The longer stay allowed under the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa starts today for foreign nationals who are the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
And that longer stay kicks in even if those foreign nationals applied before July 4 as long as they arrived after that date.
“You may be able to benefit from the increase in length of stay for an application submitted before July 4 … if we approved your application before July 4, as long as you enter Canada after July 4,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website.
“You’ll be eligible for a stay of up to five years at a time.”
What Are Canada’s Immigration Options For Parents And Grandparents?
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Holders Can Soon Stay In Canada For Up To 7 Years
Should Ottawa Allow Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Applications From Within Canada?
Those whose applications for the super visa are approved after today are, of course, allowed to extend their stay by five years at a time.
Super Visa Holders Can Leave Canada, Come Back And Get Extended Stay – If They Qualify
But those who applied and entered Canada before the July 4 cut-off date are still limited to the original time they were granted to stay in the country.
“If you were granted two years, it would remain two years,” notes the immigration department.
There is, though, a possible workaround for those who want to be granted a longer stay in the country under the super visa.
“If you want to benefit from a longer stay, you’ll need to leave Canada before the end of your authorized stay and re-enter Canada after July 4, 2022. The border services officer may grant you a length of stay of up to five years if you still meet all the eligibility requirements for a super visa,” states the IRCC.
“Or you can apply to extend your stay in Canada and be approved for an extension of up to two years.”
Super visa holders need to renew or maintain their medical insurance while in Canada and on re-entry.
With the possibility of an extension of two years, those foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada and who have children or grandchildren already in the country living as either citizens or permanent residents can now enjoy a more seamless move to Canada.
Backlog And Delays In Immigration Applications Boosting Popularity Of Super Visa
That’s important because of the massive – and growing – backlog of applications before Canadian immigration officials.
By the end of the first week of June, Canada’s backlog of immigration applications had hit almost 2.39 million. The exact number was 2,387,884.
That’s a spike of almost 12.1 per cent, or 257,499 applications, from the slightly more than 2.1 million – exactly 2,130,385 – in the backlog at the beginning of May.
Under the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) immigration program, Canada welcomed 11,730 new permanent residents last year, up 12.2 per cent from the 10,455 in 2020.
The popular immigration program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents outside Quebec to sponsor their parents and grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.
Ottawa’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 targets an intake of 25,000 new permanent residents under the PGP this year, 28,500 next year, and 32,000 in 2024.
Those are ambitious targets. In the last six years, the greatest number of new permanent residents who came to Canada under that program was in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic, when it allowed 22,010 foreign nationals to get their permanent residence in Canada.
The number of new permanent residents under the PGP had by then been seesawing up and down for four years but was gradually on the rise from 2016, when 17,040 came to Canada under the program, through to 2019.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Alternative To PGP To Bring Family Members To Canada
Border and other travel restrictions due to the pandemic slowed immigration to a trickle in 2020 and the PGP saw 52.5 per cent fewer new permanent residents to Canada that year, only 10,455 compared to the 22,010 the previous year.
The PGP operates on a lottery system, with citizens and permanent residents submitting an Interest to Sponsor form and being placed in a pool. IRCC then makes random draws from the pool and issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs).
Given the delays and the element of luck in the draws for the PGP, many who want to sponsor their parents or grandparents have turned to the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa.
With the changes to that visa program that takes effect today, the length of stay for Super Visa holders has been increased to five years, with the option to request an additional two years while in Canada.
Ottawa has also granted international medical insurance companies permission to provide coverage to Super Visa candidates. Under the previous rules, only Canadian companies could provide the coverage required so that Super Visa holders could 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.
Applications for the Super Visa must be made to a visa office outside of Canada.
The applicant must meet the following criteria:
- the applicant must be 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, and 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.
- 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, and;
- undergo a medical examination.
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 which provides information about the applicant’s planned visit, the child or grandchild’s occupation and the 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, and;
- demonstrate their income is above a predetermined minimum level.
The Parents and Grandparents Super Visa allows those family members to join their children or grandchildren in Canada and live in the country while waiting to be selected for permanent residence under the PGP.