The UCT International Office has a dedicated pre-arrivals team who will guide and support you through the visa process. As an institution accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education, the University arranges hundreds of student visas each year.

Visa Exempt Countries

If your course is for less than 90 days, many students do not need a study visa. Students from the countries listed below can travel to South Africa and will be issued with a visitor’s visa at the airport when you arrive.

Andorra
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Botswana
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Iceland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxemburg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Paraguay
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
Spain
St Vincent
Sweden
Switzerland
Uruguay
Venezuela
United Kingdom
USA

Students from the following countries can study for up to 30 days on a visitor’s visa, without applying for a study permit:

Antigua and Barbuda
Barbados
Belize
Benin
Bolivia
Cape Verde
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Gabon
Guyana
Hong Kong*
Hungary
Jordan
Lesotho
Macau*
Malaysia
Malawi
Maldives
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Peru
Poland
Seychelles
Slovak Republic
South Korea
Swaziland
Thailand
Turkey
Zambia

* Only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports
** Only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR)

If you do not hold a passport for one of these countries, and plan to be in South Africa for less than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Visitor’s visa at the South African embassy in your country of residence.

Applying for a Study Visa

If you plan to be in South Africa for more than 90 days you will need to be issued with a study visa in your home country before travelling to South Africa. To apply, you will need the following documents:

  • Your passport (please make sure that your passport has at least two empty visa pages)
  • Two passport photographs
  • An original bank statement showing you have enough money for your stay (approximately ZAR6000 per month) and your receipt for your course fees.
  • A return ticket
  • A letter of invitation from UCT – we will provide you with this.
  • A radiological report (Chest X-ray) – download here 
  • A medical report – download here 
  • A police clearance certificate from your home country
  • Medical Insurance – see our FAQ for more information 
  • If you are bringing a spouse or children you will also need your marriage certificate and your children’s birth certificates

You should apply at your local South African diplomatic mission – details can be found here . You will be asked to complete the application forms and submit it with the relevant documents. We recommend you contact your local mission or visit their website for further details before going there in person. You can also get more information from the South African Department of Home Affairs Website.

We are here to help!

We know that applying for a visa for any foreign country can be complicated, so please contact us if you have any questions or need any help with your application and we will put you in contact with the UCT International Office pre-arrivals team.

How to Extend your Tourist Visa

  • Can I extend my tourist visa?
    • If you are in South Africa on a 90-day tourist visa (which is called a Section 11(1) Visitor’s Visa) you can apply to extend it for an additional 90 days.

  • When should I apply?
    • The regulations say that you must apply 60 days before your existing visa expires!  However, if you apply at least 30 days before the end of your existing visa, your application may still be considered.

  • Where should I go to apply for an extension?
    • You need to go to the VFS Visa Facilitation Office in the centre of Cape Town.  The address is 47 Strand St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000Before you go you must make an appointment and complete the forms online.

  • How do I make an appointment and complete the forms?
    • Go to https://www.vfsvisaonline.com/DHAFOSOnlineVAF/gatewaypage.aspx and select the following options:

      Application type: Temporary Residence Visa
      Application sup type: TRV – Renewal Visa
      Application sub type category: Visitor’s Visa Section 11(1)
      Location: Cape Town

      You will then need to complete an email registration form and online application form.  After you have completed the forms, you will be asked to pay using a credit card.  After you have paid you can choose a day and time to make your appointment.

  • How much does it cost?
    • The total fee is R 1775.00 and this must be paid by credit card online before you make the appointment (as at November 2016).

  • What documents do I need?
    • You should bring:

      • You passport
      • Your letter from the school
      • Three months bank statements
      • Return ticket to your country
  • Can I change my tourist visa to a study visa?
    • No, you will need to return to your country to apply for a study visa.