Cyrielle Vaucois story: How I got my exchange permit – Tips for all interns going to SA

Hello everybody, 

I have just arrived in Cape Town as a french intern a few days ago and I wanted to give you some tips to get your visa if you are a french student and want to study there. Actually, you can apply for different kinds of visa but if you want to work as an intern in the context of your studies, you may apply for a Work exchange programme.

It took me 5 weeks to get my visa ready. To start the procedure, I directly went to the South African consulate in Paris to get the form BI-1738 with the list of all documents required. If you go there, you have to notice that the consulate is only open from 9 to 12 am from Monday to Friday. 

Here are the document required for the visa :

  • The BI-1738 form complete : one part must be completed by the South African company
  • A valid passport
  • 2 ID photos
  • The photocopy of your student card : you can also provide a certificate of school attendance
  • A letter of approval from your school confirming your position as an intern in a company in South Africa
  • A letter from your employer confirming your internship position
  • Your internship contract ("convention de stage")
  • Your resume in english
  • A proof of insurance for your stay in South Africa : personally, my insurance company delivered me a certificate already translated into english certifying the contract I had signed 
  • Medical report from your doctor (the form is to complete in the BI-1738 form)
  • A radiological report (the form is to complete in the BI-1738 form)
  • A police clearance if you are 18 years old or older also know as Extrait de casier judiciaire, Bulletin n°3 that you can order online trough this website: https://www.cjn.justice.gouv.fr/cjn/b3/EJE20c
  • Your birth certificate (ask for the multilingual exemplary)
  • A proof of accomodation : I have personnaly provided a lease agrement
  • An english certificate of assets from your bank to prove you have money enough to live during your stay (for a 6-month stay 3000€ are enough)
  • A confirmation of your plane ticket : you must provide a return ticket too
  • And finally you have to pay 52 euros by cheque or cash

Some documents are easy to gather but it may take some time for others, like your certificate of no criminal record or your birth certificate.Moreover, you have to consider that you must translate some documents into english. You have to get a certificate translation of these documents. It does not take long, one or two days at the most, but it is rather expensive : 35€ by sheet. I personally did it via : http://www.traductionassermentee.net/contact-2

Last thing that really matters is that it takes some time to gather the different documents, but it is also pretty long to get the visa ready! The embassy is delivering it depending on your date of departure. I personnally have waited 5 weeks, insisted a lot on the phone, went to the embassy a few times, to finally get my visa 2 days before leaving. 

If you have questions, please feel free to ask me !

Adress of the South African Embassy in Paris:

59 quai d'Orsay, 75007 Paris

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