SAQA Application: Requirements, Evaluation And Fees


South Africa takes pride in being home to some of the most reputable institutions of higher learning. Its institutions have been a centre of interest for students from other countries. However, joining any of these facilities requires deep analysis to ensure that the foreign academic qualifications and requirements meet those of the South African institutions, which brings forth questions on the SAQA application. 

Are you a foreigner who is looking forward to getting employed in South Africa and are not sure on how to go about the process? It is essential to note that a candidate’s level of education determines most of the job ranks in South Africa. The ministry of education and ministry of labour have developed a method of evaluating a foreign candidate’s academic qualifications with the stipulated South African qualifications. Details about the SAQA application elaborate on the process and how to go about it. 

SAQA application 

The operations of the South African Qualifications Authority are guarded by section 13 of the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008. NQF traces its roots to the 1970s during the labour movement, where the demands of the black trade unions were rejected on the basis that the workers were incompetent. The blacks ended up going through training as a solution for better wages. The need to bridge the gap between basic education and training led to the formulation of NQF, which would organise the country’s education and training systems to meet the requirements of the competitive global economic environment.

What is the main purpose of SAQA? SAQA works hand in hand with NQF to conduct the evaluation and recognition of foreign qualifications with respect to the set framework when it comes to the admission requests to study in the country’s institutions, employment, and professional licensing.

SAQA evaluation

The process of assessment is carried out in two phases:

1. Verifying the foreign qualifications by looking out for the following requirements:

  • The qualification documents and awards claimed by the individual are legitimate.
  • The bodies issuing the qualifications are accredited in the national systems that they operate in.
  • The qualifications are genuinely issued by the bodies that are in charge of awarding them.

2. Comparing the individual’s qualifications with the country’s qualifications to ensure that they are within the NQF qualifications.

SAQA online application

The application process can be done in two ways: by manually filling in the SAQA application form or through the online application procedure. The online application procedure is the most recommended method. 

How do I apply for SAQA online? SAQA online application procedure is as simple as following these steps:

  1. Creating an account on the body’s website. This process enables you to provide your details for ease of communication during the process. You will also provide an email and password that you will use when logging in.
  2. Logging in to your account using the registration details that you provided while creating the account. 
  3. Upon logging in, you will be required to select the New Application: Evaluation option which will provide information about the procedure.
  4. After going through the information provided, you will be required to click next and proceed to complete the relevant sections.
  5. After filling in the relevant informati on, you will be required to print the SAQA application form and sign on the declaration part before submitting it. It is important to note that the body does not process unsigned forms.
  7. You will also be required to fill in and print out the consent form.

SAQA requirements

A part of the evaluation process involves the verification of the authenticity of the certificates presented; hence, the need to submit a signed consent form. The other requirements are proof of payment and the identification document. 

SAQA fees

The services that the body offers are based on no external funding support but a cost-recovery basis. For this reason, the process of evaluation is done at a fee. The new SAQA fees that are awaiting approval on the 20th of March 2020 are as follows:


The charges for the first qualification that an applicant submits is R1700, and it applies to one application only. For subsequent applications, an individual will be required to pay R850 for every subsequent qualification that they will submit.


For assistance concerning the application at the SAQA office, an applicant will be charged R320. For screening, a non-refundable fee of R320 will be charged.

SAQA allows two payment methods:

  • e-commerce, which involves payments through bank cards;
  • Cash payments, which involve the use of a printout bank slip. The fee is paid to any branch of the Standard Bank in South Africa.


How do I apply for SAQA?

There are two options for submitting the application: manually filling in the application form or filling it online.

How long does it take for SAQA to verify the qualifications?

SAQA intends to process the verification process within 15 days if possible. The longest that the procedure can take is three working months.

How do I verify my SAQA certificate?

You can verify your SAQA certification through the website on the VeriSearch option.

What is SAQA accreditation?

This is an evaluation process that helps determine an individual’s academic qualification regarding the National Qualification Framework.

For any inquiries regarding the application process, a candidate can contact the body through any of these contacts:

  • Telephone number: 0860 111 673
  • Email address:

South Africa is keen on the value of the skills that individuals bear and the quality of basic education. NQF and SAQA work in close association to ensure that these two goals are met. The two bodies have streamlined the issues relating to education for foreigners and the procedure for acquiring jobs in the country. Being informed on SAQA application process could come in handy for a foreigner as it is the first step towards enjoying these services.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Therefore, it is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.