Marriage to a South African Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a South African citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
If you want to bring your South African spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
South African Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of South Africa, you must demonstrate to the South African government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
- Proof of country of birth
- Proof of single status
- Proof of age requirement
South African Marriage Ceremony
The marriage ceremony to a South African citizen can legally take place in South Africa, Canada, or any other country as long as both parties have the necessary visas to enter this country legally. This marriage can then be recognized when applying for a permanent residence or a visitor visa for your South African spouse. To learn more about ceremony customs, see below.
If your South African spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the South African Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a South African citizen.
List of South African Consulates in Canada
Canadian Consulates in South Africa
High Commission of Canada in Pretoria
1103 Arcadia Street
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Consulate of Canada in Cape Town
1502 Metlife Centre
Telephone: 27 21 421-1818
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Consulate of Canada in Durban
Unit 2, Richefond Circle,
Telephone: 27 31 536-8214
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High Commission Canada Trade Office
Cradock Place, 1st Floor,
Telephone: 27 (11)442-3130
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Registration of Marriage in South Africa
Before getting married, there are certain legal requirements that you need to meet in order to ensure that your marriage will be valid in the eyes of the law. This is particularly important when marrying in a foreign country. Marriage is a binding contract; taking this important step changes your status and once you have entered into the contract, it involves a costly procedure to change its basis.
Both Parties are South Africans
Before the marriage, the marriage officer needs to be supplied with the following documents:
- Clear copies of passports
- Clear copies of Divorce Decrees (if applicable)
- Clear copies of Death Certificates (if applicable)
Each party needs to complete a “Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage” which they will complete in the presence of the marriage officer when they arrive in South Africa.
South African and a Foreigner
The marriage officer will require you to supply the following documents:
- Clear copies of your SA Identity Document
- Clear copies of both Passports
- Clear copies of Divorce Decrees (if applicable)
- Clear copies of Death Certificates (if applicable)
The non-South African party must complete the “Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage” in the presence of the marriage officer prior to the wedding ceremony.
An Abridged Marriage Certificate will be issued to you immediately after the ceremony. The Marriage Officer will register your marriage with the Department of Home Affairs and apply for your Unabridged Marriage Certificate which you can use to register your marriage back in your home country. The Unabridged certificate will be stamped “Apostille” by the High Court in Cape Town. The issue of this certificate will take approximately 10 working days.
The law states that certain categories of people may not marry. These include:
- Minors, unless the prescribed consent to the marriage has been given by the parents in writing
- People who are already married. Bigamy is a punishable offence in South Africa. Such marriages are also null and void under South African law
Consent to the marriage of a minor
If you are or your partner is a minor (below 18 years) in the care of either your respective parents or a legal guardian, only the parents’/guardian’s written consent (Form DHA-32) is necessary for you to obtain a marriage certificate.
If a parent whose consent is legally required but either cannot be found to grant consent, or is legally incompetent to do so, then an application may be made to a Commissioner of Child Welfare for consent to the marriage.
If your parents and/or a Commissioner of Child Welfare refuse to grant consent for your marriage, you may then apply to a judge of the High Court for consent. The judge will not grant consent unless there is sufficient evidence that the marriage is in the interest of the minor and that prior consent has been unreasonably refused.
In addition to getting consent from the parents or guardian, boys under the age of 18 and girls under the age of 16 may also be required to seek the consent of the Minister of Home Affairs. The Minister may, on application, condone a marriage which required his/her consent but was contracted without such consent.
Voiding the marriage of a minor
A marriage contracted without the legal consent of the parents or guardian can be made void, in other words, declared null and void by the High Court at the request of the parents or guardian:
- before the minor turns 21 and
- within six weeks of the date on which the marriage first came to their knowledge
If you are a minor, you may apply for the dissolution of the marriage:
- before you turn 21, or
- Within three months after turning 21.
In South Africa, the definition of a customary marriage is one that is “negotiated, celebrated or concluded according to any of the systems of indigenous African customary law which exist in South Africa”. This does not include marriages concluded in accordance with Hindu, Muslim or other religious rites.
Requirements for a customary marriage
For a customary marriage to be recognized as a valid marriage, it has to have been entered into before 15 November 2000.
However, if entered into after 15 November 2000 it must comply with the following requirements:
- The marriage must be negotiated, entered into or celebrated in accordance with customary law
- The prospective spouses must be above the age of 18 years
- Both prospective spouses must consent to the marriage
The parents of a prospective spouse who is a minor must consent to the marriage. If he/she has no parents, then his or her legal guardian must consent. If the parents or legal guardian cannot consent, a Commissioner of Child Welfare can be approached for consent. Where consent is refused by either of the parents, the legal guardian or the Commissioner of Child Welfare, only a judge of the High Court may consider granting consent If either of the prospective spouses is already a spouse in a civil marriage. A customary marriage cannot be entered into during the subsistence of the civil marriage. A similar provision is also applied to customary marriages entered into from 1 December 1988.
Although there is no restriction on the number of customary marriages that a man may enter into, no further customary marriage may be entered into unless an order of court regulating the future matrimonial property system of his marriages has been obtained.
Registering customary marriages
Customary marriages must be registered within three months of taking place. This can be done at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or through a designated traditional leader in areas where there are no Home Affairs offices.
The following people should present themselves at either a Home Affairs office or a traditional leader in order to register a customary marriage:
The two spouses (with copies of their valid identity books and a lobola agreement, if available)
- at least one witness from the bride’s family
- at least one witness from the groom’s family
- and/or the representative of each of the families
In the event that the spouses were minors (or one was a minor) at the time of the customary marriage, the parents should also be present when the request to register the marriage is made.
Customary marriages are registered by completing BI-1699 and paying the required fees. An acknowledgement of receipt BI-1700 will then be issued by the Department.
Registering more than one customary marriage
If a male person is already in a customary marriage and wishes to enter into another customary marriage he has to, at his own cost, get a court order from a competent court which will regulate his future matrimonial property system.
It is also possible for a male person who is already in a customary marriage to enter into a civil marriage. They should follow the normal procedure for civil marriages.
The Civil Union Act (effective from December 2006) allows anyone – regardless of their sexual orientation – to marry either through a civil union, a civil marriage or a customary marriage.
Civil unions may be conducted by:
- designated marriage officers for specific religious denominations or organizations
- designated officers employed by the Department of Home Affairs and the Magistrates’ Courts
At least two competent witnesses must be present at the ceremony.
Requirements for registering a Civil Union
- Both persons must be 18 years or older to enter into a Civil Union
- Both persons may not be already married in terms of any other Act.
Documents required to undertake a Civil Union
- Valid South African identity books for both persons entering into the Civil Union
- A valid passport if one of the partners is a foreign national
- A completed Form DHA-1763 (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage)
- Form DHA-1766 (Civil Union register), which must be completed by the marriage officer
- A completed Form DHA-1764 (Registration of a Civil Union) in which the couple must indicate whether or not they are entering into a Civil Union marriage or a Civil Union partnership
- A copy of the Divorce Order if one of the partners was previously married but subsequently divorced.
If any of the required documentation cannot be produced, one of the partners must submit an affidavit confirming the documents cannot be made available for the purpose of concluding the Civil Union.
South African marriage certificates
On a South African marriage certificate you will find the husband’s name, age, occupation and address as well as the spouse’s names, age, occupation and place of abode. In both cases there is an option for condition (e.g. marital status) in case either have been widowed, divorced or under-age. If the bride was under age and needed her parents’ consent, you might only find a clue to a relative’s name such as a mother or father. Parents’ names are not statutory on a marriage certificate
South African marriage certificates are similar to those in European countries but Scottish Marriage certificates gives both the parents full names as well as the bride and grooms mother’s maiden name.
South African Currency
The monetary system of South Africa is decimal based, with the primary unit of currency called the Rand. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand (White-waters-ridge in English), the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa’s gold deposits were found. The rand has the symbol “R” and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol.
The rand is the currency of the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. Although Namibia withdrew from the Common Monetary Area, the rand is still legal tender there.
The best currencies to bring to South Africa are US dollars, euros or British pounds in a mixture of traveller’s cheques and cash, plus a Visa or MasterCard for withdrawing money from ATMs.
There are ATMs in all cities in South Africa, most of which give cash advances against cards belonging to the Cirrus network.
Credit cards are widely accepted in South Africa, especially MasterCard and Visa. Nedbank is an official Visa agent, and Standard Bank is a MasterCard agent and both have branches across the country.
Coins were introduced in 1961 in denominations of ½, 1, 2½, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents. In 1965, 2-cent coins replaced the 2½-cent coins. The ½-cent coin was last struck for circulation in 1973. The 2-rand was introduced in 1989, followed by 5-rand coins in 1994. The 1- and 2-cent coins were discontinued in April 2002, primarily due to inflation having devalued them. All prices are now rounded upwards to the nearest 5 cents.
The coins come in the values of one cent, Two cents, Five cents, Ten cents, Twenty cents, Fifty cents, One Rand, Two Rand and Five Rand. The names and relative values of the coins depicted below are, from left to right:
- One Cent – 1/100 of a Rand
- Two Cents – 2/100 of a Rand
- Five Cents – 5/100 of a Rand
- Ten Cents – 10/100 of a Rand
- Twenty Cents – 20/100 of a Rand
- Fifty Cents – 50/100 of a Rand(aka 1/2, or Half Rand)
- One Rand – 100/100, 1 full Rand
- Two Rands – 200/100, 2 full Rands
- Five Rands – 500/100, 5 full Rands
The South African Reserve Bank released new banknotes into circulation from 1 February 2005. This is the first redesign of the banknotes since the current series was introduced in 1992.
While the new notes retain the size and colours of the previous series, as well as the animals and economic theme of each denomination, the design has been refreshed and a number of new security features have been included.
How to Call Canada From South Africa
Calling Canada from Spain – Direct Dialing Numbers
To make a direct call to Canada from South Africa, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from South Africa.
To call Canada From South Africa Dial
00 – 1 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Canada from South Africa.
- 00 – Exit code for South Africa, and is needed for making any international call from South Africa
- 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada
Area code – There are 18 area codes in Canada. The area code is the first three digits of your telephone number.
List of area codes in Canada
|Alberta||403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
|BC||236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
|Ontario||226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
|New Brunswick||506||Quebec||418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
When to call Canada from South Africa – Time Difference
Knowing the time difference between the country from which you are calling and the recipient’s country will ensure that you are not making untimely calls.
< < <
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours
South Africa is Ahead
|# of Hours
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||10 hours||9 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||9 hours||8 hours|
|Saskatchewan||9 hours||9 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||8 hours||8 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||7 hours||6 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec||6 hours||6 hours|
|Newfoundland||6.5 hours||5.5 hours|
How to Call South Africa From Canada
Calling South Africa from Canada – Direct Dialling Numbers
To make a direct call to South Africa from Canada, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling South Africa mobile or land line from Canada.
To call South Africa from Canada Dial
011 – 27 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialling format shown above while calling South Africa from Canada.
011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
27 – ISD Code or Country Code of South Africa
Area code – There are 33 area codes in South Africa. If there is an area code dial area code of the city in South Africa you are calling after dialling ISD Code. The format is dial 011 + 27 + phone number
The High Commission of Canada to South Africa offers 24-hour emergency service to Canadians in South Africa who are in distress. For emergency assistance after hours, call either Canadian High Commission in Pretoria, Canadian Consulate in Durban or Canadian Consulate in Cape Town in South Africa and follow the instructions. The emergency services offered vary depending on the nature of the emergency. The emergency services offered by the embassy falls under the following categories:
South African Wedding Traditions
Marriages are considered sacred in most societies, and especially so in the tradition-steeped continent of Africa. African weddings usually involve not just the coming together of the couple in question, but their extended families and sometimes entire communities, although traditions vary vastly across the continent. Traditional marriage practices in South Africa involve the customs of lobola and polygamy.
According to this ancient tradition, a man must pay a price to acquire the right to marry a woman. The practice continues to be followed extensively in contemporary African societies. Lobola involves a complex, formal process of negotiation between the families of the bride and groom amid great ceremony, to arrive at a consensus on the price (traditionally paid in number of cows) that the groom must pay the bride’s family.
Many modern couples opt for cash instead of cows for the sake of convenience. This money can be used to help the bride set up her home; however, this is something that happens very rarely.
Surprisingly, African customary law has advocates even among modern, educated women in South Africa, many of whom believe that it provides them protection without hindering them in any significant way. In fact, women’s rights activists were among the greatest proponents of a new law enacted in 2001 which recognises African customary law, in order to protect women living in common-law unions and their children. Payment of the lobola, however, means that the bride is paid for, and a divorce is not usually granted unless the bride’s family can repay the amount.
Often, the lack of the means for repayment may force women to stay in unhappy or abusive marriages. Although customary laws enjoy predominance over constitutional rights in several African countries, South Africa accords women strong constitutional protection. After the payment of dowry, the parties are free to move on with either traditional or modern form of wedding.
After the bridal procession into the church, a prayer of dedication will precede the wedding ceremony. After the exchange of vows, a unity candle will be lit. The couple will then be pronounced man and wife, and blessed by the priest.
The twelve symbols of life important in African culture may be administered as part of the wedding ceremony. These are wine, wheat, pepper, salt, bitter herbs, water, a pot and spoon, a broom, honey, a spear, a shield, and a copy of the Bible or the Koran. Each one represents a different aspect of the love and strength which unites two families.
The wedding feast which follows the ceremony is traditionally known as the Karamu.
In South Africa, to mark the start of the newlyweds life together, the bride’s and groom’s parents would traditionally carry a fire from their hearths in their homes to the home of the new couple, where a new fire would be lit.
The same law of 2001, distasteful as it may seem to most modern women in other parts of the world, also recognizes polygamy, even though it is something that fewer and fewer modern South Africans practice.
While the press has been rather indulgent, there is open disapproval from some quarters. South Africa’s AIDS scourge is attributed largely to sexual promiscuity, and the President’s example complicates the process of educating the public on the importance of single-partner sexual relationships in preventing the spread of the disease.
In affirming gender equality as fundamental to South African democracy, the Constitution states that should there be a contradiction between customary law and the Bill of Rights, the latter should take precedence.
The practice of polygamy is in essence the practice of gender inequality. While all customary marriages are required to be registered to ensure that each wife in a polygamous family has an equal right to property, this still does not address the issues of neglect, or the transmission of infections that polygamy may entail.
White South Africans are more vocally disparaging of the practice, especially so of the President’s antics. Besides, in a country where only half the population is female, the acquisition by a man of five or more women is also likely to create social imbalances by denying other eligible men partners. They however of course will buy engagement rings for example continuing with their more western wedding traditions.
Religion in South Africa
South Africa has a wide mix of religions. Many religions in South Africa are represented in the ethnic and regional diversity of South Africa’s population. The traditional spiritualities of the Khoisan and Bantu speakers were succeeded in predominance by the Christianity introduced by the Dutch and, later, British settlers. In 1930 the majority of Afrikaners were Afrikaner Calvinists
Islamic religion was introduced in South Africa by the Cape Malay slaves of the Dutch settlers, Hinduism form of religion was introduced by the indentured servants imported from the Indian subcontinent, and Buddhism was introduced by both Indians and Chinese immigrants.
The Bahá’í Faith was introduced in 1911 and grew after Bahá’ís from Canada, the United States and Germany settled in the country.
Before the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by the participation of Jewish astronomers and cartographers in the Portuguese discovery of the sea-route to India, Judaism was introduced in South Africa. They assisted Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama who first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and 1497. However, Jews only began to arrive in large numbers from the 1820s.
African Traditional Religion
African traditional religion believes in ancestor worship. In South Africa, they practice Ubuntu which shows itself in treating others kindly, showing concern for them and working for the good of the community. Traditional African Religion focuses on the family and special events in people’s lives such as birth, initiation, weddings and death (funerals) sacrifices animals for special events and to honour the spirits of the ancestors.
The Religion of the San People
Religion is part of the everyday life of the San. They believe there is a great God who is powerful and good and they either pray to him by themselves or else they pray through a healer who is known as a shaman. A trance is a dream-like state
One of the most important religious rituals in San religion is the trance dance. The women sit in a circle around a fire and clap the rhythm of the spiritual songs that they sing while the men dance. As the San clap, sing and dance, the spirit enters the shamans and they go into a trance where it is believed they get special healing powers.
A poll concerning Religion conducted in South Africa in 2012 indicated that the amount of South Africans who consider themselves religious decreased by about 19% in 7 years, with church attendance also at an all-time low.
Composition of Religion in South Africa
|Dutch Reformed churches||3,005,697|
|Zion Christian churches||4,971,931|
|Apostolic Faith Mission||246,193|
|Bandla Lama Nazaretha||248,825|
|Other Apostolic churches||5,627,320|
|Other Zionist churches||1,887,147|
|Ethiopian type churches||1,150,102|
|Other Reformed churches||226,499|
|Other African independent churches||656,644|
|Other Christian churches||2,890,151|
|African traditional belief||125,898|
|Religion||Adherents (2001)||%||Adherents (2007)||%|
|African traditional real||125,898||0.28||6,056,487||15.0|
Hotels and Destinations
The Grace, Rosebank
The Grace Hotel is located in the Heart of Stylish Rosebank, A Secure Leafy Suburb, The Grace Has Easy Access to Johannesburg’s Most Prominent Businesses and the International Airport. The Grace Won the Prestigious AA and SAA Accommodation Award For ‘best Luxury City Hotel’ for 1999, Only One Year after Opening and Was Voted 3rd In the World for Service and 3rd In the Middle East and Africa by Conde Nast Traveler 2001.
The Table Bay Hotel at The Waterfront
Table Bay Hotel is located between Robben Island and Table Mountain. During the day the cool Atlantic Ocean breeze eases the heat of the so called Africa’s mother city, Cape Town. And at dusk the hum of V&A Waterfront’s restaurants, bars and clubs beckon the visitors from their luxurious rooms. The Hotel is suitable for both business and pleasure. The Table Bay Hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World. The Leading Hotels of the World brand is internationally recognized as the definitive mark of excellence in hospitality.
Mount Nelson Hotel
The Mount Nelson Hotel is the most iconic luxury hotel in Cape Town situated within a sprawling lush garden estate in the heart of the city’s vibrant cultural centre and close to the bustling V&A Waterfront and some of Cape Town’s best beaches. The hotel is an urban sanctuary with a romantic heritage, a unique sense of style, and a commitment to unparalleled service excellence. The Hotel is suitable for business, leisure, a family holiday, a honeymoon or a solo adventure.
Cape Grace is situated on a private quay, nestled between the working harbour of Cape Town’s bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the serenity of an international yacht marina. Cape Grace showcases the essence of the Cape with designs that reveal local creativity. The Hotel is suitable for Business or pleasure. The Hotel is normally the preferred choice for international travellers. Cape Grace opened its doors in 1996 and is centrally located, with quick and easy access to the airport, city centre and popular tourist destinations.
InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
The Hotel is exclusively located in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg which is a premier residential and business district, with a direct link to Sandton City, South Africa’s premier shopping complex. It is suitable for Business, pleasure and it is also the ideal base for golf lovers. Several of South Africa’s major courses are within a 50-kilometre radius. African and Portuguese restaurants are all in-house with the speciality Vilamoura offering seafood specials into the early hours.
Ellerman House Cape Town
Ellerman House is one of the world’s most exclusive and private retreats. It has nine elegant rooms and two sumptuous suites. It provides amazing food, an extraordinary cellar of 17,000 bottles of South African wine and a world-famous art collection which make it to remain true to its African heritage. It is also considered as an historical landmark with a proud heritage and style.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
The Westin Hotel Cape Town
The Westin Cape Town is situated at the entrance to the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The Hotel’s location is within easy walking distance of Cape Town’s endless attractions, including a wide selection of restaurants, bars, nightlife, monuments, museums, shopping centres, the central business district, as well as the direct links to all the tourist highlights in and around the vibrant city.
Zimbali, KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, South Africa
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
The lodge is located in On KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast, under an abundant forest canopy, set within the serene confines of a coastal forest reserve. It is considered as sanctuary unlike any other in South Africa and a nature lover’s wonderland. It is suitable for both business and pleasure.
Hermanus, Cape Town, South Africa
Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa
Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa is a Luxury Hotel Which Lies on the South Western Coast of South Africa in one of The Richest Natural Habitats in Africa. Situated On the Banks of the Bot River Lagoon and bordered by the Koegelberg Nature Reserve, A Declared Biosphere Reserve and a Proposed World Heritage Site. It is carefully designed to blend Into the Natural Environment; the hotel is nestled on the Cascading Banks Flowing towards the Estate’s Spectacular Peninsular. The Hotel Provides a Championship Golf Course on the Estate, Conference and Spa Facilities.
Baggies Beach is a hot surf spot and playground of international surfer Frankie Oberholzer. The beach kiosk makes the best ‘Surfer Special’ sandwiches. Sometimes called Warner Beach, the long sandy beach is popular with locals who come to watch the kite surfers or the sun go down. In season lifesavers are on duty and it is one of the best places to hang out on the South Coast during summer holidays. Baggies Beach has a stunning natural tidal pool teeming with sea life.
Betty’s Bay Main Beach
The small holiday town of Betty’s Bay is fringed by a beautiful 4 km long stretch of sandy white beach. It’s great for swimming and surfing.
This is a popular beach where families play in the sand and beautiful sunbathers doze in rented chaise lounges. It is known by film crews and fashion magazines as the perfect beach location, Clifton is a favourite for international models and film stars as well as the locals.
Blouberg beach offers spectacular views of Cape Town’s Table Mountain and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for over 20 years. There are great outdoor restaurants nearby for snacks or long lazy lunches.
Boulders Beach, part of Table Mountain National Park, is a haven for jackass (African) penguins. A small entrance fee covers the upkeep of the sanctuary. Apart from the penguins, the huge granite boulders make for spectacular scenery, and the swimming is great.
Lying on the Indian Ocean seaboard, Muizenberg’s water is warmer than that of other Atlantic Ocean beaches of the Cape peninsula, making it a favourite for swimmers and a great family beach. It’s also the ideal spot for a relaxed beach picnic, with nearby restaurants offering freshly caught seafood.
Camps Bay Beach
The water is a bit cold for swimming, but the tiny swimsuits on parade are more for show than water sports. Competing for attention with the sun-drenched sunbathers are the astonishing views of the mountains at Lion’s Head and the 12 Apostles.
How to Sponsor your spouse to Canada
Canadian citizen can sponsor a spouse and dependent children to come and live with them if they are outside Canada. Therefore Canadians are free to get a marriage visa to marry their South African spouses and sponsor their application for marriage immigration to Canada provided that they meet all the requirements set forth by the Canadian Government. If you were married in South Africa the marriage must be valid under the South Africa law and under the Canadian law. A marriage performed in a Canadian High Commission in South Africa must comply with the laws of South Africa.
Requirements a Canadian must meet in order to Sponsor his Spouse from South Africa to Canada
- The Canadian immigration law requires that you must prove that you are a Canadian citizen or a legal permanent resident of Canada and of age 18 years or over in order to qualify to sponsor your South African spouse to Canada
- The Canadian immigration law requires you as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor of your South African spouse, you must prove that you are financially stable in order to support her for 3 years after she attains her permanent residency
- The immigration law further requires that if you as a Canadian citizen have dependent children with your South African spouse, you must also support them for 10 years or until they are 25 years of age
- The law requires that you must prove that you have adequate housing where you, your South African spouse and any dependent children can live without relying on state assistance
- The law also demands that as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor, you must prove that you did marry your South African wife in South Africa and intend to live in Canada with her.
- The Canadian immigration law further requires that as a Canadian citizen and also as a sponsor, You must prove that you are not on any Social Assistance program provided by the government
- The immigration law also requires that as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor you must prove that you are not in any way breached any previous sponsorship agreement
The Canadian Immigration law may deny a Canadian citizen his/her right to sponsorship under the following circumstances.
- The law may prevent a Canadian citizen from sponsoring his South African spouse if he failed to provide financial support to his South African spouse as he pledged when he signed a sponsorship agreement
- The law may also deny him this right if he previously breached the law by failing to support a dependent child as a result of a court order
- The law may also deny him this right if he received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability. This amounts to fraud and consequently a breach of law
- A Canadian citizen may be legally robbed of his sponsorship right if he was previously convicted of an offence of a sexual nature, a violent crime, an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any of such offences.
- The law may also deny him the sponsorship right if he previously sponsored as another spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and the said person became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago
- The law can also deny a Canadian citizen his right of sponsorship if he defaulted on an immigration loan, delayed in payment or missed payments as stipulated by the law
- The law may also deny a Canadian citizen his right to sponsor his South African spouse if he has been legally declared bankruptcy.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor
Permanent Residence Application
How a Spouse and dependent children can get permanent resident status
For a spouse or a dependent child (s) to get a Canadian permanent resident through a sponsor, they have to submit application according to the Canadian immigration law
The application process involves two parts:
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must apply to sponsor them.
Your spouse or dependent children must also apply for permanent residence.
If you sponsor your spouse and your dependent children as a group, all of their applications for permanent residence must be filled out at the same time to be mailed together.
The applications for both sponsorship and permanent residence should be filled out and sent at the same time. There are two steps to process the application forms:
The sponsorship application is processed by the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario (for family members living outside Canada), or the CPC in Vegreville, Alberta (for family members living inside Canada).
If you are approved as a sponsor, the permanent residence application is sent to the appropriate Canadian visa office.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec immigration sponsorship requirements.
Obtaining an application package
You will need an application package for sponsorship and an application package for permanent residence for your spouse or dependent child.
Depending on whether your spouse is in South Africa or live in Canada, the application packages for sponsorship and permanent residence are different. Be sure to choose the correct application package. For instance:
If your spouse or accompanying dependent child lives with you in Canada, use the Application for Permanent Residence in Canada—Spouse or Common-law Partner.
If your spouse, partner or dependent child lives in South Africa, use the Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class.
Complete the application forms and attach the necessary documents.
Be sure to provide all the documents listed in the Document Checklist. If information or documents are missing, your application may be delayed.
As the sponsor, you will sign an agreement that commits you to supporting your South African spouse for three years. If you sponsor a dependent child, you will commit to supporting the child for 10 years or until the child is 25 years old, whichever comes first.
- Your South African spouse must promise to make every effort to become self-supporting.
- If you sponsor your dependent children who are not accompanying your South African spouse, you will have to complete a separate application and pay the applicable fees for each of these children.
- You must ensure that your South African spouse and children if any that you are sponsoring completes the application for permanent residence.
- You must ensure that your South African spouse and dependent children if any that you want to sponsor completes the medical examination requirements. Instructions are in the application package.
Assemble the final application for permanent residence, including applications, supporting documents, and proof that the medical examination has been done.
Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt.
The application processing fee is payable in Canadian funds only.
Payment of fees on the Internet is the preferred method of payment.
The Spouse’s visa application fees are as follows:
- $75 for you as a sponsor
- $475 for your Spouse
- $150 for a dependent child your wife who is under 22 and not married
- $550 for a dependent of your wife who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married $490 for the right of permanent residence fee which your spouse will have to pay before the status is granted.
In order to successfully pay your fees using the internet, you need to ensure that you have a PDF Reader, a printer, an email address and a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. After you have made your payment, print the “receipt of payment” page and include it with your application.
If you live in South Africa, you are able to pay your fees using the Internet or you can also obtain an international money order or bank draft. You must ensure that the money is in Canadian dollars and must be payable to the Receiver General for Canada. You must ensure that you made the payment right by ensuring that on the front of the money order or draft, you have written the financial institutions’ name, complete address (not a post office box number) and account number(s). After this is done, you can now submit the money order or draft with your application.
5. Mail the application and documents.
The application package has the address you need for mailing your application to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario (for family members living in Saint Lucia) or CPC in Vegreville, Alberta (for family members living inside Canada). You can find information on how long it will take to process your application here.
The application assessment process
The Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-Mississauga) will review your sponsorship application. If it is approved, your spouse or relative’s application for permanent residence will be forwarded to the visa office responsible for their home country or the country where they have lived for more than one year.
You, the Sponsor, will be notified in writing of the decision and of the visa office to which your spouse’s application has been sent.
CPC-Mississauga will inform you whether or not your sponsorship application is approved. If you do not meet the sponsorship requirements (mentioned above), the spouse you want to sponsor may continue with their application for permanent residence, but it may not be approved. If you are approved as a sponsor, but the application of the spouse you are sponsoring is refused, you will receive the reason for the refusal and information about appeal rights.
You may withdraw your sponsorship application at any point in the process before the relative or spouse you are sponsoring are issued permanent resident visas. You may be eligible for a refund of the sponsorship fee and/or the permanent resident application fees if processing of your application has not yet begun.
How to check the Status of your Application
To check the status of your application, you will need your Unique Client Identifier (UCI) or Application Number which will be on any correspondence you receive from CIC)
When to contact CIC
You must notify CIC of any changes in your application, such as:
- Changes in your personal circumstances such as a birth or adoption of a child, or a divorce,
- Change in contact information (email, mailing address, phone number),
- Appointment or change of immigration representative or designated individual, or,
- Decision to withdraw your application.
How to contact CIC
To change contact information: Please use CIC’s online form to change your contact information. Do not send change of address information to CPC-Mississauga, it will not be acknowledged and your contact information will not be updated. This could lead to a delay in processing your application.
Custom Duty and Wedding Presents
If you like travelling abroad and love shopping in the process like many Canadians, you must remember that there are set rules and regulations that you must follow, as well as duty you have to pay when you are bringing those goods across the Canadian border.
If you are a Canadian resident coming from South Africa, you are eligible for a personal exemption, which allows you to bring a certain amount of goods into the country from South Africa without paying any duty.
Personal exemptions are based on the amount of time you have spent in South Africa. These exemptions apply if:
- You are a Canadian resident returning from a trip to South Africa
- You are a former resident of Canada returning to live in the country from South Africa
- You are a temporary resident of Canada.
If you were away on a trip to South Africa for at least 24 hours, you are allowed by law to claim goods worth up to $50 Canadian (excluding alcohol and tobacco) and if you were away for 48 hours, you are allowed to claim goods worth up to $200. If you were in South Africa for seven days, you can claim goods worth $750. Children and infants who have also came back to Canada from a trip in South Africa are also eligible for personal exemptions; parents or guardians can make the declaration on behalf of the child, as long as the item is for the child’s use.
You are allowed by law to bring back any amount of goods into Canada from a trip in South Africa except for certain restricted goods such as explosives and Firearms. If the amount of items you bring into the country is more than that of your personal exemption, you are required by law to pay duty and any provincial or territorial assessments that apply as far as those goods are concerned. If the law has not conferred upon you any personal exception right, you will have to pay duty on the entire amount of the goods you bring in the country.
You must declare all gifts to the Canada Border Services Agency. Gifts worth CDN $60 or less each may be brought into Canada duty-free and tax-free, but they must be declared. For gifts worth more than CDN $60, you may have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. Tobacco and alcohol cannot be imported as gifts.
If you got married in South Africa within three months before coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after arriving in the country, you can bring in your wedding gifts free of duty and taxes. However, you must have owned and possessed the gifts while in South Africa and before you arrived in Canada. At this instance, the requirement to have used the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as part of a bride’s trousseau from South Africa.
Ownership, possession and use requirements
To import goods duty- and tax-free, settlers must have owne, possessed and used the goods prior to their arrival in Canada and Former Residents must have owned, possessed and used the goods for at least six months before returning to resume residency from South Africa.
It is important that you meet these three requirements. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods will be subjected to duty and taxes. Please note that leased goods are subject to duty and taxes because the Canada Border Services Agency does not consider that you own them. If you have bills of sale and registration documents, they can help you prove that you meet these requirements.
Exceptions to ownership, possession and use requirements
If you are a former resident then the six-month stipulation will be waived if you have been absent from Canada for five years or more. Therefore, you only need to have owned, possessed and used your personal and household effects/items for any period of time before you return to Canada from South Africa.
Replacement goods imported by Former Residents from South Africa are also exempt from the six-month requirement. However, they must have owned, possessed and used the goods in Spain before returning to Canada to resume residency. To qualify for the exemption, the goods must be replacements for goods that would have met the six-month ownership, possession and use requirements, except for the fact that they were lost or destroyed as a result of a fire, a theft, an accident or due to other unforeseen circumstances.
In addition, replacement goods must be of similar class and about the same value as the goods they are replacing. You will need to show proof in order to support your claim. If you intend to claim replacement goods and to ensure that they qualify, you should call the agency responsible for requirements.
Declaring your goods
You must give your list of goods to the border services officer when you arrive at your first point of entry in Canada from South Africa even if you have no goods with you at the time. The officer will complete a Form B4 , Personal Effects Accounting Document, assign a file number to it and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt based on the list of goods you submit. To claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive, you will need to present your copy of this form. Goods to follow may be subject to import restrictions before you can import them.
To facilitate the clearance process, you can complete Form B4, before your arrival at the first port of entry in Canada. You can obtain a copy of the form from the Canada Border Services Agency’s web site at https://www.cbsa.gc.ca/
Disposing of goods you imported duty- and tax-free
If you import goods duty- and tax-free into Canada and if you sell or give the goods away within the first year of importing them into Canada, you will have to pay the applicable duty and taxes immediately. If you divert the goods for commercial use, the same rule applies.