Last updated: 8 Jun 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

Effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, fully vaccinated travellers do not need to complete a pre-entry test (they may still be selected for random tests on arrival but are not required to quarantine). Read the full press release.

Prior to travel, passengers must submit their travel information on ArriveCAN:

For latest updates and full details, please refer:
For Cruising, please refer:

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) 422-3000 Fax: (012) 422-3052

Visits by appointment only.

The Canadian High Commission do not provide any visa services.

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 (visitors visa) - failure to do so will result in them being denied boarding on the ship.

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.


Tel: 0800 101 007
Monday - Friday: 08:00-17:00

PRETORIA: Cherry Lane Office Park, 1st Floor, 114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, Pretoria, South Africa
CAPE TOWN: 7th Floor 2 Long Street , Cape Town, South Africa


1. Fill out the application form electronically. The completed form (including the barcoded sheets) will have to be printed on a white, bond quality, non-glossy paper, using a laser printer. Please ensure that the 2D barcode (2 copies) is printed clearly and on high quality paper. Hand-written forms will not be accepted.

2. Complete supporting documents as per the IRCC document checklist relevant to your visa category.

3. Fill out the VFS Consent Form and then attach it with your application form

4. Submit your application form online, or you can print the form and submit at the VFS Centre. If you need to submit biometrics, you will need to make an appointment. To find out if you need to submit biometrics, visit:

5. Fees may be paid online with the application, or at the VFS Centre. 


  • Completed Application Form: Temporary Resident Visa (IMM5257). The completed form (including the barcoded sheets) will have to be printed on a white, bond quality, non-glossy paper, using a laser printer. Please ensure that the 2D barcode (2 copies) is printed clearly and on high quality paper. Hand-written forms will not be accepted.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A letter from host in Canada such as a friend or family member confirming your visit and the duration of stay (if applicable)
  • 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.
  • If you are submitting any official documents, ensure that they are notarised copies (do not submit originals unless required)
  • Persons convicted of a criminal offence in SA should obtain a SA police clearance certificate and submit a written account of the circumstances of the crime.


  • Travel information must be submitted on ArriveCAN prior to arrival
  • Take note of additional health and travel requirements that may be applicable


Visa Processing Time

14 working days (VFS).

Delays may occur - please check with VFS for updated processing times

Visa Validity

6 months

Visa Cost

  • Single entry AND multiple entry visa: CAD100
  • Biometrics: CAD 85 per person

  • 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.

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