Immigration FAQ's


Can Refugee students with expired visas register for 2021?

Yes.  If your refugee permit expired during lockdown it is still valid until 31 March 2021 and may be used for registration.


Can students register on a VFS receipt?

Yes.  Students may register on a VFS receipt and the outcome of their visa renewal application should be emailed to as soon as it is available.


Permission to register students outside of the borders of SA?                                                                 

 - (Students are unable to apply for the necessary visa for registration;

- Country in lockdown – student unable to travel; - Online teaching (student will be based in home country)

Yes.  Students will be allowed to register on their passport only if they will reside outside South Africa for the duration of their studies or until after they have received their visas.


SA Medical Aid: is this a requirement if the student is based outside of the borders of SA whether there is a valid study visa in place or not.

If you are not based in South Africa, then no South Africa medical aid is required.  If you will be coming for block sessions, then you will also be exempt from submitting South African medical aid membership.


Can Stellenbosch University assist with South African Police Certificate delays?

No.  We regret to inform students that we cannot assist with the delays with the Police clearances due to COVID-19 impact.


If the SA Embassy/Consulate in a country is closed, can we assume that the country is not supporting travelling to South Africa and that no other office (VFS global) can assist with a study visa/permit application?

Yes.  Please make sure of the lockdown travelling arrangements for your country and how it may impact your travel to South Africa.


Can Stellenbosch University assist with speeding up the visa application process and outcome with DHA?

Stellenbosch University cannot influence your application or outcome in any way.  The visa application process is with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and all enquiries and outcome appeals will be direct with DHA.


What is the process students have to follow when wanting to return to SA via a land port. 

Students may return via the land port with the same documents required for air travel.  A valid passport, study visa and negative PCR test not older than 72 hours will be required to enter the country.


Are students required to have full medical cover?

Students should have South African Medical aid cover for the full duration of their study visa/permit.  Visas/permits will not be valid without active medical aid membership


Can students register on a visa that expires in April 2021?

Yes.  Students may register on a valid visa.  It is also recommended to renew your visa at least 60 days before the expiry date.  New visa information should be sent to as soon as the renewal outcome is available.


Visa is valid but for a different institution.  Will registration be allowed or is a TRC receipt (application for changing institutions) required?

Students can only register with a study visa/permit for Stellenbosch University or a TRC receipt from VFS.