Bringing your parents and grandparents to Canada with a Super Visa
The lottery for the coveted invitation to apply (ITA) to the 2022 Parents and Grandparents program has concluded.
This year, 23,100 ITAs were distributed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the hopes that they will receive 15,000 complete applications.
If you were not one of the lucky 23,100 sponsors to get an ITA this year, please understand that you can still bring your parent(s) and/or grandparent(s) to Canada with the Super Visa program.
About the Super Visa program: eligibility and application process
Below is a breakdown of the basic eligibility criteria for the Super Visa.
Firstly, sponsors must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (PR)
- Reside in Canada at the time of application and when parents/grandparents are expected to arrive
- Be in good financial standing
On the part of the sponsored individuals coming to Canada, they must:
- Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or PR
- Apply for a super visa from outside Canada
- Have a letter of invitation from the sponsoring child or grandchild residing in Canada
- Have documents that prove the child or grandchild meets the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) minimum
- Have proof of parental relationship with child or grandchild, such as a birth certificate that names the sponsored individual as the parent
- Have their visa printed outside Canada (wait for visa office instructions)
- Be admissible to Canada (including not being criminally or medically inadmissible)
- Take an immigration medical exam
- Have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least 1 year from the date of entry, has at least $100,000 in emergency coverage and proves that the medical insurance has been paid in full
- Have a signed letter from your child or grandchild who invites you to Canada that includes the following three things.
A. A promise of financial support for the length of your visit
B. The list and number of people in the household of this person
C. A copy of this person’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document
The steps to apply for a Super Visa are as follows.
1. Prepare your documents
2. Apply online via IRCC’s portal
Applicants must first create an account with IRCC and sign in. Then, complete the online form, answering all questions, to receive a document checklist before paying the application fee.
Note: Paper applications remain available for candidates unable to apply due to a disability or because they are “travelling with an identity or travel document that was issued to a refugee, a stateless person or a non-citizen.”
Benefits of the Super Visa
The benefits of the Super Visa largely have to do with the length of its validity.
The Super Visa is a temporary resident visa (TRV) that enables sponsored parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or PRs to visit their Canadian family members for up to five years at a time without requiring a visa renewal. Additionally, sponsored individuals with an existing Super Visa can apply for a visa extension that allows them to remain in Canada as a visitor for up to seven years. Finally, the Super Visa (via visa extensions) also grants parents and grandparents the ability to enter Canada multiple times for up to 10 years.
The extended Super Visa timelines detailed above were enacted on July 4, 2022, before which the program only allowed sponsored individuals entry to Canada for up to two years. Further timeline details are as follows:
Any Super Visa applicant who entered Canada with a valid visa prior to July 4 will not see an increase made to their valid length of stay unless they leave Canada before and re-enter the country after this date. This would open the potential for a border services officer to grant the individual an increased length of stay (up to five years).
Alternatively, applicants already inside Canada can apply for a Super Visa extension for up to two additional years.
Applicants who fall under the following three categories will be able to benefit from the increased length of stay (up to five years at a time).
- Individuals who applied for the Super Visa on or after July 4, 2022
- Individuals who had their applications approved after July 4, 2022
- Individuals who had their applications approved before July 4, 2022, presuming they entered Canada after this date
Other benefits of Canada’s Super Visa program include:
- Year-round visa availability
- The ability for sponsored individuals to freely travel between their country of residence and Canada without needing to worry about re-applying for a TRV (for those in countries that require a TRV for entry to Canada)
- Receipt of a letter authorizing their entry to Canada for up to two years (for those in countries that do not require TRVs for Canadian entry)
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