"Unlock the Door to a Parent or Grandparent Super Visa: Essential Application Tips"
Are you a recent resident or citizen of Canada eager to invite your parents or grandparents to stay with you for extended periods? Perhaps they want to retire in Canada, provide emotional support during milestones such as pregnancy or parenthood, or you simply miss them dearly. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as buying flight tickets, particularly if your loved ones are foreign nationals. They might require a visitor visa, and its time limitations may not meet your expectations.
Thankfully, the Canadian government's super visa program has you covered. It eases the process of inviting your parents or grandparents to Canada for various lengthy stays in a ten-year span without requiring them to reapply for a visa each time. This article delves into the eligibility criteria and documentation requirements to help you apply for a parent or grandparent super visa.
What Is a Super Visa?
A super visa is a temporary residence visa that allows parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents or citizens to visit Canada for extended stays up to two years at a time. Starting July 4, 2022, the stay can be as long as five years, with a two-year extension option from within Canada.
Typically, a super visa is valid for up to ten years, eliminating the need to reapply for a visa for every visit. However, visiting relatives legally hold the status of visitors while in Canada, hence do not enjoy the same legal rights and responsibilities as permanent residents or citizens.
How Is a Super Visa Different from a Visitor Visa?
Both types of visa grant visitors a legal status in Canada, but they differ regarding several aspects, such as duration, validity period, and application requirements.
Duration of Stay: A super visa for Canada grants your parents or grandparents a maximum stay of up to two years (or up to five years for super visas issued after July 5, 2022), while a visitor visa holder can stay for only six months, although the visa officer may sometimes offer a shorter stay.
Visa Validity: Typically, a super visa is valid for up to 10 years or until the passport expires, while a visitor visa may have a shorter validity.
Eligibility of Applicants: Anyone can apply for a visitor visa for Canada, but only the parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply for a super visa in Canada.
Single or Multiple Entry: Super visas always offer multiple entries, which means that visa holders can exit and re-enter Canada as many times as they need. On the other hand, visitor visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry. The visa officer makes the final decision about whether to grant a single or multiple entry visa.
Eligibility Criteria for a Super Visa in Canada
To be eligible for a Canadian super visa, applicants must:
- - Be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
- - Apply from outside Canada.
- Have a signed invitation letter from the child or grandchild they are visiting in Canada (see the section below for more details).
- Have medical insurance coverage of at least $100,000 CAD valid for at least one year from a Canadian insurance provider.
- Meet other admissibility requirements, including clearing a medical exam. Moreover, the Canadian government may also assess other factors like the applicant’s ties to their home country, the purpose of their visit, the economic and political stability of their home country, and more while reviewing super visa applications.
How to Draft an Invitation Letter for a Super Visa
If you’re inviting your parents or grandparents to stay with you in Canada for an extended period, you need to provide them with a written letter of invitation for their super visa application.
This letter of invitation should document a written commitment that you will sponsor financially for the parent or grandparent you invite for as long as they stay in Canada. It must also provide the following information:
- About the Invited Person or People:
- - Full name and date of birth
- - Address and phone number in their home country
- - Relationship to the inviter
- - Purpose of the trip and the duration of the stay (including dates)
- - Accommodation arrangements and financial support
- About the Inviter:
- - Complete name and date of birth
- - Address and phone number in Canada
- - Legal status in Canada along with a copy of your PR card, Canadian citizenship card, or Canadian birth certificate
- - Job title
- - Number of people living in your household, including you, your spouse, dependents, and other people you've sponsored.
In order to apply for a Canadian super visa, you must provide detailed information about your family, including the names and dates of birth of your spouse, children, and other dependents. Additionally, you must demonstrate that your income meets or exceeds Canada's low-income cut-off (LICO) for the number of people in your household, including the parent or grandparent being invited. You can use various forms of proof of income, such as pay stubs, bank statements, letters of employment, employment insurance stubs, or Notices of Assessment (NOA) or T1/T4 from the previous tax year.
To show that you can support your parent or grandparent financially throughout their stay in Canada, you must sign a commitment to do so. The Canadian government accepts super visa applications year-round and there is no limit to the number of visas granted per year, provided that applicants submit all necessary documentation to prove their eligibility.
To apply for a super visa, the applicant must be outside Canada at the time of application. They can choose to apply online or by paper, but applying online is recommended to avoid processing delays and courier charges. Essential documents to include are passports, birth and marriage certificates, travel dates, proof of medical insurance, and the letter of invitation from the sponsor in Canada.
Financial documents, such as bank statements and tax returns, must also be submitted to show significant ties to the applicant's home country. Some countries may require the letter of invitation to be notarized before submission.
Complete and Submit the Super Visa Application
Once all required documents have been gathered, applicants can proceed to fill in the super visa application form. Payment of the processing and biometric fees can be done online using either a debit or credit card. For those applying by paper, a copy of the receipt must be kept as it will be needed upon submission of the application. In-person submission of paper applications is necessary for countries that require biometrics.
Submit Additional Required Documents
During the processing of the super visa application, an applicant may be required to present additional documentation. Such could include biometric information such as fingerprints and photographs, medical reports, or police clearance certificates. In some instances, they may need to attend an interview at their local visa office.
Receive the Super Visa and Prepare for Travel
Upon approval of the super visa application, parents and grandparents must submit their passports to receive their visa with an indicated expiry date. Travelling to Canada can be done as frequently as desired while the visa is valid. It is essential to have a valid visa, passport, and medical insurance upon entry to Canada and present these to the border officer.
Can a Super Visa be issued to Visa-Exempt Applicants?
Visitors from visa-exempt countries can apply for a super visa if they plan on staying in Canada for beyond 6 months. Processing for such applications involves approval letters instead of visa stickers on their passports.
What is the Cost of Processing a Parent or Grandparent Super Visa?
The processing fee for a parent or grandparent super visa is approximately $100 CAD, excluding additional fees for biometric or medical tests (if required). It does not cover travel costs, mandatory health insurance, courier service charges, or living expenses in Canada.
What is the Processing Duration of a Super Visa?
Processing time for a super visa is centred on the applicant's country of origin. For example, Indian applicants take an average of 135 days. The processing delay can also be affected by application incompleteness or data verification difficulty. Check the government website for up-to-date processing times.
Is there an Option to Work in Canada on a Super Visa?
Holders of a super visa can only partake in activities in line with a visitor's status; working is not allowed. A work permit can be applied for while in Canada, but obtaining one could necessitate finding a job, and different types of permits could affect the validity of the super visa.
Looking to bring your parents or grandparents to Canada to stay with you permanently, but not sure where to start? We've got the answers you need!
First off, it's important to note that a super visa is a temporary residence visa, so your loved ones can only visit Canada for as long as their visa is valid. However, there are no restrictions on how long they need to stay outside Canada before returning. Keep in mind that valid medical insurance is required each time they enter Canada, which can take some time to acquire.
If you're hoping for a more permanent solution, you may want to consider sponsoring your parents or grandparents for permanent residence under the family sponsorship program. As permanent residents, they'll have the ability to work in Canada and stay here indefinitely. Be warned, though - the number of permanent residency positions granted under this program is limited, and application processing times can take two or more years. In the meantime, your loved ones can continue to stay with you on their valid super visa.
Ready to take the next step in your family's immigration journey? Check out our comprehensive guide to immigrating to Canada to find all the information you need!"
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