In June 2014 the Department of Home Affairs amended the Immigration Act. The Study Visa / Study Permit was one the categories affected.
For both standalone and dependent students who made applications prior to June 2014 for permission to study in South Africa, the application made would have been for a study permit.
The terminology, study permit, has now been replaced and post June 2014 all applications are for a study visa.
What effect does this have?
The change in terminology in itself it somewhat superficial. The rationale behind the decision, to alter the naming from study permit to study visa, was simply to draw a distinction between temporary residence (VISA) and permanent residence (PERMIT). As an application for permission to study is a temporary residence application it will therefore now be referred to as a study visa.
What if you hold a study permit already?
If you are an existing study permit holder there is no need for concern. The conditions under which your study permit was issued still remain. In short, you have permission to attend the learning institution that was specified in your study permit application as well as work for 20 hours per week.
Will I be able to renew my study permit?
Technically the answers is no as a study permit no longer exists but in reality you will simply make an application for a study visa.
Have there been any changes to the study visa?
Yes there have. We repeat – these do not affect your existing study permit. In case you are thinking of renewing your study permit (now a study visa) you should be aware:
- Study visa’s will only be issued where the learning institution is approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training.
- You must apply for a new study visa at least 60 days prior to the expiry of your study permit.
- There is a greater emphasis placed upon the leaning institution to ensure you comply with the conditions of your study visa. This will see stricter controls and accountability put into place.
- Those who have completed a Phd in South Africa will now qualify for a work permit under a new category called the critical skills work visa.
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