Before stepping foot in the airport on your way to Canada make sure you have your basic travel arrangements and documents in order. Canada, as all other countries, takes their entry requirements for travelers very seriously and as professionals who are experienced with assisting people to immigrate and travel to Canada, we can only emphasize the importance of these rules. That is why we came up with the most basic checklist of the most vital things to have in order before you set foot on your plane to Canada.
South Africans travelling to or through Canada are required to be in possession of a Canadian Visa before approaching a Canadian border post.
Your immigration officer will be able to assist you with the visa application but is always considered a good practice to know what will be expected of you once you approach a Canadian port of entry. We took a look at what Canada requires in terms of travel documentation and identification.
2. Is your travel documents and identification correct?
It’s important to carry proper travel documents and identification
All travelers must carry proper travel documents and identification for yourself and any children travelling with you.
The Government of Canada requires that all travelers carry a valid passport because it is the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel. International transport companies, such as airlines, must make sure that travelers have proper, valid travel documents. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or unable to board the plane.
3. Be prepared to show evidence that you meet Canada’s Entry requirements
Travelers may be required to demonstrate to an immigration officer that you satisfy all other requirements to enter Canada. If you do not meet all the requirements, you may not be allowed to enter. This may include proof of your Canadian address, your visa, your passport, proof of your health status and so forth.
Your immigration consultant will discuss this with you.
4. Make sure you have all the documents you need when traveling with under-aged children
Be prepared when traveling with children. Border services officers watch for missing children and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you.
The Canadian government recommends that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If you share custody and the other parent is not travelling with you, or if you are travelling with minors for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, we recommend you carry a consent letter to provide authorization for you to take them on a trip and enter Canada.
A consent letter must include the custodial parents' or legal guardians' full name, address and telephone number. Some travelers choose to have the consent letter notarized, to further support its authenticity, especially if they are undertaking a significant trip and want to avoid any delay.
When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as their children or any minors they are accompanying.
Get a list of items you are not allowed to pack in your luggage and do not pack anything prohibited – no matter how tempting or what the reason might be. If contraband is found in your possession you face extensive searches and interviews at the airport. Your visa could be revoked and you may be banned from entering Canada for a number of years. The worst case scenario is you get jailed. Make sure to always keep an eye on your luggage. Try to use hard-shell lockable suitcases where possible.