Do you have family who live in Canada whom you are yearning to visit? Maybe a son or daughter who just had the most adorable baby boy you’ve ever seen and you are anxiously waiting for the day when you can hold your new grandchild in your arms.
If this is the case for you, you’ll be thrilled to know there is a quick and efficient way for you to visit and live in Canada through the Super Visa program.
Super Visa – What is It?
The Super Visa is a great program created by the Canadian government designed specifically for parents and grandparents who want to visit with their children and / or grandchildren but have no desire to make a permanent move to Canada.
It is also used in situations where family sponsorship is not an option. You may want to consult an RCIC in that case.
The Super Visa is valid for ten years and is a multiple entry visa allowing the applicant to come in and out of Canada as they choose to stay for as long as two years at a time.
Eligibility for Super Visa
If you are a parent or grandparent considering the supervisa for your parent, your application will need to be submitted by the relative (your child or grandchild) who lives in Canada.
If you are the one wishing to bring your parent or grandparent, you need to be sure to meet a few essential criteria. First and foremost, you will need to either be a Permanent Resident or a Canadian Citizen.
You will then have to send an invitation letter confirming the following:
· You are financially responsible for them during their visit, this means:
- You must meet the minimum income requirements;
- Provide proof of funds via your latest T4 slips, employment letter confirming your salary, pay stubs or bank statements.
· The number of people who currently reside in your household;
· Proof of your immigration or citizenship status in Canada.
*Dependents of your parent or grandparent cannot be included in the application. For example, if your parents are planning on visiting you to see their new grandchild, any brother or sister still living with your parents cannot be named as a dependent.
Super Visa Insurance is Required
Your parent or grandparent will also need to have medical insurance in Canada with coverage for $100,000 which needs to be valid for a year.
Why is that a requirement? Canadian residents and citizens receive free health care services through the government, however, this is not the case for visitors coming into Canada. Insurance is needed to ensure your parents or grandparents receive adequate medical care in case of an illness or an emergency. The policy will help cover costs for things like hospital stays, prescription drugs, ambulance trips, emergency air transportation, vision, dental, etc.
This is also helpful to you since the financial burden won’t fall on your shoulders in case of an unforeseen emergency.
Keep in mind, health insurance cannot be provided from a company in your parents or grandparents home country, the policy has to be provided through a Canadian insurance company, such as:
Talk to a few different companies to see what they offer and what services would be covered before making a decision which is suitable for you. When applying, documentation will need to be provided showing the insurance has been paid for in full.
Super Visa Application Process:
Even though the letter of invitation has to come from you, the application has to be submitted from your parent or grandparent’s country of origin or outside of Canada. It is recommended that the application be completed and submitted online as it will cut down on the processing time. When you apply online, it also helps ensure your application is complete and not missing any pertinent information.
As part of the application process, the applicant (your parent or grandparent) may be subjected to a medical examination and be required to submit biometrics, especially if they live in a visa-required country. A letter will be sent detailing how and where to go to do this. The applicant typically has thirty days to submit their biometrics.
Once this is received, a decision will be made. If approved, the applicant’s passport will have the visa stamped inside and sent back to them. If the applicant is from a visa-exempt country, a letter is sent instead with the approval, which will need to be presented to the border services officer when entering Canada.
How Long Until You Hear Back?
Although most applications are processed very quickly (within a few weeks), the exact turnaround time varies from application to application and the visa office.
Unfortunately not everyone who applies will be accepted into Canada. Simply meeting the criteria of being a parent or grandparent does not guarantee entry into Canada through the supervisa. The same exceptions and rules of sponsorship apply for the super visa.
For example, if the immigration officer feels there may be ulterior motives behind the visit, or if the person has a criminal record, they will deny the application.
When the application is received, some additional things an immigration officer may consider or ask themselves are:
- Will this person leave the country willingly?
- Do they have strong enough ties back to home to go back?
- Is the supervisa a ruse to escape a bad situation back home? For example, political instability.
- Are they likely to claim asylum or refugee status once in Canada?
How your parent or grandparent come off in the application will have a bearing on whether the application is approved or not. If denied, a letter will be sent explaining the reasons for the denial.
Visa Exempt Countries May Still Require Super Visa
If your parents or grandparents live in a visa exempt country such as Australia or the United Kingdom, you may be wondering whether they need to apply for the Super Visa since they can simply travel using an eTA (electronic travel authorization).
This is of course something you can consider but it depends entirely on how long they’re planning on staying. If the applicant intends on making only one visit and plans to stay for six months or less, an eTA is the easier route to follow. For countries requiring visa, they should consider the visitor’s visa for the same scenario.
However, if they’re planning on staying for longer than six months, you are encouraged to apply for the super visa since it will allow them to stay in Canada for up to two years and come and go for a period of ten years.
If you’ve applied for a sponsorship and want to consider the super visa instead, it is possible to cancel your sponsorship application and apply through the supervisa program.
Canada has some of the best visiting policies around the world and the government encourages citizens and residents to invite their families to visit and spend time in this beautiful country. So if you just had a new baby and you’re yearning to have your mom hold him in her arms, or your daughter is graduating from medical school or getting married and the celebrations cannot be complete without her grandparents around, then apply for the super visa!
With everything being done online now, it has never been easier to have family there in the most important moments of your life.