Dear International Students,
Immigration Directive No 25 of 2016 is a blanket concession for students who were affected by student protests and who, as result, would not be able to conclude the 2016 academic year before the expiry date of their study visas at the end of December 2016.
Following your queries, here are some further clarifications:
- This concession only applies if you remain in South Africa to complete exams, hand in your thesis etc.
- You have to leave the country no later than 31 March 2017.
- You must carry a letter from the University and a copy of the Directive with you at all times, once your study visa has expired.
- A personalised University letter will be issued by the Student Bureau when you present your passport and visa expiry details in person.
- When you have the University letter, you may then be issued with a copy of the Minister’s letter, from the International Office in Eden Grove;
- If you leave the country for the vacation period, the concession will not apply; the letters that render you legal, while overstaying your current visa do not have the power to replace a visa on re-entry to South Africa.
- You may return on a visitor’s visa to complete 2016 academic work.
- In some countries, the process of applying for a visitor’s visa may incur serious travelling expenses. It is worth considering returning into South Africa, before the expiry of your current visa at the end of December. If you overstay in those circumstances, the letters will provide legal protection.
We are awaiting responses from DHA in connection with queries pertaining to students who had planned on returning next year but who are also facing difficulties.
If you have any queries, please feel free to either come into the International Office or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Orla Quinlan
Director: International Office