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Immigration FAQ's



Suggestions from survey

All passports and travel documents must be valid for no less than 30 days after the end date of your intended stay.

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Applications are evaluated individually, and time frames may vary; thus, you are requested to wait until a decision on your application is made and ready for collection, as VFS Global has no control over or influence over processing timelines.


Once you have completed your undergraduate studies and your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa that will specify your postgraduate studing/studies information. Because you will not be a first time applicant, you will be able to apply for this new study visa in your home country, or in South Africa at a VFS center specified in this link:

No, all passports and travel documents must be valid for no less than 30 days after the end date of your intended stay.

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Yes, visitors visas are granted to spouses and children who want to join their spouses or parents on work or study visas in South Africa. Kindly be informed that if you have children who would like to study in South Africa, they will also require study visas in order to attend a South African educational institution.

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General FAQ's ​​​​

A study visa is a legal immigration document granted by the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) that allows non-South African to register at a South African learning institution while temporarily residing in South Africa.

This document is necessary if an international student does not have South African citizenship, a permanent residence permit, or another temporary residence permit endorsed for study.


a) First-time applicants must apply for visas in their home country's nearest South African embassy, consulate, or high commission.

b) If a student who is already enrolled at Stellenbosch University desires to extend their study visa, the application for extension must be submitted 60 days before the current permit expires and for short-stay visas, they should renew their visa no later than 30-days before their current visa expires. They can do so through the VFS Centers in South Africa listed at:

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You should leave South Africa before their visa expires, otherwise you risk being declared 'undesirable'. You can then apply for a new visa in your home country.

a) You must immediately report to the nearest Home Affairs office to obtain a Form 23. This form will enable you to apply for the Form 20, which is an application for concession from penalty for having overstayed on good grounds. If this is approved for having overstayed on good grounds, they will receive the Form 20. Once you obtain this form, you should apply for the visa renewal as soon as possible through VFS

b) Note:  Overstaying is a contravention of the South African Immigration Act. If you choose to depart South Africa once you have overstayed and did not apply to obtain the Form 23 and Form 20, you will be considered undesirable upon departure and banned from re-entering.

Persons who are declared undesirable persons in terms of Section 30(1)(h) read with 50(1) of the Immigration Act, no 13 of 2002 as amended (no. 13 of 2011) must submit the written representative as indicated below:

The following documents must be submitted:

  1. Written representation documenting the reasons for the overstay and any supporting documents which will support the case for appeal.
  2. A copy of the declaration of undesirability (form 19) that was issued at the Port of Entry
  3. Copy of the relevant pages of the passport, including bio page
  4. Acknowledgment of receipt (in cases where the applicant has applied for a permit and the status is still pending)
  5. If the applicant overstayed due to medical reasons a medical certificated must be submitted.​

The appeal must be e-mailed to:

For confirmation that the appeal has been received applicants may contact IMS Deportations at 012 406 4985

a) Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may need documentation from Stellenbosch University as part of your visa application.

Study Visa

   1. A letter of undertaking for new study visa applicants.

   2. A letter of undertaking for current students who need to renew their study visa so that they can              continue their studies at Stellenbosch University

> Confirmation of accommodation.(Be advised: Students will be notified whether or not they hav successfully secured housing with the university in a timely fashion. If you have not secured accommodation with the university, the University cannot issue a confirmation of accommodation letter. )

Visitor Visa

1. Given that you are accompanying your spouse who is a student at Stellenbosch university, you will need an invitation letter which will confirm your address and duration of stay in South Africa, support from spouse and your passport details.

The letter of undertaking is a document provided by the University of Stellenbosch that confirms that a student has been accepted as an international student.

If you are an international student seeking to study at Stellenbosch University under a study visa, you will need the letter of undertaking as one of the documents required in the application process.

Other documents required in your study visa application can be found here:

Yes, each time a student makes application for a study visa, they are required to apply for police clearance. A police clearance certificate from each country in which you resided for 12 months or longer since the age of 18. VFS will facilitate the police clearance application at a charge of R185.

Yes, an official letter confirming provisional/conditional acceptance or acceptance at that learning institution and the duration of the course is acceptable.


Yes, students can leave South Africa while awaiting the outcome of a visa renewal. As long as their current visa is valid, the student will be able to leave and re-enter the country. However it is recommended that the student remain in South Africa while they await the outcome of their visa renewal.

Faculty officers make the decision to allow students to register later than the registration window premises'. The student must communicate with the faculty official from their specific faculty in order to obtain a decision on their individual case.

No, If a student wants to study at Stellenbosch University but has a visa for another institution, they will need to make changes through VFS by applying for a change in conditions. A change of study visa conditions refers to a circumstance in which you have a valid study visa with the condition of studying at a different institution in the Republic of South Africa than the one you desire to study at.

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No, you can only receive a proof of accommodation letter from the university if and only if the university has offered you a room that you have accepted and will be residing in during your term of studying in Stellenbosch.

This is a person who has fled his or her home country and is seeking recognition and protection as a refugee in the Republic of South Africa, and whose application is currently being processed. If their application is denied, they will be required to leave the country voluntarily or face deportation. As long as they hold a section 22 permit, the permit holder has the right to work and study in South Africa and is protected from deportation to his place of origin.


Someone who has been given asylum and protection under Section 24 of the Refugee Act No. 130 of 1998. A refugee can be a "convention refugee" if they have left their home country and have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, according to the 1951 United Nations Convention. A refugee possessing a Section 24 permit is permitted to stay in South Africa for two years. While the permission is valid, the permit holder is permitted to work and study in South Africa.


Yes. Students on a study visa can work up to 20-hours per week.

Medical aid​​​​

All passports and travel documents must be valid for no less than 30 days after the end date of your intended stay.

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No, Stellenbosch University will only allow South African medical cover from medical aid companies registered with the SA Council for Medical Schemes listed in the following link.

​No, you will need medical aid cover, which will help you to pay for your healthcare needs, such as medical expenses related to doctor's visits, nursing, surgery, dental work, optometry, medicine and hospital accommodation when needed. Medical insurance, on the other hand, exclusively covers the insured's medical, surgical, and occasionally dental expenses. Health insurance policies often only pay out if certain particular health-related events occur, and they do not cover your medical expenses in the same way that a medical aid scheme would.