Holders of the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa will be able to stay in Canada for up to seven consecutive years under changes to the program announced on Tuesday.
From July 4, the length of stay for Super Visa holders will be increased to five years, with the option to request an additional two years while in Canada.
Furthermore, Ottawa will also allow international medical insurance companies to provide coverage to Super Visa candidates. Under current rules, only Canadian companies can provide the coverage, required so that Super Visa holders can receive emergency health care without any cost to Canadian taxpayers.
“The enhancements to the super visa program allow family members to reunite for longer in Canada, which helps everyday Canadian citizens and permanent residents succeed and contribute to society while affording their parents and grandparents invaluable opportunities to spend time with their family,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
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Canada’s multiple-entry Super Visa, first made available in 2011, is valid for 10 years and previously allowed candidates to stay for up to two years per visit. Under a regular multiple-entry visit visa, that period is usually six months or less.
The child or grandchild of the candidate in Canada must meet minimum income requirements to support the visa holder.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) say it issues about 17,000 Super Visas per year.
The visa is an important alternative to the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), which is a pathway to permanent residence.
The PGP is regularly massively oversubscribed and operates using a lottery process, leaving many wondering if they will ever have the option of bringing their family members to Canada.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa: Eligibility
The application for this visa is made to a visa office outside of Canada. The applicant for a Parents and Grandparents Super Visa must meet certain criteria.
Firstly, the applicant must me eligible for a regular visitor visa. This means that besides being in good health and having a valid travel document, the applicant must satisfy a Canadian immigration official that they will willingly leave the country at the end of their authorized stay, that they have sufficient ties to their home country such as a job, family or property, and that they have sufficient funds available to support themselves for the length of their stay.
Additionally, the individual applicant must:
- Show that they are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Obtain medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company (or designated international companies from July 4, 2022) that is valid for at least one year, providing a minimum coverage of $100,000 for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
- Undergo a medical examination.
Finally, the applicant’s family member in Canada must:
- Demonstrate that they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Provide the applicant with a letter of invitation. This is a letter that provides information about the applicant’s planned visit, about the child or grandchild’s occupation and economic situation in Canada. Most importantly, this letter must include a written and signed promise of financial support for the applicant for the duration of their visit;
- Demonstrate their income is above a predetermined minimum level.