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International students

Study permit renewal

Renewing an existing permit

NB: All applications for extension of a study permit should be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry date. Failure to do so will mean that you will have to satisfy the Director General that there was good cause, in order to have the late application accepted.

In order to extend your study permit you will need to take the following to the Visa Facilitation Service:

  1. Valid passport (valid for at least 30 days more than the required extension period)
  2. Completed Home Affairs application form BI 1739
  3. Application fee of R425 and a handling fee of R1 350 to be paid to the Visa Facilitation Services.
  4. Proof of sufficient financial means to cover tuition fees, subsistence and incidental costs (in the form of a bursary, or bank statement)
  5. Police clearance certificate less than six months old (anyone 18 years or older)
  6. Medical and radiological reports less than six months old* (forms are available at IAPO). Please see an important note on medical and radiological reports below
  7. Official letter from your faculty / department administrator / supervisor confirming that you will be continuing studies at UCT including the duration for which an extension is required.
  8. Proof of medical cover that is registered in and/or recognised in South Africa**
  9. Accommodation (copy of lease arrangement, letter from landlord, etc)


The visa renewal requirements above are also applicable to postdoctoral fellows who wish to extend a visa. Postdoctoral fellows require an official letter from the academic host at UCT confirming continuance of research at UCT, the terms of the fellowship, the amount of the fellowship award and the duration for which an extension is required.

Please note that it is student / fellow's responsibility to ensure that they proceed to the Department of Home Affairs with all the requirements for their visa application. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete and has all the accompanying documentation required for processing through the Department of Home Affairs Offices in Cape Town or the South African Embassy in your home country before you go there. Whilst IAPO can help you to check your application, the ultimate responsibility for this remains with you, the applicant. IAPO does not accept liability for applications that are incomplete, returned, invalid or refused.

Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) contacts

The VFS office nearest to UCT is the Cape Town office:

Cape Town
21 Floor, 2 Riebeek Street
ABSA Building
Cape Town
Tel: +27 12 425 3000

*Please note that if you applied for a study permit in Cape Town for the first time or you are extending a permit that was already extended in Cape Town before, you do not need to re-submit medical and radiological reports. The Department of Home Affairs requires that you provide a handwritten and signed undertaking confirming that you had already lodged these reports with Home Affairs in Cape Town previously and that the Department has copies of the reports on your record.
In case you applied for your study permit for the first time in your home country and are now applying to renew it in Cape Town, the Home Affairs Office will not have copies of your medical and radiological reports on record and you are therefore required to provide a medical report from a GP with regard to your general state of health and radiological report certifying that you do not have active signs of pulmonary TB.
**South African medical insurance companies that have international student medical insurance packages.

Visa Information for Students Coming into South Africa for 90 days or Less

Students from countries exempt from South Africa visas for visits to South Africa for 30 / 90 days or less are not required to apply for a study permit. In those cases students get issued with a temporary residence permit (trp) or a stamp on arrival at the port of entry in South Africa. For a list of visa exempt countries according to the intended duration of stay (30 / 90 days) please access: http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/countries-exempt-from-sa-visas.

Students who are not from a visa exempt countries and will be in the country for 90 days or less must apply for a visa at the South African embassy in their home country. You will be issued with a visitors visa for the purpose that you intend to be in the country for.

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Department of Home Affairs

Department of Foreign Affairs