Private Institutions in registration with the Department of Education

Private Institutions in registration with the Department of Education

The Department of Home Affairs recently published significant changes in immigration law under the headline:

“Application for study visas for students studying at private institutions of learning in the process of being registered with the relevant Department of Education”.


From now on, also some language schools are registered with the Department of Education, which means that their students are eligible for a general South African study visa.

Private Institutions which have so far not been registered with the relevant Department of Higher Education (DHET), were not covered under the above definition of Learning Institutes.

This has now changed:

After consultation with the Director-General of Department of Higher Education (DHET), the Minster of Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba has approved the granting of study visas to a category of students registered at certain institutions which are currently undergoing a registration process with the DHET.

Thus waiving the requirement that a private institute must be registered with DHET under the following conditions.

The relevant DHET will name the institutions which are at the moment undergoing the registration process and grant study visas for their students during an interim period of two years while the registration is pending. If the registration process should be interrupted for any reason, the respective institution will be removed from this dispensation.

This affects in general all foreign students who are already registered with these institutions and whose study visas are about to expire as well as the requirements for new students at these institutions.

Visas for the latter are issued up to two years.

All study visas in general which are effected by the ongoing registration process shall be issued for the duration of the period of study or 31 December 2018, whichever is earlier. This waiver is only applicable to institutions whose applications for registration as Private Institutions are pending with the relevant Education Department and upon request by the relevant Education Department only.

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