Moving to Canada

Planning on moving to Canada from South Africa? If you are, then this guide was designed for people like you. Whether you’re ready to book your plane tickets or still need convincing, this page will give you all the information you may need. Need to find a mover? Take a look at our top 10 of International Movers in South Africa.

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Visas for Canada

One of the most important things that you need to get sorted are visas to Canada. As you may know, Canada is a popular destination for South African expats. So, if you want to be one of them, then you’ll need to know what your personal visa requirements are. It can be quite complicated as there are a number of different permanent immigration visas that you can apply for. These include:

  • Federal skilled workers
  • Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Business Class

The best way to find out which one you should apply for is to fill out the form on the Canadian Government website. There you will be told exactly what you will be entitled to and what visa is best for you, this way the process of applying for your visa is made a lot less stressful!

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Life in Canada

Wondering how different life may be in Canada? Well, this section covers everything from how to find a job to what the education system is like. Read on to find out more!

Working in Canada

As the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been for the past four decades (5.7%, 2018), it has resulted in high amounts of expats being able to find employment when moving to Canada. If you are able to speak both French and English, you will find it considerably easier to get a job, especially in areas like Quebec. Employers will expect a high level of education more than anything.

If your heart is set on living in Canada, then finding work before moving to Canada will help you apply for your visa and help you settle easier. It can be hard to find jobs somewhere that it so far away from South Africa. So, here is a list of some of the best job search websites:

Moving to Canada

Living Costs in Canada

Something to bear in mind is that living costs in Canada are a lot higher than what you may be used to in South Africa. Here are some examples:

ItemAverage Price in South AfricaAverage Price in Canada
Rent, one bedroom in centre6,299.35R12,319.72R
One Litre of Milk13.17R23.50R
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant120.00R157.27R
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)17.40R26.52R
Cigarettes (20 Pack)40.00R141.55R

Despite high living costs, you can rest assured knowing that these higher prices are counteracted by higher salaries and wages. The average monthly net salary after tax in Canada is 32,920.41R compared to 15,604.94R here.

All of these prices were taken from where you can find many more price comparisons of the cost of food, transportation, utilities and clothes. If you want an idea on how much your move may cost you, read our international moving costs page for more information.

Healthcare in Canada

When moving to Canada from South Africa, you will need to consider your healthcare options. Canada offers their citizens and permanent residents universal public health insurance, which covers low-cost access to doctors and health practitioners. Therefore, if you have a temporary residency, you are unfortunately not eligible for same benefits.

Medicare is Canada’s public healthcare system, funded by the government. This is only available to permanent residents in Canada. In order to receive Medicare, you can apply for a medical card online, at the Régie as well as local pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

Education in Canada

If you’re moving to Canada with your family, you might want to know how the education in Canada works. Every province is responsible for creating its own curriculum and educational system. There are private schools on offer, however, most families choose public schools.

As French is the mother tongue of around 7.2 million Canadians, this has resulted in both English and French schools being established. In most parts of Canada, students are able to earn their high school diploma at the end of grade 12, but only if they have accumulated enough credits.

The province of Quebec has a different school curriculum than the others. Students graduate high school at the age of 16, and instead then move onto two or three years of CEGEP. For more information on education in Canada, read this Canadian guide by Just Landed.

Moving to Canada for the nature

Tips on Moving to Canada

Now that you’re convinced that moving to Canada is the right thing for you, it’s time to get to figure out how to make it happen. We’ve made some tips and information to make the moving process easier for you, including how to move with pets as well as what the moving costs are. Looking for more information on moving to Canada? Moving2Canada offers a wealth of free, impartial information and regular email updates for people planning a move to Canada and recent arrivals wishing to stay long-term. If you need help with picking the right removal company for you, visit our designated page about requesting moving quotes.

Moving to Canada with Pets

If you’re interested in bringing your pet with you, then there are some things that you have to make sure you have in check before you bring your furry friend with you. Here are the specific guidelines for someone immigrating to Canada with a dog:

  • Original International Health Certificate issued by an Accredited Vet or Original Rabies Vaccination Record (not needed for dogs under three months)
  • Printed History of Pets Vet Records
  • A print of Customs Clearance Form
  • Copy of Owner’s Original Passport
  • Visa or Work Permit copy

Importing a domestic dog, cat or ferret will cost you $30 Canadian, but importing a bird will cost you a lot more money as they will have to be quarantined. Pet transport companies can assist you with the process of moving your pets to Canada.

Moving Costs to Canada

Size of HouseholdTime to MoveCost of Move
1 bed flat6-11 weeks37,000R-64,000R
2 bed house4-7 weeks49,800R-85,000R
3 bed house4-7 weeks89,000R-147,600R

Above you can find the cost of moving from Cape Town to Toronto by sea. There are many things that can influence the cost of moving, the two main factors being volume and distance. Fill out our volume calculator to save time when requesting quotes.

If you need more information on sea containers, for example sizes and costs, read our container shipping prices page.

What Next?

Overall, we hope that this page has helped you become better informed about moving to Canada.  You may find these pages below to also be of interest to you.