Study Visa

Study visa (click here for general information)

Q: Do I need a study visa to study at Stellenbosch University?

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

Q: When should I apply for my study visa?

A: As a study visa is linked to an institution, you can only apply for your visa once you have been accepted to study at SU. We will provide you with a letter of admission, which will help you with your visa application. And because health insurance is another visa requirement, we will also facilitate your application for insurance from a provider that is registered in South Africa.

Q: How do I obtain a visa?

A: Apply at the South African high commission, embassy, consulate or mission in your country of origin. First confirm the requirements and assemble all the supporting documents. Remember that you need to apply for your study visa and await the outcome before you leave for South Africa. The mere fact that SU has granted you admission does not guarantee that you will receive a study visa. It is also important to note that no changes may be made to your visa type once here. This means that if you enter South Africa on a visitor’s or medical visa, this cannot be changed to a study visa once you’re here.

Q: Does Stellenbosch University apply for study visas on students’ behalf?

A:  No. It will be your responsibility to apply for your own study visa.   

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

A: No. To study here, all non-South African students require a study visa. If you will only be doing research, you will require a “visitor’s visa endorsed to study”. Please lodge your application in your country of origin and await the outcome before you travel to South Africa.

Q: Who is responsible to check that my study visa remains valid for the duration of my studies?

A: It will be your responsibility to ensure that your study visa is valid at all times. If you need to apply for visa renewal, please do so at least 60 days prior to the expiry date. SU International can provide you with assistance and the applicable forms.

Q: I will be visiting Stellenbosch University for less than 90 days. Do I need a visa?

A: No, not if you are from a visa-exempt country and visiting for less than 90 days. You will be issued a “port of entry” visa. However, if you are from a non-visa-exempt country, you will indeed need to apply for a visa. Unfortunately, SU cannot allow any international student to register without a valid visa.

Q: Can I work on a study visa?

A:  Yes. If you have a valid study visa and are registered with SU, you may work part-time for up to 20 hours per week, although not during vacations.

Q: I am studying at SU on a valid study visa and wish to leave South Africa for a holiday. Will I need a special visa to re-enter?

A: No. All visas are multiple-entry. But do double-check that your visa will still be valid by the time you return.

Q: I want my family to accompany me to South Africa when I come there to study at SU. Is it possible?

A: It is possible, but we normally discourage international students from bringing their families, at least initially. First come and explore the opportunities, costs, accommodation and schooling options before you decide to bring your family.

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

A:  Any one person can hold only one visa at a time. If you have a work visa and wish to study full-time, you will need to change your visa from work to study. This application must be submitted abroad, in your home country. However, if you plan on studying part-time only, you don’t need to change your visa.

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

A: Simply keep your temporary residency visa valid at all times while you wait for the outcome of your permanent residency application.

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