What is the Super Visa?

The super visa is a long-term, multiple-entry, temporary resident visa allowing parents and grandparents of eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents to remain in Canada for a longer period of time than a visitor visa. The super visa allows the visa holder to stay in Canada for up to 2 years per visit; in some cases, it may be valid for up to 10 years, allowing for re-entry during the validity period of the visa.

Requirements for the Applicant

Parents or grandparents may be eligible to apply for the super visa, provided that applicants are admissible to Canada on the basis of health or security. However, no dependents can be included on this application. In addition to other requirements, all super visa applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination, and applicants for the super visa are required to purchase medical insurance valid for at least a year, issued by a Canadian insurance company. The insurance needs to be valid for each entry to Canada.

Requirements for Applicant’s Family

The applicant isn’t the only one who needs to meet certain requirements; their family has to show that they can meet their requirements first. Before the applicant can proceed with any part of the application, the children or grandchildren in Canada need to meet the financial requirements (the details of which depend on family size and can be supplemented by a spouse or common-law partner) in order to be able to invite an applicant under this category. Then, before the applicant can apply, their children or grandchildren must compose a letter of invitation detailing the number of family members and their ability to host the applicant in Canada during their visit. Only once the host family has completed these steps can the applicant proceed with their portion of the application.

So what are the Differences between a Visitor Visa and the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa? 

The major advantage of a super visa is more time — time that can be spent reconnecting with family. Super visa holders can remain in Canada for periods of up to two years. In comparison, a regular visitor visa is usually valid for a period of six months. A visitor visa doesn’t always require an applicant to undergo a medical examination, while a super visa does. A visitor visa can also be for various activities, including studying (for up to six months without an additional study permit), conducting business, visiting family, and tourism/holidays, for people at various stages in life, while a super visa is for specific people (parents and grandparents) doing a specific activity (visiting their children and/or grandchildren). A regular visitor visa also doesn’t require that the applicant have relatives in Canada (or, therefore, a letter of invitation from them, which is mandatory for a super visa). Furthermore, only a spouse can accompany the applicant for a super visa; while a visitor visa requires all family members who wish to make the trip to send in applications, dependent children can accompany a visitor as long as they are also accepted (i.e. meet all the requirements to be a visitor to Canada).

There are many factors that work to determine the best option for a potential applicant. Does the super visa sound like it might work for you? Are you unsure what kind of visitor visa would best suit your needs? We can help.

For more information and to assess if you qualify under the Super Visa Program, we invite you to contact us.