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Immigrating to Canada from South Africa: A Guide for South Africans

By January 20, 2020November 23rd, 2023FinGlobal

Immigrating to Canada from South Africa: A Guide for South Africans

January 20, 2020


It is estimated that there are around 50 000 South Africans living in Canada, with more than 5,765 people immigrating to Canada from South Africa between 2011 and 2016 alone. What makes Canada such an attractive destination for South Africans? Is it maple bacon, perhaps? Or the inexplicable love for ice hockey? Perhaps. It’s more likely that the attraction has something to do with Canada’s enviably relaxed lifestyle, stable political situation, effective justice system, growing economic and social environment, excellent educational and health system, and a thriving multilingual population all add up to placing Canada at the top of the list of destination choices for South Africans looking to spread their wings abroad.


Reasons to immigrate to Canada from South Africa

Canada has a history of encouraging immigration and has developed an elaborate system to assess and admit new residents as a result. Citizenship is possible after a mere four years of residence (and that just requires 183 days minimum physical presence during each of those four calendar years. Furthermore, the Canadian passport is one of the most sought-after travel documents in the world.  Residence can be achieved by applying for  Canadian Permanent Residence in one of the following categories: investors, entrepreneurs, self-employed persons, and skilled workers and professionals.

Approval of your application means that you and your immediate family gain access to the same perks as Canadian citizens (except, of course, for the power to vote or hold political office)


Why move to Canada?

Most countries are making it harder for migrants to gain access, while Canada keeps up its friendly reputation, constantly welcoming new immigrants. Here’s what the attraction is when it comes to immigrating to Canada from South Africa.

  • They’ve got a national unemployment rate of under 6%, compared to South Africa’s 29% unemployment in 2019.
  • Canada has one of the top tier educational systems in the world and it’s government funded.
  • Their healthcare is exceptional, and it’s funded by the government.
  • It is rated as one of the safest countries in the world to live
  • You have the option to sponsor your parents for Permanent Residency, once you’ve completed the process yourself.


Have you ever wanted to immigrate to Canada from South Africa?

For some, immigrating or moving to Canada from South Africa can be surprisingly simple.  Depending on your age, marital status, or whether or not you have children, you may only be looking for a temporary move to Canada. If you fall into this category, you have options. 

  • Visit Visa: you would be allowed to visit Canada for up to six months to explore the country and get a feel for it, to see if Canada would be the right fit for you. As a South African citizen, you would require a Visit Visa in order to enter Canada.
  • Study Visa: Apply to study in Canada, if the program you’ll be studying is longer than six months. If the program you wish to study is less than six months in duration you may not require a study permit. Depending on the length of your program, you may then be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit to work in Canada after you graduate. These work permits are “open” work permits and you can work for any employer you choose.


What are my work prospects if I immigrate to Canada from South Africa?

If you’re looking to work in Canada, you’re going to need a job offer from a Canadian company before you can apply for a Work Permit. Your employer is likely to be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment to show that they could not find a suitable Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to fill the position. However, certain jobs are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments such as clergy, religious or charitable workers or intracompany transferees.


How can I make my move to Canada permanent?

If this is you, there are multiple avenues available to you. In order to immigrate to Canada, you need to qualify for one of the open immigration programs, which are split into  Provincial and Federal Programs.

Many people who have been doing their homework on immigrating to Canada from South Africa would have come across the “Express Entry” program. Express Entry is an immigration system implemented by Canadian immigration authorities, which manages skilled worker applications under Federal Economic programs. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program the Canada Experience Class and parts of the Provincial Nomination Programs.

In order to be eligible to get your application through Express Entry, you must meet the criteria of one of the four immigration programs below and be able to show the appropriate amount of settlement funds for your family size.

Option 1: Federal Skilled Worker

  • You need to have one year or more of full-time paid work experience in an O, A or B classified occupation and;
  • You must achieve 67 points or higher on the Federal Skilled Worker Points System (based on age, education, language, work experience, and adaptability.

Option 2: Federal Skilled Trades

  • You require at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past 5 years and;
  • You need to have lined up a job offer from a Canadian employer for at least one year OR enrolled for a Canadian skilled trade certificate or qualification.

Option 3: Provincial Nominee

  • You have a nomination certificate from one of the Canadian provinces or territories.

Option 4: Canadian Experience Class:

  • Have at least one year of full time paid skilled work experience in Canada.

Under Express Entry, Federal Skilled Workers across 347 eligible occupations who meet minimum entry criteria, can submit an expression of interest profile to the Express Entry Pool. Candidate profiles will be ranked under a Comprehensive Ranking System, with the highest-ranking being invited to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must submit a full application within 60 days of invitation.

Who qualifies as a Federal Skilled Worker? Persons with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected under the Express Entry Immigration system to apply for permanent residence.

To find out whether you qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or other programs in Canada by completing their free online evaluation for Skilled Workers or other categories. You’ll get your evaluation results within 1-2 business days, which could be the start of a whole new life for you.


FinGlobal: Experts when it comes to Financial Emigration from South Africa

When planning an immigration to Canada from South Africa, it’s important to plan for your financial future as well. That’s why we offer South Africans abroad hassle-free, seamless financial emigration services, as well as assistance with cashing in retirement annuities in order to fund your new life in Canada.

Why should you choose FinGlobal for your cross-border financial requirements? We’re going to let our client testimonials, our credentials, transparent fee structure and our impressive track record speak for itself. We have a 100% success rate in everything we do.

Need a financial emigration and tax expert to discuss your options with you? No matter how complicated you think your situation is, FinGlobal has the expertise to simplify and address all your challenges as you immigrate to Canada from South Africa,  from start to finish.

What are you waiting for?






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