More South Africans are moving to Canada – here’s how much it costs

According to a recent survey by Seeff, prominent reasons for selling in South Africa include downscaling, emigration, relocating within South Africa (‘semi-grating’), upgrading, and relocating because of security considerations or a change in family structure.

Seeff asked two of their experts in Sandton and Centurion to elaborate to which extent each of these factors contribute to sellers listing their properties in these areas.

The experts said that 5% of their listings are from people who are emigrating to countries like Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Canada due to personal views about the government, crime and the economic climate.

According to American think tank, Pew Research, at least 900,000 people born in South Africa were currently living in other countries in 2017.

For these South Africans the United Kingdom was the destination of choice, with 210,000 migrants as of 2017.

However, it was closely followed by Australia (190,000) and other popular countries including the USA (100,000), New Zealand (60,000), and Canada (50,000).

According to its latest census data, around 5,765 South Africans moved to Canada alone from 2011 to 2016.

Reasons for moving to Canada 

According to immigration consultants Henley & Partners, the relaxed lifestyle, stable political, justice, economic and social environment, excellent educational and health system, and multilingual population make Canada one of the most desirable countries to live in.

“Canada has a long tradition of immigration and an elaborate system to evaluate and admit new residents. Citizenship is available after four years of residence (and 183 days minimum physical presence during each of the four calendar years), and the Canadian passport is one of the best travel documents in the world,” it said.

“You can establish residence by applying for Canadian Permanent Residence in one the following categories:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Self Employed Persons
  • Skilled Workers and Professionals

“Once your application is approved, you and members of your immediate family may enjoy all advantages of Canadian citizens (with the exception of voting and holding political office) including access to excellent free health care and first-class education.”


Immigrant Investor Program

The Immigrant Investors Program was created by the Canadian government to attract wealthy business persons and their capital to Canada.

Investors and their immediate family can gain permanent residency in Canada by satisfying the following four government selection criteria:

  • You must demonstrate proper business experience, as defined under the Regulations. In essence, you must have previously managed or operated a qualified business for at least two out of five years preceding your application;
  • You and your spouse must have legally obtained a personal net worth exceeding CAD 1.6 million (R18,086,400);
  • The entire family must complete and pass Canada’s medical and security evaluations;
  •  You must invest CAD 800,000 (R9,043,200) for a period of five years with no interest (0%) under one of the two available Immigrant Investor Programs. The investment is government-guaranteed and will be repaid in full at the end of the investment period.

There are several ways to become a permanent resident in Canada. The two most popular economic programs are:

  • The Federal Immigrant Investor Program, and
  • The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

The selection procedure is similar under both the Federal and Quebec programs, with the following distinction: in Quebec, the investor first has to obtain a Certificate of Selection of Quebec before applying for health and security screening at the federal level to be admitted to Canada.

Once legally admitted to Canada, applicants who receive a Certificate of Selection of Quebec do not have to establish residency in Quebec because they – as all Canadian residents – have total liberty of movement and establishment in any of 10 Canadian provinces and three territories.


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More South Africans are moving to Canada – here’s how much it costs