Parents and Grandparents Program vs. Super Visa—What is the difference?
The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) allows parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens to immigrate to Canada, and experience the benefits of permanent residence (PR) and even citizenship; though it is less available than the Super Visa, due to its lottery system selection process, and once-a-year availability.
The Super Visa functions as a temporary resident visa (TRV) and allows parents and grandparents of Canadian PRs/citizens to enter and remain in Canada on a long-term basis (up to 10 years validity, with five years continuous stay). It is available year-round, but doesn’t provide parents/grandparents with the same options to PR and eventually citizenship, as the PGP.
At minimum, candidates hoping to sponsor their parents/grandparents through either program must be:
- At least 18 years old;
- A Canadian citizen, or PR;
- Residing in Canada at the time of application and when parents/grandparents are expected to arrive;
- Of good financial standing;
In addition to failure to comply with the eligibility criteria, candidates will also be ineligible for either program if they:
- Did not pay back an immigration loan, a performance bond, or court-ordered family support (i.e.: alimony or child support);
- Did not provide promised financial support they agreed to when sponsoring a family member in the past;
- Fall under any other ineligibility criteria.
For the Super Visa, candidates will have to prove that their household meets the required Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) criteria.
For the PGP, candidates should look to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirements for the program. Candidates must show proof of funds by requesting a Notice of Assessment (NOA) from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA); showing that the sponsor has met the MNI for their case, and has done so for the last three taxation years, before applying.
For Super Visa sponsorship, the application process is similar to that of a regular TRV. Additional documentation is needed, however, to prove that parents/grandparents can be looked after, upon arriving in Canada.
For the PGP, candidates must follow the steps to meet and prove their eligibility, and then submit this information to be included in the candidate pool. If candidates are selected, they will receive an invitation to apply, which carries subsequent steps.
For either the PGP or the Super Visa, the sponsored individuals cannot be medically or criminally inadmissible to come to Canada. An Immigration Medical Exam (IME) is required for both programs, and the PGP also requires a police certificate.
Availability in Quebec
Both programs are available to Quebec residents and citizens as well, though there are added steps, including a unique MNI system (for both sponsor and the sponsored), and the need to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
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