If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have a family member who isn’t, you may be interested in the Super Visa program.
The Super Visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time without the need for a visitor visa.
In this article, we will discuss who is eligible for a super visa, the application process, and common questions about the Super Visa program.
Let’s jump in!
What is a super visa?
The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to stay in Canada for more than the standard six months. It’s valid for up to ten years and allows holders to make multiple trips to Canada.
To qualify for a super visa, applicants must meet certain requirements, including having a letter from a Canadian family member, providing proof of financial support, and undergoing a medical examination.
However, some significant changes were made to the Super Visa program on June 7th, 2022, by the Canadian government and these changes may affect your ability to apply for or maintain a Super Visa.
These changes include the following:
- As of June 7th, 2022, the length of stay in Canada will be increased from 2 years to five years. This means that, if you are approved for a Super Visa, you will be able to stay in Canada for up to five years at a time.
- Applicants can purchase Super Visa insurance from any non-Canadian insurance company that offers comprehensive medical insurance for visitors to Canada, as long as the insurance meets the minimum coverage requirements.
- As of June 7th, 2022, Super Visa holders can request to extend their stay in Canada by up to two additional years while they are in Canada.
However, if the visit is for less than six months, a super visa is not required, and parents and grandparents can apply for a regular visitor visa.
Who is eligible for a super visa?
Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who meet certain requirements may be eligible for a super visa.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Have a child or grandchild who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who meets the minimum income requirements set by the government.
- Have a letter of invitation from your child or grandchild in Canada that includes:
- The purpose of your visit to Canada.
- How long you will stay in Canada.
- That your child or grandchild meets the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) requirements.
- A copy of your child’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document.
- Have medical insurance for yourself from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least one year.
- Your insurance must cover at least $100,000 in medical and hospitalization costs, including repatriation to your home country.
- Have proof that medical insurance has been purchased.
- Meet the other requirements for a Temporary Resident Visa.
- You have applied for a Super Visa from outside Canada and have been found admissible.
What is the application process for a super visa?
To apply for a super visa, you will need to submit the following documents to the Canadian embassy or consulate in your country:
- A letter from your child or grandchild in Canada inviting you to visit. The letter must include:
- The number of people who live in the household of the child or grandchild.
- An original copy of the child or grandchild’s Canadian citizenship certificate OR permanent resident card.
- A promise of financial support for your visit.
- Proof of your child or grandchild’s income that includes:
- An original copy of their notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the most recent taxation year.
- Bank statements.
- Employment letter with salary information.
- Pay stubs and insurance stubs.
- Proof that you have purchased Canadian medical insurance for at least one year.
- Proof of immigration medical exam results.
- A completed application form (online/paper) and two recent passport photographs of each applicant.
- Biometrics for every applicant.
You may also need to provide additional documents, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you have been convicted of a crime, you will need to provide police certificates. If you have ever been refused entry into Canada or any other country, you will need to provide details of the refusal.
How do I submit a Super Visa application?
You can apply for a super visa either online or by mail:
- To apply online, you will need to create an account with the Government of Canada’s Online Application Portal. Once you have created an account, you can complete and submit your application form, pay the application fee, and upload any supporting documents.
- If you are applying by mail, you will need to complete and sign the application form, along with any accompanying documents, and send it to the address indicated on the form. You will also need to include your receipt for the application fee.
However, you don’t need to submit the passport photographs with your application. The photos can be taken at a later date when you attend your biometrics appointment.
Once your application is received, it will be reviewed by a visa officer to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria for a super visa. If you are found to be eligible, the officer will issue you a letter of introduction, which you will need to present to a Canadian visa office when you submit your passport for stamping.
You can expect to receive a decision on your application within 8-50 days. If your application is approved, you will be issued a multiple-entry visa, which will be valid for up to 10 years. If your application is refused, you will be given the reasons for the decision in writing.
Frequently asked super visa questions
How long does a super visa last?
A super visa lasts for up to 10 years. After that, you will need to apply for a new one.
How much does a Canadian Super Visa cost?
The cost of a Super Visa in Canada includes an application fee of $100, biometrics fees of $85 per person, and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) fee of $7 per person.
In addition, all applicants must purchase medical insurance for their stay in Canada, which costs a minimum of $800 for one person.
However, the total cost of a Super Visa will vary depending on the number of family members applying, as well as the specific medical insurance plan purchased.
What is a Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)?
The LICO is the minimum amount of income that a sponsor must have to be eligible to sponsor a foreign national for a Canadian super visa.
The current LICO for a single person is $25,921. If the sponsor has a spouse or common-law partner, the LICO is increased to $32,270. For each additional dependent child, the LICO is increased by $6,985. The LICO for a family of four is, therefore, $48,167.
Note: The LICO is subject to change. For the most up-to-date LICO, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.
If I don’t qualify for a super visa, what other options are there?
If you do not meet the requirements for a super visa, there are other options available. You may be eligible for a visitor visa, an express entry program, or the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program.
- A visitor visa allows your parents or grandparents to come to Canada for less than six months at a time.
- Your parents can also apply for a Canadian permanent residence through the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP). This program requires that you have a sponsor who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and that they meet certain income requirements.
- The Express Entry program also allows you to sponsor your parents or grandparents for Canadian permanent residence. All you need to do is create an online profile and include your parents or grandparents in your application.
If you are selected, you will be invited to apply for permanent residence. You will need to provide evidence that you can support your family, including your parents or grandparents, financially.
These are just a few examples of the options available if you do not qualify for a super visa. Be sure to do your research to find the option that is right for you and your family.
Get help from Express Entry PR to get your Super Visa faster!
That’s it! You now have a general understanding of who is eligible for a Super Visa in Canada, the application process, and some common questions about the Super Visa program.
If you’re looking for a detailed guide on how to apply for your parents’ or grandparents’ super visa, Express Entry PR is the best source.
Our team of experts has put together a step-by-step process that will make it easy for you and your family members to get the documentation in order and submit an application that has the best chance of being approved.
So what are you waiting for? Visit our website today to get started!