citizen, with a work permit in South Africa and I intend to take up studies.  Would I be required to get a study visa over and above my work visa?

A:  A person can have only one visa at a time. If you have a work visa and wish to take up full time studies, you will have to change from the work Visa to a Study Visa.  There is no need to change to a study visa if you wish to study part-time.  Please note that a Change of Status must be submitted abroad in the person’s home country. 


Q: I have applied for permanent residence in South Africa but my current visa is due to expire. What must I do?

A: Keep your temporary residence visa valid at all times while awaiting the outcome of your permanent residence application.


More visa information here.

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