I am going for an exchange semester as part of my Dutch Master programme to Stellenbosch university which is part of a Joint Master. I have booked a ticket for the 18th of November 2014 and intend to come back on the 27th of July. So this is a period of almost 9 months. I am doing research for my Master Thesis from November to January to then take courses from February to July.
Question A: Shall I apply for an exchange visa (unlikely, since it seems it is only for 2 months), a study visa or a research visa?
In my life, I have lived in Mexico, Turkey and Russia, I am German and I am studying in the Netherlands… Apparently, one of the requirements for any of these visas is a police clearance from all countries in which you have resided for a year since the age of 18.
Question B: How strict is the regulation and/or implementation of this general rule? Can I hope that they will be satisfied with a Dutch and a German clearance (if I get at least these…)?
I know that I am quite late already, but we were told by our departement here that all the arrangements have been done, and that we are almost good to go. Then I asked question A to the International Office in Stellenbosch and it turns out they were not aware of us coming and that the application deadline would have been September. So I would not say I am not guilty at all, but at least we were led on by our international office here…
So time is running and I wanted to employ a visa service to speed up the process, but apparently for Germany (or others?) it is not even possible to do so…
Question C: Any chance I will still manage to get the visa on time through Magical help from your side/site?
And, just hypothetically, assuming that the answer to Question C is no:
Question D: Can I get into South Africa with a Tourist Visa for some weeks/months, while applying for the Study/Research Visa, then leaving to, what-have-you e.g. Lesotho, to come back and get a new visa for the extended time?
This was possible when I was in Mexico, leaving the country via Belize to then come back and renew my 6-months Visa.
Or am I doomed and my great plans will vanish due to lack of communication between here and there and my relative laissez-fair lifestyle?