SAQA and your Visa Application

If you're travelling to South Africa on a Temporary Work visa, you would have noticed the mention of SAQA in your visa application research. What is SAQA and what role does it play in to ensure your visa is granted before your travel to South Africa?

SAQA is the acronym for the South African Qualifications Authority. As the name suggests, it is a qualifications authority whose role is to compare your foreign qualifications and advise on the equivalent qualification(s) in South Africa. In most cases, you will usually need to have all your education certificates and/or degrees evaluated and verified by SAQA. 

SAQA aims to:

  • Verify foreign qualifications by ensuring that the issuing bodies are accredited/recognised in the national systems they operate in; and that your qualification is legitimately issued by those issuing bodies and is part of the national qualifications of that country.
  • Ensure that documents of the required qualifications are legitimate and that the awards and accolades claimed by individuals are genuine.
  • Compare your foreign qualifications with South African qualifications, considering the structure and outcomes of the foreign qualifications, to locate them within the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Lodging an application requires a fully completed application form; a complete set of original documentation (school qualifications, awards, advanced or special skill qualifications, etc); and proof that you’ve paid the relevant fees for your application.  

Validating your qualifications with SAQA takes time and patience is required. The time required to process and administer equivalent results ranges between 10 and 30 working days. Processing in a shorter period of time is considered only on a special contract basis and at a substantially increased fee. The cost of a rush SAQA evaluation can be an additional 440 ZAR to 880 ZAR, so submit yours as soon as possible to avoid delays.

For more information, forms and updated fees, visit