International Student Visa Requirements

Everything you need for your application and admission to the UCT GSB

Visa Requirements

All UCT GSB international exchange students are required to be in possession of a valid visa for South Africa for the duration of their study period. It is every student’s own responsibility to ensure that they are in possession of a valid visa to enter South Africa before travelling. We advise all students to contact their nearest South African Embassy or Consulate before travelling to South Africa, in order to confirm visa requirements.

More information on visa conditions, exempted countries and entry requirements is also available on the South African Department of Home Affairs website:

Students from visa exempt countries, entering South Africa for three months/90 days or less, may enter on a Visitor’s Visa with an endorsement stating that they are studying at the UCT GSB. A list of visa exempt countries is available on the South African Department of Home Affairs website:

Students from non-visa exempt countries, however, are issued a Study Visa for the duration of their studies in South Africa. These students need to make an application for the visa through their nearest South African Embassy or Consulate in their home country as no visas are issued at a South African Port of Entry.

Study Visas are required for all foreign students intending to study at a learning institution in South Africa for longer than three months. Students must apply for a South African Study Visa through their nearest South African Embassy, Consulate or Trade Mission, and should include a copy of the admissions letter offering them a place at the UCT GSB, together with a brief motivation of their reasons for wanting to study in South Africa.

Visa applications take a minimum of 8-10 weeks to process in the case of complete applications (all documentation in English) meeting all the requirements. Students should therefore ensure that they obtain the list of required documentation from their nearest SA foreign mission and start collecting their supporting information well in advance. Upon receipt of their UCT GSB Admissions Letter they should immediately submit their visa application for timeous processing.

Healthcare Cover for Study Permits

One of the requirements of a study permit is proof of medical cover that is registered in and/or recognised in South Africa. You may select any medical aid scheme (NOT medical insurance) registered in South Africa and shown as “open” on this list by the council of medical schemes.    We recommend the following because they provide the best cover for international students and  offer the best value for money:

Compcare Wellness

Momentum Medical Aid Life Cover

For more information comparing the two medical aid scheme options, please see the Medical Aid Cover Guide 2020. 


UCT has appointed ACA Employee Benefits (Pty) Ltd (ACA Healthcare) – a division of Sanlam - who are specialist health cover intermediaries, to assist international students with obtaining appropriate medical cover. ACA Healthcare, together with IEASA do an annual evaluation of available schemes and make clear proposals to universities around the most appropriate schemes, against the background of a wide range of criteria, including financial stability, benefits, costs and service offering. Students can contact ACA Healthcare for further guidance on the process of applying for medical cover which complies with the relevant requirements, using the following contact details:



Tel: (+27) 860 100 380