Many permanent residents of Canada have left their home countries in search of opportunities. Most of them have also left their friends and families. Among the people immigrants have left are their parents and grandparents. This is a significant consideration since most immigrants come from Asia. This is a continent where family lies at the very heart of many cultures that abound in the region.
That said, many permanent residents, as well as naturalized Canadian citizens, desire to see their parents and grandparents for longer periods. Also, it would not be surprising to imagine that their parents and grandparents feel the same way.
Indeed, the parents and grandparents of permanent residents and naturalized citizens may apply for a visitor visa to travel to Canada. If the length of stay on a visitor visa is not enough, there is another way.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a visa for parents and grandparents. It is one that allows them to stay in Canada for at least one year to be with their children and grandchildren. This visa is known as the Super Visa.
What Is A Super Visa?
A super visa is a temporary visa like a visitor visa. It allows the parents and grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to come to Canada. A Super Visa is valid for up to 10 years within which parents and grandparents could enter Canada multiple times. In other words, a Super Visa is a 10-year multiple entry visa for parents and grandparents.
Although it seems like a visitor visa with a much longer period of validity, there is one major difference.
A temporary resident visa or visitor visa allows a foreign national to stay in Canada for six months. On this visa, a permanent resident’s grandparent or parent would come to Canada and be able to stay for six months.
After that time, the parent or grandparent is expected to leave Canada. This means that he or she may need to re-enter the country again. Worse yet, he or she may need to re-apply for a visitor visa.
The Canadian government recognizes the physical toll frequent travel might take. To address this, the Canadian government made the length of stay on a Super Visa longer. On a Super Visa, a parent or grandparent of a permanent resident or Canadian citizen can stay in Canada for up to two years at a time.
In short, a Super Visa:
- is a temporary resident visa for parents and grandparents of permanent residents and Canadian citizens
- is a multiple-entry visa valid for 10 years
- allows a parent or grandparent to stay in Canada for up to two years
Who Applies For A Super Visa?
The principal applicants for Super Visas are the parents or grandparents of permanent residents or Canadian citizens. Nevertheless, the child or grandchild who is a permanent resident or citizen also has a role to play in the application process.
Effectively speaking, the application process for Super Visas requires the participation of both parties.
The Principal Applicant: The Parent Or Grandparent
It is the parent or grandparent who applies for the Super Visa. Super Visas are applied for overseas.
The parents or grandparents apply for their Super Visas by meeting certain eligibility requirements. They must also submit documents that prove the temporary (albeit long) nature of their visit to Canada. Other requirements the principal applicant needs to process include Canadian medical insurance and proof of his or her own financial assets.
To get some of the other required documents, the grandparent or parent will need help from his or her child or grandchild in Canada.
The Role Of The Child Or Grandchild
The child or the grandchild must be a permanent resident of Canada. He or she may also be a naturalized Canadian citizen.
Although not the principal applicant, the child or grandchild in Canada is responsible for certain documents that will move the application forward. One of these documents is a letter of invitation. This letter must state that the child or grandchild is inviting the parent or grandparent to travel to Canada.
There are other requirements such as proof of a job or income in Canada that must meet certain requirements by IRCC.
These among other possible documents must be supplied by the parent or grandparent’s child or grandchild in Canada.
Requirements For Eligibility
To apply for a parent and grandparent Super Visa, both the principal applicant and the child or grandchild must meet certain requirements.
Requirements From The Sponsor (Child Or Grandchild In Canada)
As mentioned earlier, the children or grandchildren extending the invitation must be:
- Permanent residents of Canada
- Canadian citizens
Letter Of Invitation
The sponsor or host needs to write and sign a letter of invitation. Like any other letter of invitation, it must include certain pieces of information that prove the sponsor’s relationship to the principal applicant (the parent or grandparent overseas). The basic pieces of information in the letter can be found in this article.
Other things that are very important to include in the letter are:
- Proof of permanent residence or citizenship in Canada
- A statement promising financial support for the duration of the parent or grandparent’s stay in Canada
- Proof of work and income that must meet the Low-Income Cut-Off requirements of Canada.
For instance, a child writing an invitation letter for the application of his mother and father needs to prove that he has at least 32,270.00 CAD in the bank. The amount of money needs to be readily spendable and unencumbered by any mortgage or automatic payment.
Proof Of Funds
This may be a separate document from a Canadian bank or financial institution. It could be sent along with the letter as an attachment.
Acceptable proof of funds to include are:
- The host’s most recent notice of assessment (NOA) or T4/T1 (preferably from the last tax year)
- Bank statement/s
- Work insurance stubs
- Letter or certificate of employment with salary included
Eligibility Requirements For The Parent or Grandparent
As the principal applicant, the parent or grandparent of a permanent resident or citizen needs to have the following:
To be eligible for a Super Visa, an applicant (the grandparent or parent) needs to have Canadian medical insurance. The insurance should cover at least 100,000.00 CAD in possible medical expenses.
This is to prove that no support from Canada’s public health care system will be needed in the event of illness or injury while the grandparent or parent is in the country.
The medical insurance should be valid for at least one year. It must cover the grandparent or parent from the day of arrival. The grandparent or parent needs to include the receipt of payment (not a quotation) as proof.
The Letter Of Invitation From The Host Or Sponsor
As mentioned earlier, the grandchildren or children in Canada need to write the letter of invitation. This is an important document to have for a Super Visa application even if it does not guarantee having the visa.
The letter must have the necessary information on the host and it must be signed. It may even be necessary to have the letter notarized in Canada.
Medical Examination And Background Checks
Applying for a Super Visa is the same as applying for any other Canadian visa. An applicant needs to be both eligible for the visa and admissible into Canada.
Admissibility to the country is proven by two documents:
Proof Of Financial Assets Or Resources
IRCC grants Super Visas on the understanding that applicants honour the terms of the visa. In other words, getting a Super Visa also depends on how well an applicant could convince IRCC of his intention to leave Canada after staying.
To successfully apply for a Super Visa, a grandparent or parent may show documents proving assets. This could convince an immigration officer that the grandparent or parent has a compelling reason to return to his or her country.
Having this will reduce the number of questions in an immigration officer’s mind about the purpose of the visit.
To apply for a Super Visa, it is advisable to apply online. This makes payment and receiving notifications easier for applicants. It is also a faster way to apply.
Step 1: Have Documents Ready
Parents or grandparents applying for the Super Visa need to prepare their documents. Since the application is online, applicants need to have access to a scanner.
Step 2: Create An IRCC Secure Account
Creating an online account is easy. There are two ways to do this:
- Through GC Key
- Through a financial institution in Canada (sign-in partner)
Creating an online account involves placing certain information in an online form. In this online form, questions will be asked involving the type of visa as well as some personal information. Applicants need to answer these questions and give a valid email address.
Step 3: Pay The Biometrics Fee And Visa Processing Fee
At some point in the application, there is a biometrics fee. For more information on the biometrics fee and procedure, this article has the information to help.
At the time of writing, the biometrics fee is 85.00 CAD per person or applicant. Local Visa Assistance Centre’s have biometrics services. Before going for biometrics services, the payment needs to be made online. The receipt is proof of payment and must be brought to get service for biometrics.
As for the visa processing fee, the cost at the time of writing is 100.00 CAD per applicant.
Step 4: Scan And Attach All Documents Using The Online Profile
This is why a scanner is a necessity for a Super Visa application. All documents must be scanned and uploaded using one’s IRCC secure online account.
Step 5: Wait For A Notification Or Email Response From IRCC
Through both an applicant’s email address and profile, IRCC sends notifications on the status of an application.
The average waiting time for a Super Visa can vary from one country to another. On average, an applicant may have to wait for about 50 business days to two months.
Family is important for many immigrants. Fortunately, Canada has always been big on the idea of reuniting families, even for just two years.
With a Super Visa, grandparents and parents can go to Canada. The Super Visa gives grandparents and parents a chance to be with their children or grandchildren for an extended period of time.
With a Super Visa, grandparents and parents can go to Canada.
So long as the different generations of a family are eligible, getting a Super Visa can be a quick and straightforward process.