What is the change? South Africa is allowing foreign nationals in all categories of Work Visas and Business Visas to study part-time without having to apply for separate permission to do so.

What does the change mean? The change makes it easier for foreign employees and assignees to pursue part-time college education in South Africa, as long as the university or college is registered under the appropriate government department.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work Visas (including Intracompany Transfers, Critical Skills Visas, and General Work Visas) and Business Visas (for foreign nationals who are self-employed).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals holding the above visas.
  • Impact on processing times: The rule reduces the need to apply for a separate endorsement to pursue studies.
  • Business impact: Foreign nationals in South Africa may more easily pursue coursework at a registered college or university on a part-time basis.

Background: The Department of Home Affairs has announced that effective retrospectively to May 1, it will automatically allow holders of Work Visas and Business Visas to pursue part-time study. The school must be established as a higher education institution under the Higher Education Act or as a college under the Department of Higher Education and Training. Study at other schools is not allowed.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals working in South Africa who wish to pursue studies should note that full-time study is not allowed and coursework is only allowed during the period when the Work Visa or Business Visa is valid.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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