Study Permits fall into the temporary residence permit classification of immigration services, the same group as Work Permits and Visit Visas. They need to be renewed once a year at the Department of Home Affairs, and allow for multiple re-entries, enabling students to return home during the holidays.
There are no nationalities that do not require Study Permits to enjoy tertiary education in South Africa. To apply, visit the South African Mission in or nearest your country of residence, and complete the BI-1738 form, which will have to be accompanied by a prescribed fee. You’ll also need:
- A provisional letter of acceptance from the higher education institution at which you intend to study.
- The details of your arrangements for accommodation in Cape Town.
- Proof of your capacity to pay for your own food, accommodation and tuition.
- A cash deposit or bank-guaranteed cheque to the value of a return plane ticket.
- A written assurance that, once you’ve completed your studies, you will return to your country of residence.
- A doctor’s letter asserting your general good health.
Remember that it may take as long as 8 weeks for an application to be processed, and that you cannot enter South Africa until this permit is finalized, as it must be stamped by an immigration official.
The primary concern of any investigation will be to ascertain that you’re not displacing another student at a local institution, and whether you’re able to support yourself and still afford coverage under a local medical scheme. Remember that without a work permit you cannot legally work, even in waitering or pizza delivery. Remember also that you’ll need to apply for a new study permit if you intend to change your institution or course of study.
For further information, visit http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/services.asp