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Information on South African Study Permits

With South Africa’s diverse and highly recommended range of schooling and tertiary education institutions, it is no surprise to know that many foreigners who immigrate to RSA, either as individuals or families with children, will receive the best education for the person(s) concerned. There are so many different options of education institutions (from pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary schooling facilities) to choose from. South Africa is abundant with students who thrive on knowledge and highly qualified teachers/lecturers to provide the knowledge required to go forward in life.

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In South Africa, a foreigner who would like to study in one of these institutions would require a study permit (temporary residency). There are two options for this type of permit for the respective foreigner(s):

The first option would be for families immigrating to South African with children from the age 6 to 16 (as all children from the age of 6 Р16 are required by law to attend schooling, therefore, requiring a study permit). If a child is young enough to attend cr̬che, pre-school, etc, provision may be made by the Department to issue a permit to the child(ren), this is done with their own discretion. These permits are issued to the length of the schooling period, the maximum period length of a study permit is 3 years.

What documentation would be required for a study (children accompanying families) permit ?

The documentation required for a RSA (children accompanying families) study permit would include an acceptance letter (“provisionally accepted”) from the RSA educational institution concerned, South African Registered Medical Insurance and proof from the parents (guardians) of financial support for during their stay in RSA while studying.

The second option would be for individual (stand alone) foreigners wishing to continue their studies in South Africa (e.g. university, college, etc). These permits are issued by the Department of Home Affairs to the applicant who has been “provisionally accepted” to a South African Registered Educational Institution. RSA Study permits are issued to the length of the course; this is done with the Department’s discretion.

What documentation would be required for a study (individual) permit ?

The documentation required for a South African (individual) study permit would include an acceptance letter from the South African educational institution concerned, South African Registered Medical Insurance and proof that the applicant can sustain themselves financially during their stay in RSA while studying.

Can a foreigner work on a South African on this permit?

The student (over the age of 16 years) may work 20 hours per week during their term (semester) or when the workplace is a learning institution on this permit.

In order to retain a study permit while in South Africa, the foreigner must attend the courses/school-days. As this permit is a specific permit, if a child/person moves to a different institution or from primary to high school (secondary school), etc – a new study permit would need to be applied for in order to legally attend the new institution. Correspondence courses/distance learning courses do not allow for the issuance of a South African study permit.

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