In a recent press release, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) stated that the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, a multiple entry visa that allows parents and grandparents of landed immigrants to stay in the country for a maximum of two years at a time over a period of ten years, is gaining unprecedented popularity. The Super Visa was first introduced as a part of Phase I of the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification in December 2011.
“The government is committed to family reunification and the Super Visa provides families with the flexibility to spend longer periods of time with loved ones,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism.
According to CIC, more than 1,000 Super Visas are granted every month, and over 20,000 have been issued since the launch in 2011. The Super Visas also have a high approval rate, at approximately 85 percent.
In order to obtain the Super Visa, grandparents and parents of Canadian immigrants must submit proof of their relationship and a written commitment of financial support from the grandchild or child who meets the minimum necessary income. On top of that, Super Visa applicants must also undergo a medical examination and purchase sufficient insurance to cover any medical expenses while living in Canada.
“It’s an innovative of giving parents and grandparents the freedom to travel back and forth between Canada and their home country, helping them stay connected with families and friends both in Canada and at home, without the hassle of having to reapply every time,” said Kenney.
While the Super Visa spares visiting seniors from lengthy wait times and the inconvenience of frequent reapplication, it does not offer them future opportunity to become a Canadian permanent residents, unlike the parent and grandparent sponsorship for permanent residence program under the Family Class (FC). The Super Visa is then similar in nature to how Canadian citizens can apply for a ten-year visa to travel to the United States without being entitled to the country’s medical or welfare benefits.
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