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International Affiliates

International affiliates are usually postgraduate students or researchers who do not take UCT courses, but wish to be affiliated to UCT while pursuing their own research towards studies at their own university.

The first step is to make contact with a specific department to check whether the necessary resources are available in the host department.

Once this has been done, admissions and fees are administered by the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO).

Affiliate status gives visitors:

  • physical space in a department
  • library use
  • limited access to academic advice (as negotiated with each department).

A visitor's visa is sufficient for entry into the country. Please check exactly what your host department can and is willing to offer you. A host department may not offer you employment.

An affiliate may not take part in any taught classes. This includes auditing classes. You will therefore not be registered for UCT courses. But you may be invited to attend departmental staff seminars at the discretion of the host department.

If you wish to register for a course, see either: Occasional Students or Semester Study Abroad.


If you want to be an affiliate you must first send a request to the head of the academic department with which you wish to be affiliated, asking them if they are prepared to host you in their department.

  1. If accepted, ask the head of department to write you an email or letter of invitation.
  2. Ensure that the length of your affiliation, the facilities available to you and the fee payable, as agreed upon by you and the department, are clearly stated in this letter of invitation. Refer to the Fees Handbook for the standard affiliate fees.
  3. Download UCT application Form 7 and complete it. Please note that no accommodation is arranged for international affiliates.
  4. Send the completed application form together with a copy of your letter of invitation from the department to IAPO. If a letter of invitation is not included, your application cannot be processed.
  5. The form will be processed by IAPO through Central Admissions and the faculty concerned.
  6. Once your application has been processed, you will receive an invoice/fee account detailing the cost of your affiliation. This fee is payable before registration.
  7. As international affiliates do not attend courses, you must enter the country on a visitor's visas.
  8. IAPO will, upon receipt of the completed forms above, issue a letter addressed to the visa-issuing authorities in your country, so that you may apply for a visitor's visa. Please make sure that the visa is endorsed for research at UCT.
  9. Payment should then be made into the UCT bank account.
  10. On arrival at UCT you must check in at IAPO to activate the registration process.

Application deadlines

There are no application deadlines for this category of visitor. However, the university vacation takes place from mid-December to mid-February, and there is also a 6-week break from mid-June to the end of July.

A visa can take up to 2 months to be granted.

Need to contact a UCT Department? See the list of departments, schools and research groups.

A certificate of attendance is available on request. All enquiries, admissions and fees are administered by IAPO.