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International Students - Postgraduate

Welcome to the UWC International Student Services Office (ISSO)

The ISSO offers dedicated student administration to support international students at various stages of their education at UWC.

UWC is thrilled to be considered as your development partner in achieving your tertiary education goals. We are privileged to host students of diverse nationalities across all our faculty programmes.

International students include all persons whose nationality is from abroad (out of Africa), from the SADAC countries (within Africa), refugees, Section 24 asylum permit holders, and any other person not in possession of a South African citizen identity document.​

International students have unique requirements associated with their studies in South Africa and will need specialised support.

The UWC ISSO aligns with the institutional objectives that aim to:
  • Further global perspectives among its staff and students, strengthening intellectual life, and contributing to South Africa’s reintegration into the world community. (UWC Mission Statement, 1997)
UWC strives to be a place of growth from hope into action through knowledge and is committed to teaching, learning, and research. It offers international students the opportunity to pursue their learning goals in a diverse and thriving academic community located in the iconic city of Cape Town.

This webpage contains important information for your application to study at UWC. 

International Student Application Process:

  • STEP 1: Visit the ADMISSION section to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for your preferred academic programme.
  • STEP 2: Visit the EVALUATION section to obtain an exemption from Universities South Africa (USAf) or evaluation of international qualifications from South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
  • STEP 3: Visit the APPLICATIONS section below to submit an online application to UWC.
  • STEP 4: Visit the IMMIGRATION section below and review the information supplied for the Visa application or Visa renewal process.
  • STEP 5: Visit the REGISTRATION section below and follow the pre-registration clearance process and register.
  • STEP 6: Go to the ARRIVAL section below and prepare for your relocation to Cape Town.
  • STEP 7: Visit the FEEDBACK section below and help us improve the experience. ​

Contact Details

Mr Khwezi Bonani
Coordinator: International Student Services Office
Tel: +27 21 959 2763

Ms Sedicka Cassiem
International Student Services Officer
Tel: +27 21 959 2115

Before beginning the UWC online application process, please make sure you:

Meet the minimum admission requirements for the programme/s you wish to apply for. 
  • Visit the ADMISSION​ page for further assistance in this regard.
Apply for exemption by following the USAf application for exemption process or apply to have your international qualifications evaluated by SAQA in the case of postgraduate programmes.
  • Visit the EVALUATION page for further assistance in this regard. ​

Since your application depends on either USAf exemption or a SAQA evaluation certificate, and in some cases both, we will not be able to process your application until the appropriate evidence from USAf or SAQA is supplied.

Click here to apply online at UWC

Pre-Registration Clearance

Once you have received your final acceptance letter from UWC and have confirmed your acceptance of the offer, you may begin the pre-registration procedures before online registration or physically visiting UWC for assisted registration.

Pre-registration Clearance Requirements

Exemption/Evaluation Clearance
Supply proof of your exemption status from USAf or an evaluation of international qualifications certificate from SAQA in the case of postgraduate registration to
For more information, please visit the EVALUATION page.

Immigration Clearance
Supply proof of the appropriate immigration documentation to study in South Africa to

For more information, please visit the IMMIGRATION section below.

Medical Clearance
Supply proof of your medical cover from the date of registration to the official end of the academic year (December) to

For more information, please visit the MEDICAL section below.

Financial Clearance
Request a pro-forma invoice of fees from:
Phone: +27 (21) 959 2154

Make the required payment using the following banking details with your student Number, Initial/s and Surname as reference:

Account Name: University of the Western Cape
Institution: ABSA Bank
Account Number: 40 4960 4740
Branch Code: 632005, Public Sector Western Cape
Swift Code: ABSAZAJJ

Email proof of the deposit to the Finance Department with your Student Number, Initial/s and Surname as reference to

Supporting documentation may be submitted by clicking 

Should you experience any difficulty in uploading your documentation, please submit them to Include your Application Number and Full Names in the email as reference.

Please contact the UWC Contact Centre should you need assistance with your application on:
Phone: +27 (21) 959 3900/1/2/3


After completing the Pre-Registration Clearance process and receiving confirmation that no clearance issues are outstanding, you may proceed to register in one of the following ways:

Online Registration
Visit the Student Portal by clicking and following the prompts.
Should you have any difficulty and would like assistance with this process, contact the UWC Contact Centre.

Assisted Registration
Visit UWC during the annual registrations and be assisted by duly appointed UWC personnel with your registration.

Please have your original documents available for presentation to UWC personnel

Visa Applications

According to the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, UWC may not admit international students without valid and appropriate immigration documentation. Arriving with inappropriate immigration documents will result in disappointment.

More information on the South African Visa requirements can be obtained HERE 
Apply for a Study Visa from the South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Trade [MF1] Mission in your country of residence. If there is no South African representative in your country, apply at the nearest representative to your home country.
Furthermore, according to the Immigration Regulations 2014 (12), international students are required to provide “proof of medical cover renewed annually for the period of study with a medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act”. For more information, visit the MEDICAL section below. Refer to the SUPPORT section below to request relevant supporting documentation from the UWC’s ISSO.

Visa/Permit Renewal

VFS Global is the delegated authority of the Department of Home Affairs entrusted with the responsibility of the following processes:
  • Temporary Resident Visa
  • Application of Change of Conditions on existing Visa or Change of Status
  • Application for Renewal of Existing Visa
  • Application for Corporate Visa
  • Applications for Permanent Residence Status
  • Appeals
  • Waivers, and
  • Exemption.
For assistance preparing your VFS application, click HERE, and follow Steps 1-3.

To complete your Application Form for any of the processes stated above, click HERE.
Applications should be submitted 60 days before the expiry of the current Visa.
Any international students on a Short-term Visitor’s Visa will not be permitted to change the Visa type and conditions, unless under exceptional circumstances.

Failure to supply the required documentation can severely affect the success of your application, and we, therefore, recommend that you learn what is required before submitting to VFS Global.

Immigration Support

Compliance with immigration as per the Department of Home Affairs, VFS Global as well as various aspects of being a resident of Cape Town, South Africa will require a supporting letter from UWC’s ISSO. In our endeavour to serve international students of UWC, the ISSO makes it possible to request numerous documents that can either be collected or emailed for your convenience.

Please allow up to 48 hours to process these requests.
Emailed letters will be scanned copies, and the relevant statutory bodies may require an original.

Visa Applications

Immigration applications require a Visa Application Letter from UWC’s ISSO. To request this letter, click HERE. You will need to supply some information and upload the Final Acceptance letter to study at UWC.

Visa Renewals

Visa Renewals require a Supporting Letter from UWC’s ISSO. To request this letter, click HERE. You will need to supply some information.

Bank Account

To open a bank account in South Africa, most financial institutions will require a Supporting Letter from UWC’s ISSO. To request this letter, click HERE.

Invitation Letter

This letter generally applies to individuals who wish to apply for a short-term Visa in the case of attending graduation and short-term research affiliation to UWC. To request this letter, click HERE.


For any other supporting letter that may be required from UWC’s ISSO, please complete the Request Form by clicking HERE​. Please provide as much detail as possible to facilitate the processing of your request.

For any additional information on immigration requirements, refer to the IMMIGRATION section above.

According to the Immigrations Act No. 13 of 2002 as amended and its regulations, internationals who wish to apply for a Study Visa to embark on an academic programme in South Africa, are required to provide “proof of medical cover renewed annually for the period of study with a registered medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act”. To comply with this legislation, UWC will under no circumstances grant pre-registration clearance without meeting the following requirements:

Prospective students are to supply a membership certificate as proof of medical cover from a South African medical scheme as contemplated in the Medical Schemes Act No. 13 of 1998. Medical cover must be valid from the date of registration to 31 December of the academic year.

Please make sure that sufficient financial resources are available to meet this requirement since a student without the requisite medical cover will not receive clearance to register.

While certain immigration categories do not require medical cover for pre-registration clearance, it is still highly recommended.

The following medical aid schemes have weekly consultation hours on the UWC campus

Compare and contact these medical aid schemes by downloading the following: [Medical Cover Guide].

For additional assistance with selecting and applying for the appropriate medical cover, contact UWC’s ISSO medical aid scheme consultant.
Mr Brenston de Bruyn
Phone: +27 (21) 424 9452
Cell: +27 78 366 7900
Fax: +27 86 750 0234

Arriving in a new country to commence an academic programme at an institution you have never visited before can be daunting regardless of how prestigious the institution. At UWC, we understand that there are numerous barriers for international students to traverse to function optimally in their new environment. The ISSO seeks to support you as you adjust to your new environment. The following information and services aim to make your transition to life in Cape Town at UWC as comfortable as possible.

UWC Campus Map 

Since the UWC campus may be new to you, this map will help you get where you need to be: Campus Map

​UWC Residences 

Residence is an important consideration before departing for Cape Town, South Africa. If you have applied for university accommodation, the UWC Residential Services will deal with this application in a separate process. Please be aware that due to limited space within UWC residences, acceptance into residences is not guaranteed.
More information about UWC residences may be found under the accommodation tab.

All enquiries regarding your residence application may be directed to: 
Phone: +27 (21) 959 2569​
Fax: +27 (21) 959 2671
Email: or 


Alternatively, you may apply to stay at Kovacs UWC Student Village/Campus. This is privately managed accommodation through a public/private partnership, and a separate application will need to be submitted. 

Kovacs UWC Student Village in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), has an established reputation for housing students, while offering a suitable nurturing space and dependable services on the grounds of the University. 
The on-campus accommodation is built-for-purpose and students are surrounded by a network of like-minded peers.  Students reside in a supportive, well-maintained and secure environment.  Living on the campus saves time, and the expense and bother of public transport and commuting back and forth. Students quickly gain the benefit of focusing on their studies, settling into campus life and approaching activities and examinations with a reassuring rhythm.
For the on-line application, details of residence fees, room options and frequently asked questions, please visit our website
A separate application is required.

All enquiries regarding your residence application may be directed to: 
Phone: +27 (21) 959 9500/02

Shuttle Services

HG Shuttle Services is the preferred service provider of UWC for transport service in and around Cape Town. Visit the following link to make a booking: BOOKING []

The university accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with your booking, and while UWC recommends this service, it will not be held liable for any loss or damage incurred while booking or utilising these services. ​ 

Staying Safe in Cape Town

​Like any other city in the world, Cape Town is not without its criminal elements. Guests to this iconic city would be well advised to take every reasonable precaution to avoid falling victim to crime. The following webpage is particularly helpful in guiding any guest to Cape Town around typical safety precautions when in and around the city​: Click to view the Safety Map of Cape Town 

Additionally, we recommend the following generic safety precautions:
  • Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place. Entrust certified copies of these documents to someone before departing for Cape Town 
  • Avoid travelling with large amounts of money. Use your credit card/traveller’s cheques 
  • Avoid dark, isolated areas 
  • Travelling in groups is encouraged, and
  • Wherever possible, ensure that your valuables are kept out of plain sight and in reasonable proximity to yourself.

The following contact numbers are useful in the event of an emergency:

Emergency Helpline National Ambulance and Fire
Phone: 107 (landlines and payphones) Phone: 10 177 (landlines and payphones)
Phone: +27 (21) 480 7700 (mobile)

Child Emergency Mountain Rescue
Phone: 0800 123 123
Phone: +27 (21) 948 9900

National Police Emergency Helpline National Sea Rescue - Cape Town
Phone: 10 111 (landlines and payphones) Phone: +27 (21) 449 3500​
Phone: 112 (mobile)

Cost of Living in Cape Town

The following websites should provide some idea of the estimated costs associated with your stay in Cape Town. While every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these estimations, please allow for some variance. This is by no means an exhaustive list of expenses during your stay in Cape Town. Please expect that there may be costs associated with your stay that are not included in this list:

​Should you require an estimated cost for items not included in these lists, please contact the ISSO.

ISSO Buddy

The ISSO Buddy Programme is the university’s attempt at supporting those new to UWC through connecting them with senior international students to help them adjust to their new surroundings with as little difficulty as possible.
Request an ISSO Buddy by clicking HERE.


As the UWC’s ISSO endeavours to improve the experience of international students at UWC, it is necessary to evaluate the level of service provided continually. To this end, ISSO would appreciate your feedback by rating our service or forwarding feedback to the email below.
Email Feedback to
Take the Survey                         

What others say

“It’s remarkable how helpful UWC has been and I truly do appreciate it.”

“Thanks for all the support.”

Welcome to UWC’s ISSO Covid-19 information for updates on Covid-19 immigration-related matters. For all other updates on UWC’s Covid-19 information, please visit the following page: Covid-19

For the latest Covid-19 immigration updates, click here