Study Visas are issued to foreign nationals intending to study in South Africa at a legally-recognised learning institution.
To qualify as a learning institution, the institution must be appropriately registered in terms of applicable South African legislation. For example, schools must be registered in terms of the South African Schools Act, higher educational institutions must be established in terms of the Higher Education Act and colleges must be established in terms of the Further Education & Training Colleges Act, with certain exclusions. It therefore follows that Study Visas are not obtainable for study at any institution in South Africa, although there are some exclusions which must be checked on a case-by-case basis.
The learning institution is required to make certain written undertakings in respect of the learner to support the application; these include providing proof of registration of the learner within 60 days or, in the event of the learner’s failure to register within 7 days from the closing date of registration, to notify the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) within 30 days of the learner’s deregistration and, likewise, once he/she has completed his/her studies or is required to extend the period of study.
Study Visas for studies at schools may be issued valid for up to 8 years for study at primary schools and up to 6 years for study at secondary schools; however, they are typically issued for lesser periods in the case of accompanying dependants of work visa holders. There is no concession to allow for part-time work.
Study Visas for studies at higher educational institutions and colleges may be issued for the full duration of the course for which the learner is registered and he/she is automatically allowed to conduct part-time work for a period of not exceeding 20 hours per week, without any further authorisation from the DHA.