Many permanent residents or citizens wish to invite their parents or grandparents to visit them in Canada. There may be a variety of reasons for this. You may want them to stay with you after retirement, while you’re expecting a child, adjusting to parenthood, or simply because you miss them.
Canada has created a special pathway to make it easier for your parents or grandparents to come to Canada for lengthy stays – the Canadian Super Visa Program.
In this article, we will cover:
- What is a Canadian Super Visa?
- Eligibility requirements for Super Visa (for Parents or Grandparents)
- Documents required for Super Visa
- Steps to apply for Canadian Super Visa
- How to write a letter of invitation for a Super Visa?
- What is the Fee for Canadian Super Visa?
- How to calculate the family size for Canada Super Visa
- Can Super Visa be Converted to PR in Canada?
What is a Canadian Super Visa?
The Canadian Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that allows parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents or citizens to enter Canada multiple times during the visa’s validity period (up to 10 years).
Your parents/grandparents can visit and stay in Canada for up to five years in a single visit (with the possibility of a two-year extension). With a super visa, your parents/grandparents do not have to apply for a new visa whenever they want to visit you.
Often, the super visa is confused with the visitor visa. It is important to know that there are two types of visitor visas – a super visa and a visitor visa. Although both grant visa holders visitor status in Canada, they differ in many ways.
Difference between Super Visa and Visitor Visa:
- Permitted duration of stay: A super visa allows your parents or grandparents to stay in Canada for up to five years. On the other hand, a visitor visa allows the holder to stay in Canada for up to six months. However, in some cases, the visa officer may issue a visa with a shorter duration of stay.
- Validity of the visa: A super visa is usually valid for up to 10 years or until the passport expires, while the validity of a visitor visa may be shorter.
- Applicant eligibility: While anyone can apply for a visitor visa to Canada, only parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for a super visa.
- Single or multiple entries: Super visas always allow multiple entries into Canada, meaning the visa holder can leave and re-enter as many times as necessary. A visitor visa applicant, on the other hand, cannot choose whether they want a single entry or multiple entry visa; the decision rests with the visa officer.
With a super visa, your parents or grandparents have visitor status. Consequently, they do not have the same rights and responsibilities as you do as a permanent resident or citizen, such as the right to work in Canada. Therefore, your parents/grandparents cannot work in Canada on a super visa.
Eligibility requirements for Super Visa (for Parents or Grandparents)
You must agree to financially support your parents or grandparents. For this purpose, you must sign a letter of commitment. By signing, you agree to provide for the basic needs of your parents or grandparents. These basic needs include:
- Housing, including utilities;
- Food and personal hygiene items;
- Clothing and other items necessary for daily living;
- Medical expenses not covered by public health insurance, such as dental and eye care.
You must meet a minimum income under the Super Visa eligibility criteria, also known as the low-income cut-off (LICO).
Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO)
(Applicable from January 1 to December 31, 2022)
|Size of Family Unit||Minimum necessary gross income|
|1 person (your child or grandchild)||$26,620|
|More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add||$7,172|
You can prove your income in one of the following ways:
- Send the most recent paper copy of the Notice of Assessment;
- Get your tax information directly from the CRA;
- A current copy of your employer’s T4 or T1 statement (if you are self-employed, you can obtain a letter from an accountant confirming your annual income);
- Original letter from your employer indicating your job title, job description and salary;
- Employment insurance pay stubs;
- Proof of other sources of income, e.g., pension statement, investments, etc.
A medical examination is mandatory for all visa applicants. Only an IRCC-approved physician will perform the examination, which includes:
- Mental and physical examination.
- Medical reports from your personal doctor are unnecessary.
Medical insurance coverage
Your parents or grandparents must have medical insurance with coverage of at least CAD 100,000, valid for at least one year, with a Canadian insurance provider. They must be able to provide proof that the medical insurance has been paid in full (estimates are not accepted).
Your parents or grandparents must be admissible to enter Canada because not everyone is allowed to enter Canada. There are several grounds for inadmissibility to enter Canada. None of these reasons must apply to them.
Your parents or grandparents may be eligible for a super visa if they are genuine visitors who will voluntarily leave at the end of your visit.
IRCC will consider the following as well:
- ties of your parents and grandparents with their home country;
- purpose of their visit, family and finances;
- overall economic and political stability of their home country.
Documents required for Super Visa
Here’s the list of documents your parents/grandparents require for Super Visa:
- Valid passport
- Proof of identity
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Medical certificate
- Police clearance certificate
- Letter of Invitation (that you sent)
- Proof of your status in Canada and financial documents
- Their financial documents (including bank statements, tax returns, property documents, investments, etc.)
- Documents proving they have significant ties to their home country and that their stay in Canada will be temporary.
Steps to apply for Canadian Super Visa
Step 1: Create an account on the IRCC portal
Visit the IRCC website and create a profile for your parents or grandparents. Then, enter all of the information correctly.
Please Note: Your parents/grandparents must be outside of Canada at the time of application.
Step 2: Complete the super visa application form
Fill out the super visa application form with all the necessary documents (as mentioned above). Here you must also pay the processing fee and biometric fee before applying with a debit or credit card.
Step 3: Receive the Canadian Super Visa
Once the super visa application is processed and approved, your parents/grandparents must present their passports to receive their visas. The visa will have the expiration date on it, and your parents/grandparents can travel to Canada as many times as they wish as long as the Super Visa is valid.
Upon entry, they may be asked to present their passport, visa, and health insurance to the immigration officer. It is advisable to have these documents ready.
How to write a letter of invitation for a Super Visa?
A letter of invitation for a visitor visa to Canada is a simple signed letter from a person in Canada well known to the visitor inviting them to the country. The invitee can be a visitor’s friend, family, or business partner.
However, it must be someone with whom you have a close relationship and who can confirm your identity and the purpose of your visit to Canada.
The Canada visa invitation letter must meet some requirements in terms of the information it contains. The person writing the letter must provide all the information listed below, otherwise, there is a risk that the Canadian consulate will not accept the letter. Worse, it may affect your chances of obtaining a Canadian visa.
There are three sets of requirements:
- The information of the visa applicant;
- Information about the person inviting the applicant;
- Specific information for the super visa.
The information of the visa applicant (Your Parents or Grandparents)
The invitation letter must contain the following information about your parents or grandparents:
- The full name (first and last);
- Date of birth;
- Contact information (phone number and e-mail);
- Exact address;
- The relationship between you and them;
- The purpose of the visit to Canada;
- The duration of the visit;
- Where they will stay in Canada and how they will pay for it;
- The date they will arrive in Canada and the date they will depart.
The information of the person inviting the applicant (You)
The invitation letter must contain the following information about you:
- Full name (first and last);
- Date of birth;
- Contact information (phone number and email);
- Exact address in Canada;
- Status in Canada (permanent Canadian resident or citizen) by providing a copy of status such as:
- Canadian citizenship card or passport if you are a citizen;
- Canadian birth certificate if you were born in Canada;
- Copy of Permanent Resident Card or IMM 1000 (Proof of Landing Document) if you are a permanent resident;
- Job title;
- Names and dates of birth of close family members and dependents (spouse or common-law partner and children);
- The total number of persons living in your household, including persons for whom the person is a sponsor or whose sponsorship is still in effect).
Specific information for the Super Visa
For a super visa, in addition to the above information, additional information is required in the letter.
The invitation letter should be signed and dated by you. If necessary and requested by the Canadian Consulate, it should also be notarized.
The letter does not need to be submitted as a separate document with the rest of the application. Instead, your parents/grandparents must submit the letter to the Canadian Consulate when submitting the rest of the documents.
If applying online, a scanned PDF version of the letter should be attached to the online application. When submitting a physical application, the letter should be printed and a copy attached to the other documents.
What is the Fee for Canadian Super Visa?
The processing fee for the parent or grandparent super visa is approximately $100 CAD. In addition, applicants may have to pay $85 CAD for biometric processing and between $200 CAD and $300 CAD for a medical examination.
How to calculate the family size for Canada Super Visa
Family size includes the following people:
- Your spouse or common-law partner;
- Your dependent children;
- Any person who was previously sponsored by you;
- Your parents and grandparents;
- Your parents’ and grandparents’ spouses or domestic partners, if applicable.
The total number of people listed above represents your family size.
Example 1: If you are unmarried, have no children, and invite your parents or grandparents, your family size is two.
Example 2: If you have a family of four in Canada and invite your father and mother, the family size is six.
Can Super Visa be Converted to PR in Canada?
Canada Super Visa is a temporary visa and cannot be converted to permanent residency. With a super visa, your parents/grandparents can visit Canada for as long as it is valid, and then they must return to their home country.
If you want to invite your parents or grandparents to Canada permanently, apply for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) route for Canada PR. This is the ideal way for parents and grandparents to obtain Canada PR.
The Parents and Grandparents Program opens once a year. It allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada.
However, if you are a Québec resident and wish to sponsor a parent or grandparent, you must meet the Québec government’s immigration sponsorship requirements after the IRCC approves you as a sponsor.
Pro-Tip: First, apply for sponsorship for Canada PR under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) route and then bring your parents to Canada via Super Visa. This way, your parents can stay with you while an application for sponsorship of Canada PR status is underway in their home country.
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