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Studying in South Africa – How to apply for a study visa

If you are an international student wanting to study in South Africa, you must first apply for and be granted a study visa. A South African educational institution cannot register an international student until a valid study visa has been issued. Even if one of your family members has received a job offer and work visa in South Africa, you will still need to apply for your own study visa. You cannot enter South Africa on a visitor’s visa and then apply for a study visa. Please be careful that if you are accepted by any South African educational institution, it does not guarantee that you will be issued with a study visa. This is why we here at the Wits Language School, are going to make it easier for you to get through this process. 

Study visas will only be issued where the learning institution is approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Wits Language School has been approved by this Department and is one of the top language schools in South Africa. As a language school in South Africa we are now required to ensure that you comply with the conditions of your visa, and to ensure strict controls and accountability. By complying with these requirements, we ensure that our students are granted visas if they meet all the requirements.

From the 10 May 2015, applicants for study visas will be required to apply in person at a South African embassy, mission or consulate in their home country. Study visas are valid for the duration of the course for which they are issued

You will need the following: 

  • A completed application form (B1-1738) signed by the applicant.
  • A passport valid for no less than 30 days upon completion of the applicant’s studies.
  • Two (2) passport photos.
  • A certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate.
  • Medical report/s (specifying details of a physical test by your physician / doctor).
  • Make sure you have the necessary vaccinations done before travelling (Enquire at your nearest South African embassy, mission, consulate). 
  • Radiology report/s (chest X-Ray or skin TB test).
  • If the applicant is 18 years and older, a police clearance certificate from all the countries that the applicant has lived in, for 12 months or longer since the age of 18, is required. This should be submitted with the application or within three months of submission.
  • Proof of health coverage (health insurance / medical insurance). The student must have adequate medical cover with a registered South African medical scheme. 
  • A roundtrip flight itinerary. 
  • A cash deposit fee to the value of the return ticket. In the case of African students, an undertaking from the relevant government to take full responsibility for the student and to pay all costs, should it become necessary to deport the student, if needed. 
  • An official letter from the educational institution in South Africa confirming provisional acceptance and duration of the course.
  • Proof of financial means to cover the applicant’s living expenses. The student must have proof of sufficient funds to pay for day-to-day living expenses, accommodation as well as tuition fees during his/her stay in South Africa. 
  • This should be provided in the form of:
    • Bank statements
    • A certified letter from the parents / guardians stating their financial responsibility
    • Cash available 
    • Travellers’ cheques 
  • In the case of a minor, a certified letter of consent from the parent/s is required. 
  • The particulars of the person in the Republic of South Africa who will act as the applicant’s guardian together with a letter from such a person confirming guardianship. 
  • Payment of the non-refundable fee for processing (Enquire at your nearest South African embassy, mission, consulate).
  • You must apply for a new study visa at least 60 days prior to the expiry of your previous study permit (if it was issued prior to May 2015). 

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