There has been a lot of uncertainty around the validity and renewal of visas during South Africa’s lockdown. We’ve noticed that parents and tertiary students especially are concerned about study visas.

We know how frustrating it can be to not know what’s going on with your visa, so we’re going to clear things up.

1. You submitted a study visa renewal prior to lockdown

Most study visa applicants who submitted renewals prior to lockdown have now received outcomes on their applications. However, there is a small number of individuals who are still waiting on the decision of the Department of Home Affairs.

If you fall in the latter group, please rest assured that it is legal to study in South Africa with the proof of application.

2. The study visa expired during lockdown and it hasn’t been possible to submit an extension

There is good news – the DHA has extended all South African visas until the 31st of January 2021 so study visa holders may continue studying in South Africa. The conditions of the visa remains the same and the visa holder must continue adhering to them.

This does mean that it is necessary to submit a renewal before January 2021 if the visa holder have to continue studying in South Africa next year.

If there is no further studying required, the visa holder must depart South Africa before 31 January 2021. There won’t be a penalty in this case for leaving South Africa’s borders on an expired visa.

3. Revoked visas have been reinstated

The South African Government decided to revoke the visas of temporary residents who were outside of South Africa earlier during the lockdown. Thankfully they’ve done a turnaround on this decision and reinstated the visa status of temporary residents.

Study visa holders can thus enter South Africa on their temporary residency study visas. This is true even if you’re travelling from a high-risk country.

It will still be necessary to show a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours at the port of entry as well as proof of medical aid or insurance cover.

4. VFS has reopened for submissions

VFS, South Africa’s visa facilitating centres, reopened for submissions on 22 September making it possible once again to submit renewals for study visas and all other visas.

5. Embassies are accepting new temporary residency applications

Anyone who wants to study in South Africa can once again apply for study visas from abroad. South African Embassies abroad reopened on the 1st of October and is accepting new applications for temporary residency visas.

Call us if you need assistance with a study visa renewal or application

Our advice is to have an immigration agent by your side if you want to apply for a study visa, especially now. Things have stabilised but there is no telling if more changes are heading our way. COVID-19 has thrown the whole world for a loop!

The Intergate Immigration team would be more than happy to help you. You’ll have a dedicated immigration consultant and administrator to see you through your application from start to finish.

You can reach us at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or send us an email at Alternatively, send us a call-back request and a member of our team will contact you instead.

Here’s what one of our most recent clients had to say after dealing with us:

Thank you for your most informative letter to myself, this has given me great peace of mind for which I am truly grateful.

I attended VFS yesterday and the whole procedure went very smoothly.

I would further like to mention the service, help, knowledge, kindness, etc shown to myself over the past few months which Sumaya has provided, she has been a great help and I can most certainly commend her to yourself, she is a credit to your company.

Thank you again,
Ken Gray

We look forward to helping you too!


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