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The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa program allow Canadian permanent residents and citizens to invite their non-resident parents and grandparents to stay with them for up to 10 years. In August this year, the federal government tried to amend the program by requiring applicants to pay upfront rather than monthly for medical insurance. However, successful lobbying by CANZUK International forced the government to reverse its restrictive decision and make positive updates to the Super Visa program, which has reunited families for over a decade.
What is a Super Visa?
A Super Visa allows parents or grandparents to stay in the country for up to five years. However, since Super Visas are valid for ten years, parents or grandparents can visit as often as they like within that time as long as each visit is not longer than five years.
Canada's government has made updates to the Super Visa program. What changes did they make?
- They extended the stay of Super Visa holders to 5 years. Those currently with a Super Visa may request to extend their stay up to 2 years at a time while in Canada.
- They’ve permitted Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to designate non-Canadian insurance companies to provide Super Visa insurance. Since no international insurers have been selected yet, Super Visa insurance can still only be provided by Canadian insurers at present.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Super Visa?
According to IRCC, you must meet the following requirements to qualify for a Super Visa:
- Your child or grandchild is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a signed letter from your sponsor (child/grandchild) ensuring they will financially support you during your stay.
- Proof your sponsor has the necessary income to support you during your stay.
- Provide a copy of your sponsor's Canadian passport or Permanent Resident Card (PR Card)
- Provide proof you are medically admissible to enter Canada by taking an immigration medical exam.
Additionally, you must provide proof you have sufficient medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company - called Super Visa insurance.
IRCC will also consider your application to ensure that you're a genuine visitor who will leave Canada after your stay.
While its does not make public precisely what it weighs up when assessing you, ties to your home country, your financial situation and stability of your country as a whole are considered.
What are the eligibility requirements for Super Visa insurance?
The Canadian medical insurance plan you purchase must be valid for at least one year starting from your arrival date and cover at least $100,000 in health benefits. Please note, a port of entry officer may review your insurance plan upon each entry into Canada.
What is the income threshold my sponsor must meet?
Your sponsor's family income threshold should be as follows:
- 1 person (your sponsor) $26,620
- 2 people $33,140
- 3 people $40,742
- 4 people $49,466
For dual-income households, sponsors may combine their income with their spouse's or common-law partner's to meet these amounts.
Are there alternatives to the Super Visa program?
- Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship:
PGP sponsorship is highly competitive, and many people turn to the Super Visa program if they are not selected for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program. Your children or grandchildren can sponsor you for permanent residency, allowing you to remain in Canada indefinitely and enjoy Permanent Resident benefits such as employment and provincial healthcare.
- Multi-entry Visitor Visa: With a multiple-entry visa, you can travel to Canada for six months at a time as often as you like. You can use it for up to 10 years or one month before your passport expires, whichever is shorter. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date of your visa.
Why is the Super Visa a good option?
Unfortunately, not all applicants are granted Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship. To quote the government,
"For the 2022 process, we'll invite 23,100 people from the remaining pool of 155,313 potential sponsors who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020."
Firstly, there is a huge backlog, and secondly, the number of applicants outweighs available vacancies. Therefore, it may be easier to apply for a Super Visa. In any case, you can still apply for permanent residence once youve been granted a Super Visa.
Do you need a lawyer to get a Super Visa in Canada?
You do not need to hire a consultant or lawyer to represent you in your Canadian Super Visa application. However, you might consider doing so if you:
- Don't want to hassle with the admin;
- Have been previously refused;
- Have committed or been convicted of a crime;
- Have, or think you may have, a potential medical inadmissibility concern;
- Are applying to a complex immigration program.
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Hiring An Immigration Lawyer Is Your Best Chance for Super Visa Approval
Data demonstrates that immigration applications to Canada have a significantly higher rate of success when the applicant hires an immigration lawyer instead of filling the application out themselves or hiring an immigration consultant. Filing the correct paperwork is an integral part of acquiring a Super Visa. The paperwork is usually lengthy and complicated, and it's easy to make mistakes that permanently jeopardize the entire application if you don't consult an expert.
Having an immigration attorney guide you through the process can ensure you don't make any mistakes that could threaten the chances of obtaining this crucial document and reuniting with your family.
Contact Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Ackah Law provides immigration legal services across Canada.