Student protests in South Africa influence visa extension for international students
South African Universities have recently seen the biggest student protests to hit the country, as the Government proposed the rise in tuition fees up by 8% in 2017. The international students whose visas are due to expire before or at the end of December 2016 have hugely been affected by this, as they are unable to complete the academic year or sit their exams. Due to the academic year in South Africa ending on 31 October 2016.
Malusi Gigaba, Home Affair Minister of South Africa, has granted a blanket administrative extension until 31 March 2017 for all international study visas with an expiry date of or prior to 31 December 2016. He has issued Directive No 25 of 2016 to foreign students, granting them an automatic extension on their study visas due to current political situation.
International students do not have to apply for visas extension, they are however advised to carry a letter from their respective University and the copy of Directive No 25 as evidence of the extension. The directive is only applicable to foreign students on condition that they will leave South Africa before 31st of March 2017.