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Office for International Education

Visa Regulations to Study at the Nelson Mandela University

All international students need to comply with the visa regulations as determined by the Immigration Act, Act 13 0f 2002.

Regulation 10(1) (i) determines the following:

** An applicant for a study permit is required to provide:
(i)*proof of medical cover with a medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998, recognized in the Republic*

In terms of the Immigration Amendment Act 19 of 2004, any prospective student to the Republic of South Africa, must provide proof of medical cover with a medical scheme registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998 Act 131 of 1998.

1. Visa Application

Although you may, with some other foreign insurance products, secure a study visa from a South African diplomatic mission, Nelson Mandela University in accordance with the Medical Schemes Act does not accept such medical cover for registration purposes. It is therefore recommended that you confirm your choice in medical cover with ABSA HC prior to making any financial contributions to avoid additional and secondary purchases.

2. Registration

For registration purposes NMMU requires proof of full Medical Aid Cover with a South African registered medical aid scheme for each full academic calendar year (being from the first day of the month of registration until the last day of November). Study Abroad and Exchange Students must secure medical cover for the full duration of their stay. A minimum of six (6) months cover is provided by medical aid companies, no less. English Skills Students are required to purchase cover for duration of six (6) months. Note that a membership certificate is required which may easily be obtained through ABSA HC.

3. Payment

It is advisable that international students make the necessary financial arrangements for the medical aid cover prior to entry into South Africa. Should the student rely on sponsorship he/she should ensure that the sponsor is advised of this requirement at the onset of the sponsorship and this requirement is applicable to Nelson Mandela University (for example Post Graduate Research Scholarships) related bursaries as well.

Payment for the required medical aid cover fee is made directly to the Medical Aid Company, separately from the tuition fees.
Please note that ABSA Health Care Consultants (ABSA HCC) have been appointed as product specialists for the Office for International Education.  Kindly contact ABSA HCC with regard to the products that will be suitable for both your VISA application and registration at Nelson Mandela University on the following number (+27 860 100 380) or e-mail:

The following are medical aid companies, managed by ABSA HCC, that offer student focused products that are registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act. They also offer the minimum benefits that a student may need whilst in South Africa. They are accepted by the Department of Health's medical facilities.

  • Momentum Health
  • Compcare

4. Consultation

Please note that ABSA Health Care Consultants (ABSA HCC) have been appointed as product specialists for the Office for International Education.  They will operate nationally as Healthcare Consultants to most Higher Education Institutions from 2011 onwards.
Should you wish to apply for Medical Aid please contact ABSA HCC on the following number (+27 860 100 380) or e-mail:

5. Further important notes:

Block release students - Students are to submit proof of travel insurance for the full duration of their stay in South Africa. Should the student remain in South Africa for the continuation of the year, the student will be required to purchase medical cover as stipulated in point 2.

Degree Seeking Students doing in-service training will be required to make payment for medical cover for the full duration of the stay of the academic period in South Africa.


  • Carefully read through the product information and decide on the option that best suits your needs.
  • Complete the necessary application forms and fax or email these, with proof of payment to the contact details supplied by the appropriate Medical Aid Provider. Premiums are payable before or upon arrival. Please ensure that you preferably have valid cover upon arrival and registration. All current students are to settle renewals through the medical aid provider directly prior to registration and it is suggested that current students renew by November of each year.
  • Please note that should the student not have purchased his / her medical cover prior to departure, the student would be required to purchase travel insurance for a minimum of two weeks. This would enable the student to apply for medical aid upon arrival and ensure coverage throughout his/her stay and study. Students are advised to email details of their cover to the Office for International Education to keep on record prior to their arrival in the event of emergencies. Finally students are to ensure they are knowledgable on their insurance benefits and claims procedures prior to arrival to South Africa.
  • Should you stay in South Africa for three months or less, please be advised to obtain BUPA Lifeline (Gold) during your stay. BUPA International offers you Global medical schemes for individuals and groups, repatriation and evacuation cover on 24 hour multi-lingual helpline. Call +44 (0) 1273 323563 Should you wish to make use of another international insurance coverage the Office would need to be in receipt of such cover and its full benefits preferably 3 months in advance to arrival.

Block release students are advised to take travel insurance reflecting the dates of their stay in South Africa and will be required to provide proof of travel tickets. For more information visit the following sites: