The recently-introduced Parent and Grandparent Super Visa program is being lauded by Minister Jason Kenney for its 83% approval rating, as more than 3,500 applications have now been approved since the program’s launch on December 1st, 2011.
The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism’s announcement sought to reaffirm the federal Government’s commitment to family reunification. Just as Canadians were gearing up for the Victoria Day long weekend, Kenney highlighted that by the grace of this program, more families have been enabled to spend more time together in the country.
Eligibility requirements of the Super Visa include the ability to demonstrate that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum level of income and that their guest receives a successful assessment issued from the Immigration Medical Examination.
Critics, however, frown upon the program’s steep insurance costs and work limitations for visiting parents and grandparents, as it requires that potential visitors purchase a minimum $100,000 CAD worth of medical insurance valid for one year and prohibits them from working during their stay in Canada. CIC counters that these costs alleviate potential burdens upon the Canadian healthcare system and that the program has vastly hastened the long processing waits suffered under the previous application process.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has much to celebrate as the program continues to issue visas within eight weeks on average, as was originally promised when it was initiated.
With many changes to the Canadian immigration system slated to develop over the summer, the Super Visa’s straightforward structure is likely to be a preview of programs to come.
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