Study Visa

The University is not permitted to register you until you have produced your VALID Study Visa. It could take at least 6 to 8 weeks for your Study Visa application to be processed.

Apply for a study visa (First time applicants)

Please note that your Study Visa is issued to study at one institution and you would have to apply for a change of conditions, should you want to change institutions. This can be done in the city applicable to the new institution of study.

You are required to apply for a Study Visa at the South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Trade Mission in your country of residence. If there is no South African representative in that country, you must apply at the nearest South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Trade Mission.

The following are the current requirements to be submitted to the South African Embassy/Consulate in your country to obtain your Study Visa:

  • A passport valid for not less than 30 days after intended studies
  • Payment of the prescribed administrative fee
  • Confirmation and proof of payment of a South African Medical Aid Cover with a medical scheme registered with the SA Medical Schemes Council. Cover must remain valid for the duration of the calendar year
  • Admission Letter from the University
  • Undertaking from the University stating the duration of degree - this letter is issued by the Office for International Affairs
  • Medical and Radiological reports (less than six months old)
    - Medical report
    - Radiology report
  • Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, if relevant
  • Relevant certificates if married, widowed, divorced or separated
  • Details regarding arranged accommodation while in South Africa
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and maintenance
  • A police clearance certificate for the past 12 months or longer since the age of 18 (not older than 6 months)

You are advised to submit the documentation as soon as possible to the South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Trade Mission – DO NOT send the documentation to the University of the Free State.

We, however advise that you keep copies of your documentation submitted and all receipts. South African Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates and Trade Missions require a letter of undertaking from University of The Free State, stating that a student will not be taking the place of a South African citizen and that the University will inform the Department of Home Affairs should the student discontinue his/her studies; if you require such a document, the Office for International Affairs will be able to facilitate this request.

Please contact Jeanne Niemann at the International office.

Please Note:

The holder of a study visa for studies at a higher education institution may conduct part-time work for a period not exceeding 20 hours per week. Immigration Amendment Act 2011, Act No. 13 of 2011.


Extension / renewal of existing visa in South Africa

NB: Application should be submitted 60 days before expiry of current visa.

Go to the VFS website DHA Visa Information - South Africa

  • Click on "Online Application Form"
  • Click on "Apply Now"
  • It will take you to the next page titled "Schedule an appointment"
  • At the bottom of the list click on the "please click here" link
  • It will take you to the next page where you will be required to select the following options:
    • Application type: Select "Temporary Residence Visa"
    • Application sub-type: Select "TRV - Renewal Visa"
    • Application sub-type category: Select "Study Visa Section 13" This sub-category is dependent on the type of visa renewal
    • Location: Select the office of VFS where you intend to submit your application
    • Payment mode: Select the method of payment
    • Previous Corporate visa no. : Type the reference number of the current visa sticker.
  • Click "Submit" to complete the transaction.

Create a ‘User Profile’ for new users. If you have an existing account ‘login

  • Click on ‘New Application’
  • Complete Form
  • Schedule an appointment with VFS
  • When the date is confirmed, the checklist, completed form and payment details will be accessible.
  • Download and print all the documents.
  • Prepare all supporting documents as per the check list and make payment.
    DHA - Supporting documents
  • Sign the completed form.
  • Book your appointment on-line.

For the appointment take:

  • The completed signed application form
  • All supporting documents as per the check list
    DHA - Supporting documents
  • Proof of payment (Bank details on website)
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of current visa

Refugees/Asylum Seekers.

Refugees and Asylum seekers do not need study visas, but need to submit proof of medical aid (Confirmation Letter) that the medical aid is paid for the full year.

Lost/Stolen passports

If a passport is stolen or lost, the incident must be reported to the police in order to get an affidavit and also to Campus Control if the passport was lost/stolen on campus. The Office for International Affairs will then issue the student with a copy of the passport (the page containing your personal details and passport number) and a copy of the study visa. The student should then proceed to their embassy to apply for a new passport. As soon as the passport is available, the student should go to DHA Visa Information - South Africa to apply for a replacement study visa.

Documents required are:

  • New passport
  • Affidavit,
  • Copy of stolen passport
  • Copy of Study Visa and
  • Confirmation of registration from faculty

Passport renewals

Passport renewals are done at the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of your home country in South Africa.