Canada Visa from South Africa – How to Apply for Canada Visitor Visa Application And Requirements Guide
Canada is a fantastic country to visit any time of the year! Take advantage of the warm summers and head out into the forests for a chance to spot the local wildlife. Winter is exciting too when you can try your hand at skiing or dog sledding! Whatever you end up doing, you’ll have a lot of fun! In this article, learn more about how to apply for a Canada Visitor Visa from South Africa – online and in-person, processing time at the Canadian visa application center, flight itinerary and Canada visitor visa application process.
Applying for a Canada Visitor Visa from South Africa
If you live in South Africa, there are 2 ways you can apply for a visa for Canada:
- Online – the website of website of Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has everything you need to get your visa
- In-person – apply at VFS Global located in Cape Town and Pretoria
Types of visas for Canada
If you are planning on going to Canada, you will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. There are 3 different visas available and the one you will apply for will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip:
- Visitor visa – for tourism, visiting family/friends or conducting business for up to 6 months
- Parent and grandparent super visa – if you are visiting your children/grandchildren for up to 2 years
- Transit visa – if you are connecting between 2 international flights, in less than 48 hours
You can find further information about the types of visas on the IRCC website.
Visas are usually issued as:
- Single entry – to enter Canada once between the start and end date of the visa
- Multiple entry – to enter Canada as many times as you wish between the start and end date of the visa
The Canada Visitor Visa Application Process
Applications from South Africa take 652 days to process. This time does not include:
- The time it takes for your application to be sent to the main visa office (if applying at your local visa application center)
- The time it takes you to provide biometrics
It also could take longer depending on the type of visa you are applying for, whether you need to provide more information and/or documents and the time it takes you to respond to any requests.
How to apply for a Canada visitor visa from South Africa
As mentioned above, you may apply for a Canada visitor visa online or in-person. Before you decide, consider the benefits if you apply online:
- No courier fees or mail delivery time
- Online applications may be processed more quickly
- Avoid processing delays
- You can submit additional documents online, if required
- No need to submit your passport immediately
- Get updates on the status of your application
Whether you apply online or in-person, there are 4 steps which you must follow:
- Gather documents
- Complete the application
- Pay the fees
- Submit the application – either electronically (online application) or at the visa office (paper/in-person application)
How to apply for a Canada visitor visa online
Go to the website of IRCC and click on “Menu” – “Immigration and citizenship” – “Visit”:
Under “Services and information”, click on “Apply for a visitor visa”:
Click on “Apply”:
Scroll down to “How do you want to apply” and choose “Online” and click on “Get instructions”:
On the next page, there is a link for the instruction guide which will guide you through the application process. If you are happy to get started, click on “Apply for a visitor visa”:
You will have to create an account:
Then, you can sign in and begin your application:
After you have finished the online application, you will be asked to pay the fees and upload your documents.
How to apply for a Canada visitor visa in-person
To apply in-person, you will submit your application to VFS Global. There are 7 steps to follow:
- Step 1 – Identify visa type
- Step 2 – Begin your application
- Step 3 – Book an appointment
- Step 4 – Pay the fees
- Step 5 – Visit the visa application center
- Step 6 – Track your application
- Step 7 – Collect your passport
Go to VFS Global’s website and where it says “Apply for a visa” click on “Start now”:
Step 1 – Identify visa type
Click on the relevant link to find out what visa you need for your trip:
Step 2 – Begin your application
You can complete your application form by:
- Downloading it – click on the link for the application form and choose IMM 5257 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa. You still need to print the completed form along with 2 copies of the 2D barcode:
- Apply online and submit the form electronically
Step 3 – Book an appointment
If you are required to provide biometrics, it is mandatory to book an appointment. If you have provided biometrics within the last 10 years and are simply handing over your application to be processed, there is no need to make an appointment. To check whether you need to provide biometric data, go to the website of IRCC.
Making appointments with the visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure where to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
- Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, visa office you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment IN and make the payment
- Receive appointment confirmation in email
You can also make an appointment on your own by following the steps below:
Go to VFS Global’s website and book your appointment in one of the following ways:
- Online – click on the link for scheduling an appointment
- By telephone – call the helpline number: 800101007
- By email – use the webform
- By Webchat – click on “Chat now”
- In-person – you can visit the visa application center in-person
Step 4 – Pay the fees
You will pay for the visa application processing fee and the biometric fee at the same time. The fees must be paid before you submit your application online or when you attend your appointment at the visa application center. Fees are subject to change at any time and will not be refunded even if your application is rejected.
|Type of Visa||Fee in Can $|
|Visitor visa (including super visa) – per person|
Single or multiple entry temporary resident visa
|Visitor visa – per family (1 fee per family of 5 or more people)|
Single or multiple entry temporary resident visa. Maximum fee for a family of 5 or more people applying at the same time and place
|Biometrics (per person)||$85|
|Biometrics (per family) (2 or more people)|
Maximum fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time and place
VFS Global has a range of other services such as courier services and photocopying. For further information, check out their website.
How to pay the fees for your application
Click on the link which you’ll find on the visa website:
You will be directed to IRCC’s website where you can pay the fees online:
If you are unable to make online payments, you can pay the fee at the visa application center.
Step 5 – Visit the visa application center
On the day you visit the application center, remember the following things:
- Arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule
- Take a printed copy of your visa application, 2D barcoded sheets (2 copies), passport bio page (2 copies), as well as a valid passport or travel document with at least 2 pages that are blank on both sides
- Take the Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL) (if you have applied online)
You have to attend the appointment yourself. You cannot send someone else. Here’s what to expect from your visit:
- You will hand over your application and supporting documents
- Provide a scan of your fingerprints and have your photo taken (if you are providing biometrics)
- You will also pay the fees (if you have not done so online) and receive a receipt with a unique number which you can use to track your application.
Take a look at VFS Global’s website to prepare yourself for your appointment!
Step 6 – Track your application
You can track your application in the following ways:
- On VFS Global’s website
- Webchat: Chat Now
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Helpline number: 800101007
- Visit the visa application center in-person
Step 7 – Collect your passport
After a visa application decision has been made, getting your passport back is easy. You can choose to pick up your documents from VFS Global or have them returned to you by courier for an additional fee (see VFS Global’s website for the costs).
If you are collecting the decision envelope from VFS Global in-person, you must provide the following:
- A copy of your passport’s biographic page
- The visa application center services receipt
- A form of government identification
Once you have your visa, you need to check it is correct. If the details of the visa are inconsistent with what you applied for, you should discuss this with the visa office immediately. Otherwise, you may not be able to enter Canada as planned.
Whether you are applying online or in-person, there is a list of required documents that you will need to submit with your visa application. There is a document checklist you can refer to. Documents include
- Temporary Resident Visa application form – IMM 5257 – fully completed and signed
- Valid passport for each applicant. Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of travel to Canada. The date of the visa cannot go beyond the validity of the passport. If there are not at least 2 blank pages, you will have to obtain a new passport (no additional sheets)
- Include copies of all cancelled or expired passports as proof of previous trips
- If you do not reside in your country of citizenship, please provide a copy of your work permit or temporary stay permit
- 2 photos meeting the correct specifications for each applicant (scanned photos are not acceptable). Signed, dated and taken in the past 6 months. If you need to give their biometrics do not need to submit paper photographs
- Travel authorization letter (if the applicant is a minor) including parent (s) passport
- Visa fee
It is important to note that further documents may be required depending on where you are applying from.
Applicants from South Africa need to submit other specific documents. To find these documents, go to the “Apply online” page and click on “Read the instruction guide”:
Go to the “Gather documents” section and click on “Application for a visitor visa”:
Scroll down to “Select a country/territory” choose South Africa and click on “Get documents”:
You MUST get the documents for the country you are applying from. There are different documents for each country and if you don’t include these, your application may be rejected.
On the next page, click on “Visa office instructions – Visit (IMM 5971)”:
You will then be directed to the relevant visa office instruction document:
Remember! The above document must be used in conjunction with the document checklist IMM 5484 and it needs to be placed on top of your application pack.
You should read the instructions carefully! Additional documents for applications from South Africa include:
- Consent to verification of documents form
- Family Information form IMM 5707 – fully completed, dated and signed
- Schedule 1 form – Application for Temporary Resident Visa – IMM 5257B
- Explain the purpose of your trip – details of your itinerary in Canada, provisional travel arrangements (airline or hotel booking), letter of invitation from the person or business you will visit, registration at a conference, letter from your employer (as applicable)
- Proof of sufficient funds/financial support – bank statements, payslips or other proof of income. If you are not paying for your own trip, provide a letter signed by the person paying along with their passport and bank statement and proof of relationship
- Other documents (family, financial, employment, property ties) to prove you will return to your country of residence after your visit
- A letter from your employer, stating your employment status, length of service, position, salary and allowances, authorization of leave and the date you are expected to return to work. If you are travelling on business, the letter should also state the purpose of your trip, and names and addresses of the companies you will visit. If you are self-employed, please provide evidence of your business
- Proof of enrolment in school – letter and transcript from the school/university you will be attending
- Birth and marriage certificate for each family member applying for a visa
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
In addition to the above documents, provide the following (if applicable):
- A letter of invitation
- Host’s passport/proof of residency
- Proof of relationship
For a business trip
- Business registration
- Financial documents such as income tax/bank statements
- Official invitation with all required information (names, addresses, telephone/fax numbers, purpose and length of trip, and funding arrangements)
For a conference, training or official visit
- Mission order
- Letter from your employer confirming your trip stating reason for travel, length of stay, and the position of the traveler
- Official invitation from your Canadian contacts, including the names of the travelers and their positions
- Proof of registration for a conference
- Proof of financial support
For parents/grandparents super visa
- A letter of invitation stating the arrangements for your care and support and including the number of individuals residing in the inviter’s household
- Proof of relationship
- Proof that your child/grand-child meets the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) minimum
- Proof that you have private medical insurance valid for a minimum of one year from a Canadian insurance company and that covers health care, hospitalization and repatriation for a minimum of $100,000
It’s a good idea to spend some time checking the required documents for your visa application. Check you have everything before you submit your application.
After you submit your documents
If anything is missing, your application will be returned to you without being processed and the visa office will advise you if this is the case.
Assuming it is all present and correct, it will be sent to IRCC and it will be assessed. At this point, the visa office is within their rights to ask for more information or documents from you and/or call you in to attend a face-to-face interview. You should comply with their requests if you want your application to be processed as quickly as possible.
Once a decision has been reached, the outcome will be either:
- Approved – you will receive your passport with the visa attached to one of the pages
- Rejected – you will receive your passport with a letter explaining why it was denied
The following reasons may result in a rejected application:
- Employer’s letter not fully completed – there is specific information that has to be included on the employer’s letter, so check what is needed before submitting your application
- Host’s ID/passport not included – if you are being invited by someone in Canada, you will probably have to provide their ID and/or passport, so make sure you do so
- Passport is not valid for 6 months – your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your trip. If not, you must get a new one before you apply for your visa
- Photographs don’t meet the specifications – the photographs you provide must meet specific requirements. See the IRCC website to find out what they are
Contact details for VFS Global in Cape Town, South Africa
Address: Canada Visa Application Centre, 5th Floor, 30 Waterkant Street, Cape Town, South Africa
Helpline Number: 800101007
Contact details for VFS Global in Pretoria, South Africa
Address: Canada Visa Application Centre, Cherry Lane Office Park, 1st Floor, 114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, Pretoria, South Africa
Helpline Number: 800101007
|Business hours||Monday to Friday||08:00 – 17.00|
|Passport collection||Monday to Friday||08:00 – 17.00|
|Walk-in hours||Monday to Friday||08:00 – 17.00|
1. Who can I submit my visa application to if I live in Cape Town?
You may submit your visa application to VFS Global who has an office located in Cape Town
2. Can I study when I go to Canada?
If you want to study, you must be in possession of the correct permit and visa
3. Can I apply online?
Yes, you can apply online on the website of IRCC (see above)
4. I have provided biometrics in the last 5 years, do I need to do this again?
No, as long as you have provided this data within the last 10 years, you do not have to do so again
5. Do I have to provide my marriage certificate?
Yes, you must provide this document for each visa applicant
6. I am changing flights in Canada, do I need a visa?
If you are in transit for less than 48 hours, you will need a transit visa. If the transit time is more than 48 hours, you will need to apply for a visitor visa
7. How can I complete my application form?
You can do this by either downloading the form or completing it electronically online (see above)
8. How can I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment online, by phone, email, webchat or in person OR you can ask us to do this for you (see above)
9. What do I need to take with me to my appointment at the visa application center?
You will need to take a copy of your printed application form, your passport, and the biometric letter (if you are providing biometrics)
10. Can I apply again if my application is rejected?
You can, but only if your circumstances have changed a lot and you can provide much more information. Otherwise, you run the risk of your application being rejected again
To apply for your Canada Visitor Visa online:
- Create an account
- Complete your application online
- Pay the fees
- Submit your application
If you are applying in-person:
- Gather your documents
- Complete your application form
- Make an appointment (if biometrics are required)
- Pay the fee
- Submit your application
Have a great trip!
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides, Visa Packages and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.