Temporary Residence Categories
3. Study Visas
Study visas are required for foreign learners who wish to take up studies at various learning institutions, schools, universities who are registered with the Department of Higher Education.
A study visa is normally granted for the full duration of studies that is confirmed in the acceptance letter from the institution. However, a study visa is not granted beyond the passport of the foreign learner or beyond the length of the main applicant, if applicable.
A study visa can be issued to a minor foreign learner where there is a ‘guardian’, not in the formal sense as a court appointed one but a willing adult/family who stands in the place of the biological parents, that consents to be so in writing (as one of the documents in the application) in the event of such a case.
Note: Foreign learners at pre-primary level i.e. nursery school do not require study visas but simply accompanying child visitor visas until they reach primary school level i.e. Grade R.
A study visa will permit foreign learners at college or university level to conduct part-time work not exceeding twenty hours per week.
A change from one school to the next or where the holder leaves school and goes on to university must ensure that his or her study visa remains aligned to the new school or learning institution, to avoid being in breach of the Act, which is a criminal offence.
Lastly, Smiedt & Associates has been called upon to intervene where the foreign applicant has applied for his or her study visa but, which outcome remains pending and the school attempts to resist such foreign applicant from taking up studies until the study visa is issued.
We are of the view that, certainly in the cases of minor learners, section 29 of the Constitution, guarantees the right to receive basic education and all schools should take heed in their acceptance policy.