How parents and grandparents can come to Canada: The Super Visa Option

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If you have a parent or grandparent abroad with whom you wish to have regular visits or extended stays, the Super Visa may be an option for your family.

The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa valid for a maximum of 10 years and allows eligible parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enter, leave and return to Canada during this period.

This visa is available year-round and is an alternative to the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) for those who wish to temporarily reunite with their loved ones in Canada. The PGP is very popular and spots are limited and are available through a lottery system. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives approximately 200,000 sponsorship application forms per year, but there are only 35,000 applications available.

The Super Visa offers a more secure and typically faster option for those who wish to visit their loved ones. The Super Visa can take a few months to process, while the PGP can take years. It is also particularly relevant for citizens of countries that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada, as it eliminates the need to constantly re-apply for a visitor’s visa.

To qualify for the Super Visa, parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents cannot be inadmissible to Canada for health or criminal reasons, and they may be required to meet other conditions specified by the visa office. In addition, to qualify as a sponsor, the child or grandchild inviting his or her parents or grandparents will need to prove that his or her household meets the required Low Income Cut-Off (LICO).

Canada’s recent Super Visa reforms help families stay together longer

On July 4, 2022, Canada introduced significant changes to the Super Visa. Previously, the Super Visa only allowed the holder to stay in Canada for a maximum of two years per entry. The length of stay for Super Visa holders has now been extended to five years per entry into Canada. This means that parents and grandparents can now stay in Canada for five years in a row without having to renew their visas.

Another major change is that applicants can now purchase medical insurance from designated companies in countries other than Canada. This is new measure is intended to provide a way to reduce the cost of medical insurance for families by several thousand dollars per year.

The super visa has been a popular and accessible option for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada for more than 10 years. According to government data, approximately 17,000 super visas are issued by the IRCC each year.