The last few weeks have been particularly challenging for the entire UWC Community; Staff, Students, Parents and numerous other stakeholders alike.
Aware of the unique challenges to Internationals, the International Relations Office (IRO) and the International Student Services Office (ISSO) have been actively exploring solutions through engagement with strategic partners in order to reduce the impact of these developments on our International Students.
In this regard, we have received correspondence from the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA), with whom the University of the Western Cape is associated as a member, that:
The Minister of Home Affairs has issued a Blanket Concession affecting students who have been disadvantaged by the National Protests and are required to stay in the Republic of South Africa in order to complete the Academic Year in 2017.
This Blanket Concession is such that, Students with a Study VISA that expires in December 2016 need not renew their VISA's to remain in the Republic of South Africa, but that it is now automatically valid until 31 March 2017. Anyone needing to stay beyond this date will be required to ensure they are in possession of valid and appropriate immigration documentation when this Blanket Concession ends.
Please refer to the Minister's statement in this regard as attached.
While this Blanket Concession gives Students who would need to renew their VISA's in any event a little more time to do so, we would like to encourage students to follow the normal processes within the legislated time-frames in order to ensure that a valid VISA is in possession at the time this concession ceases.
Furthermore, students are requested to have a copy of the Directive issued by the Minister to present to officials at ports of entry. An official letter from the University confirming the same is also available from the International Student Services Office.
Please feel free to disseminate this information as you have opportunity to do so and forward any questions to the International Student Services Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org.