Immigrating To Canada From South Africa

With thousands of people immigrating to Canada from South Africa, Canada is a surprising new destination for many South Africans.

The maple leaf country has so much to offer in terms of universal health care, high living standard, world-class education, and job opportunities, among other appealing features.

Also, contrary to popular opinion in South Africa, it is relatively cheap to immigrate to Canada.

The cost of immigrating to Canada from South Africa may just amount to about half of the amount of immigrating to another country, such as Australia, the UK, or the USA.

The immigration process to Canada is fairly easy and can be completed within six to twelve months.

Canada allows South Africans with no connection or job offers in Canada to apply for Permanent Residency based on a variety of other factors such as age, work experience, education, language abilities in English or French, and skilled work experience.

Immigration Options to Canada

While everyone will not be interested in immigrating to Canada, many options are available for those who are interested.

These immigration programs are controlled by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Canada offers over 100 different permanent residence pathways and the opportunity to apply for Canadian citizenship after residing in Canada for three years.

Immigration options to Canada include but are not limited to the following:

  • Canadian Experience Class Program
  • Family class visa
  • Federal Skilled Trades Immigration Program
  • Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program

All of these immigration programs are either managed by the Provincial or Federal Government of Canada and are the easiest and most encompassing ways to immigrate to Canada from any country.

Immigration options controlled by the Federal Government include those mentioned above, except the Provincial Nominee Program, which is controlled independently by each province or territory.

Other immigration options to Canada include:

  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot
  • Caregivers immigration
  • Healthcare worker’s permanent residence
  • Refugee immigration program
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • Start-up Visa
  • Quebec-selected Skilled workers

These immigration programs are only open to specific sets of prospective immigrants and have special requirements.

If you want to immigrate to Canada from South Africa, your best bet is to apply as an economic-class immigrant.

Canada is currently targeting over a million new immigrants for the purpose of improving its economy by the year 2022.

This report was given from the Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2022.

Most of these projected immigrants will be admitted into the country for economic reasons, such as studying or working in Canada.

Express Entry – Immigration Pathways to Canada for South Africans

The Express Entry System is the Canadian government’s tool to manage permanent residence applications.

Most of all the immigration options mentioned above fall under this Express Entry umbrella system except for the family class visa and the Provincial Nominee Program.

Immigrants typically demonstrate their interest in immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry System.

But before creating an Express Entry Profile, applicants must be eligible for one of these three major immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

All individuals in the Express Entry pool are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their profile.

Every two weeks, the government of Canada invites the highest-ranking candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.

Once you receive this invitation, your immigration process to Canada from South Africa should take no more than six months.

The Family Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The FSWP tends to be the most viable Express Entry option for those who have never lived in Canada.

You can immigrate to Canada through the Family Skilled Worker Program if you meet these criteria:

  • You must have educational qualifications and occupational experience in the current National Occupational Classification (NOC) list.
  • Your occupational experience in such a job or jobs must be up to a minimum of one year as a full-time employee.
  • Possess educational credential assessment from a recognized body.
  • Pass the English Language proficiency exam

If qualified for the FSWP, you can make an Express Entry profile.

To meet the above requirements, you must complete a recognized government-approved language proficiency test in English.

You will also need to get your foreign educational credentials assessed by a recognized body like World Education Services (WES).

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is similar to the FSWP, except that this program is for those with more excellent experience working in specific fields and who have received an employment offer from any organization in Canada.

The criteria for immigrating to Canada through the FSTP are:

  • You must have educational qualifications and occupational experience in the current National Occupational Classification (NOC) list.
  • You must have experience in such a field by having worked two years of full-time employment in the position for the past five years.
  • Must have an offer of employment from Canada or a Canadian Trades Certificate
  • Possess educational credential assessment from a recognized body.
  • Pass the English Language proficiency exam

How to Immigrate to Canada from South Africa through PNP

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another major economic class immigration option for those willing to immigrate to Canada from South Africa.

The PNP is the second-largest skilled worker immigration pathway after Express Entry.

This program allows Canada’s provinces to nominate immigrants who meet their economic needs.

You can apply to a province’s PNP directly. Or also make yourself available to the provinces for them to review your profile and then offer you an opportunity to obtain a nomination from them. You can do this by creating an Express Entry profile.

If a province invites you to apply to their PNP, you will receive an additional 600 CRS points, which will assure your success under Express Entry.

Anyone wishing to move to Canada can apply for a specific PNP stream directly.

You can, however, also create a valid Express Entry profile, as this gives you more options and exposes you to more immigration opportunities.

Once you are in the Express Entry pool, you may receive an invitation to apply for a Canadian permanent residence or an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination if the province or territory is interested in your profile.

Immigrating to Canada through the Family Class or Family Sponsorship Program

The Family Class immigration option allows you to move into Canada if you have any relatives, such as a spouse, parent(s), children, grandparent(s), etc., who can sponsor your immigration process.

This program aims to ensure family members are united and can live together in the same country.

Such a sponsor must be above the age of 18 and must be living in Canada at the time you wish to initiate the immigration process.

If the sponsor is already a citizen, however, he or she may not be in Canada while you begin the process.

However, such a sponsor must have plans of returning to Canada once you (the sponsored) have successfully immigrated to the country.

Whoever will sponsor you must demonstrate an ability to financially support you or take care of your expenses, especially when you are still trying to settle down as a new immigrant to Canada.

You may use the Family Sponsorship option while you are still in South Africa or residing in Canada, but only for temporary reasons such as through a work or study permit.

History of South African Immigration to Canada

The first wave of immigration from South Africa can be traced as far back as the 1950s. People from South Africa were first recorded to immigrate to Canada in 1950.

Most South African Canadians are White South Africans of British and Afrikaner ancestry.

According to the Canada 2016 Census, there are 41,375 Canadians who claimed South African ancestry, either total or partial.

Many skilled South Africans also left their country following the 1994 election, representing the end of the Apartheid era.

This was mostly due to a fear of violent crime and a reluctance to live as a minority under a majority-black government.

Today, most Canadians of South African origin reside in Ontario province, with many other South African Canadians settling in other Canadian provinces.

The number of South Africans immigrating to Canada is also no longer dominated by whites.

Both black and white South Africans can freely immigrate to Canada so long as they meet all necessary criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it Cost to Immigrate to Canada from South Africa?

Ans. After factoring in all expenses such as medical examination, educational credential assessment, language test, immigration application fee, travel expenses, etc., immigrating to Canada should cost an individual about R27, 000.

How long will it take to Process Immigration to Canada from South Africa?

Ans. Immigration processing time may vary depending on many factors.

However, the projected time for processing immigration to Canada from beginning to end is between six months and 12 months or one year.

Is Immigrating to Canada from South Africa Expensive?

Ans. Compared to the cost of immigrating to other countries from South Africa, immigrating to Canada is relatively cheap.

Sometimes, the cost of immigrating to Canada from South Africa is just about half the cost of immigrating to another country.


In conclusion, immigrating to Canada from South Africa is an exciting opportunity. It is a chance to start a new life in a new country with new opportunities. The process is not easy, but it is worth it. There are many things to consider when immigrating to Canada, but the most important thing is to be prepared.

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