December 4, 2011
Canadian Immigration announced the launch of the super visa program, which allows parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens to apply for a 10-year multiple-entry visa.
However, some politicians are worried that the new visa may be difficult to obtain, according to an NDP Canadian immigration expert.
The new visa is an effort, by the Conservative party, to reunite families that are currently experiencing extremely long processing times for applications for Permanent Residency. The lengthy processing times of parents and grandparents is due to the approximately 165, 000 applications currently backlogged.
The visa, if granted, is valid for up to 10 years, but there are certain restrictions and requirements:
Applicants will need to have their children or grandchildren prove that they can financially support their family members, and the applicants will need to have private health insurance throughout their stay in Canada. In addition, applicants will have to undergo a medical exam to ensure no serious health concerns are present. Due to these restrictions, qualifications will have to be renewed every two years.
Don Davies, an NDP Canadian immigration expert approves of the new visa, but is cautious as to implications for parents and grandparents currently seeking permanent residence. He states:
“I have cases in my office in Vancouver where someone’s sponsoring their parents, say from New Delhi, and their application is in the lineup for 10 years,”
In addition, he says: “So they apply for a visitor visa to come and they’re turned down because they have a permanent resident application in the queue and the officials think that they won’t leave.”
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that won’t be a problem — people who have applied for permanent residency will definitely be eligible for the visa.
“The department informs me that they’re confident that the approval rate for these parent super visas will actually be very high,” Kenney said last week at an appearance before a parliamentary committee.
Minister Kenney believes that having applicant’s ensure they will have health insurance will make it easier for Canadian Immigration Officers to approve applications, as there is more certainty that health concerns of parents and grandparents will not be transferred to our overextended health care system and the taxpayers
Canadian Immigration released it’s official requirements on their website today: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp