Last updated: 19 Jan 2022



Few countries in the world offer as many choices to the traveller as Canada. Whether your passion is skiing, sailing, museum-combing or indulging in exceptional cuisine, Canada has it all. Western Canada is renowned for its stunningly beautiful countryside; Eastern Canada mixes the flavour and charm of Europe with the bustle of New York; wildlife viewing is at its best in Northern Canada; and everywhere you will be surprised by how much more there is to this country than just maple syrup and Mounties.

Ontario is Canada's most populous province, highlighted by the sheer size and energy of its two largest cities (one the federal capital, the other the provincial capital), Ottawa and Toronto. The far north and west of Ontario is a largely uninhabited wilderness of lakes, swamps and forests.

The Northwest Territories are part of Canada's vast, remote north. Most of the territories' population and commercial activity is based in Yellowknife and around Great Slave Lake.

Even entering Prince Edward Island is elating. Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in Canada and the longest bridge over ice-covered waters worldwide, connects this island province with Canada's mainland, dramatically stretching far into the distance over shimmering blue waters.
Capital:  Ottawa (YOW)
Currency:  Canadian Dollar (CAD). USD may be accepted. . 
Language:  English and French
Dialling code from SA:  + 1
Time Zones: Canada has 6 time zones. Some provinces encompass two time zones.
Newfoundland Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -3½ (5½ hours behind South Africa)

Atlantic Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)

Eastern Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)

Central Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -6 (8 hours behind South Africa)

Mountain Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -7 (9 hours behind South Africa)

Pacific Standard Time Zone:
UTC / GMT -8  (10 hours behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November: clocks move forward 1 hour. Saskatchewan does not observe DST. 
Public Holidays 2022: 

Jan 1; Apr 15, 18; May 23; Jul 1; Sep 5, 30; Oct 10; Nov 11; Dec 25-26 (Observances may differ in individual provinces)

Side of the Road: Right
Best time to go:  Year Round, depending on activities: spring is mid-March to mid-June, summer mid-June to mid-September, fall mid-September to mid-November, and winter mid-November to mid-March. 
Best For: Winter sports, National Parks, Niagara Falls, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Plugs:  110-120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin and three-pin (grounded) plugs are standard.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you are travelling to a remote area / camping, healthcare facilities may be more limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.
Customs: Normal social courtesies.
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is banned in most public areas.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Tax is added at the till and not to the price tag. 
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Canada without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks per person over 18 years of age.
• 1.5L of wine or 1.14L of spirits or 8.5L of beer or ale per person over 18 years of age if entering Alberta, Manitoba and Québec, and over 19 years if entering British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
• Non-residents can bring gifts to the value of C$60 per gift (excluding advertising matter, business-related materials, tobacco or alcoholic beverages).
• Canadian residents can bring goods to the value of C$200 for trips out of the country of 24 hours or more (excluding alcohol and tobacco) and C$800 for trips of 48 hours or more (including alcohol and tobacco).
Prohibited Imports: The import of firearms, explosives, endangered species of animals and plants, animal products, meat, dairy, and food and plant material is subject to certain restrictions and formalities. Check the Canada Border Services Agency website ( for further details.
Prohibited Exports: Some products made from endangered animals may require an export certificate.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Limited International Travel

** IMPORTANT - Although visa applications are now open there are large delays in processing times **

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

  • August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, currently residing in and arriving from the United States, and who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption
  • September 7 (intended start date): All other foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption


This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Canadian High Commission
1103 Arcadia St. (corner of Hilda), Hatfield, PRETORIA 0083
Private Bag X14 Hatfield 0028
Tel: (012) 422-3090 Fax: (012) 422-3053

O/hrs: 09h00-12h00 Mon-Fri (Visa Section)
Submissions: 08h00 - 10h00 ONLY
Collections: 11h00 - 12h00 ONLY

Please note that firearms are not allowed on the premises.

Visa Requirements

  • Visas are required by South African passport holders.
  • Visas are also required by South African passport holders EVEN if they are onboard a ship and do not disembark - if the ship travels via Canada, SA passport holders are required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa - failure to do so will result in them being denied boarding on the ship.

The Canadian High Commission offices in Cape Town & Johannesburg do not provide any visa services. Do not call them for any information.
All nationals, citizens of Africa (RSA included), Europe, the Middle East are required to enroll their biometrics at the Visa Application Centre when submitting their application.

The High Commission of Canada has opened a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Pretoria to make the processing of a visa for entry into Canada easier and more convenient. Applicants are to to submit their application for tourism, work and study visas from Mon-Fri between 0800-1600. VAC service agents are also available by phone, email or in person to answer questions and make sure applications are complete. The VAC in Pretoria will accept visa applications in person or by mail.
Service charge for application handling is CAD32.79. NOTE: If you need to provide your biometrics, the biometric fee of CAD85 covers the CVAC service charge for application handling.

Block D, Brooklyn Office
Park, 1109 Jan Shoba Street (formerly Duncan Street), Brooklyn, Pretoria.
Tel: (012) 425 3002 Email:
Submissions : 0800-1600 Mon-Fri
Collections: 1000-1600 Mon-Fri
Travel Agent Submissions : 0800-1000 Mon-Fri
CAPE TOWN : 5th Floor, 30 Waterkant Street, Cape Town, 8000

For more info about the services that are provided by a VFS, visit

Service Charges for Additional Services:

Though fees are listed in Canadian Dollars, the CVAC will only accept payments in ZAR.

Methods of Payment / Payment Instructions for CVAC Service Charges:

  • In person- By Cash Deposit at the Bank with Passport number as Reference / Debit or Credit Card along with submission of application (If not eligible for Biometrics)
  • By Mail- Cash Deposits within South Africa and Telegraphic Money Transfers from outside South Africa

Cash Deposits within South-Africa:
Bank: Nedbank
Account Name: VFS Visa Processing (SA) Pty Ltd
Account Number: 1049565797
Branch Code: 198765

Telegraphic money transfers from outside South-Africa:
Bank: Standard Chartered
Account Name: VFS Visa Processing (SA) (Pty) Ltd
Account Number: 001 880505 11
Branch Code: 73 00 20
Account Address: 5th Floor, 4 Sandown Valley Crescent, Sandton, 2196
Swift Code: SCBLZAJJ

Payment instructions for Additional Services:
In person: By cash deposit at the bank with Passport number as reference / Debit or Credit card along with submission of application (if not eligible for Biometrics)
By mail: Cash deposits within South Africa and telegraphic Money Transfers from outside SA.
List of types of payment accepted at the CVAC for Service Charges : Cash Deposit at the Bank, Debit or Credit Card (Diners and American Express Cards not accepted), Telegraphic Money Transfers from Outside South Africa.

Payment Instructions for Visa Fees:
In person : By Bank Issued Cheque or Bank Draft payable to “The Canadian High Commission”. Bank Draft or Bank issued Cheque in Canadian Dollars payable to “The Receiver General for Canada” , along with submission of application OR Pay Government of Canada Visa fees as per instructions on the Canadian Visa Office website.

1. Required documents:
• Valid passport with at least one blank page
• Two recent COLOUR passport photos of each family member are required. Make sure these photos meet the requirements.
• Enclose the application fee. Your fee will not be refunded even if the application is not accepted.
• Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances of your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
• Application form to be filled out electronically and printed : All applicants must complete (online) and sign their own individual form, including persons travelling as a family. Applicants who are under the age of 18 years must have their form signed by a parent or guardian. Forms are available on
• A letter from host in Canada such as a friend or family member confirming your visit and the duration of stay.
• Detailed itinerary showing dates of entry to and departure from Canada, as well as flight information. Please note it is NOT ADVISABLE that an airline ticket is purchased before visa is granted.
MINORS: Notarised letter of authorization signed by both parents or for minors travelling with only one parent, letter of authorization from the non accompanying parent specifying the duration of travel and whether a single or multiple entry is to be issued.
• Business persons to include a letter from the company in SA detailing nature of the business and supporting letter(s) from the company/ies to be visited in Canada.

2. Pay application fees

3. Submit application
• Read all questions on application form carefully and answer fully & truthfully. Failure to do this could result in refusal.

Persons holding single entry Canadian visas who travel to the United States (incl Alaska & Hawaii) may re-enter Canada within the validity of their authorized stay in Canada. Multiple entry visas are NOT required.

TO APPLY FOR A VISITOR VISA OR BUSINESS VISA, you can also apply online as long as you have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents to upload, and a valid credit card to pay with.

• Travel agents are strongly cautioned against advising clients to withhold or alter information relevant to their application. Should this happen, the applicant’s visa will be refused and the High Commission reserves the right to take action against the Travel Agency concerned.

Visa Processing Time

14 working days (VFS).

Visa Cost

  • Single entry AND multiple entry visa : CAD100
  • Passengers may request either a single or multiple entry visa but the discretion on which visa to issue remains that of the officer. Please note that not all applicants will be eligible for a multiple entry visa.
  • Fees in Rands are established monthly and will vary due to fluctuating exchange rates. Visit the website for EXACT Rand fee.
  • Fees are NOT REFUNDABLE is the application is refused or if withdrawn by the applicant.

Important Update: New service charges come into effect on Sunday, 1 November 2020. Please check before submitting an application. 

SA Representative

South African High Commission
15 Sussex Drive, Ontario, K1M 1M8, Ottawa
Tel: (001-613) 744 0330 Fax: (001-613) 744 3270 (consular)

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio