Applying for a visa can feel daunting, but our support team will guide and support you through the visa process. As an institution accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education, the University arranges thousands 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.
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
* 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.