Applying For A Super Visa to Canada
The Super Visa is a special visa that allows a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident to invite their parents or grandparents to stay with them in Canada for up to 5 years at a time. As with all immigration programs operated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) , there are requirements to meet. But the benefit of the super visa program is that you only need to apply once, and your parents or grandparents can use the super visa to travel back and forth to Canada over a 10-year period (or up to the date of their passport expiry – whichever comes first). On any given visit with a super visa, they can stay for up to five years inside Canada (as of July 4, 2022).
What is the Difference Between a Visitor Visa (TRV) and a Super Visa?
A regular TRV permits the person to visit Canada for a maximum of 6 months, before the visitor either needs to leave Canada or submit an extension to stay longer. The super visa allows for much longer visits. If your parents or grandparents plan to visit for 6 months or more, a super visa is the way to go. Otherwise, for one short visit or frequent short visits, a regular TRV works fine and is less hassle to obtain.
The application process for a super visa entails more work and more expense for the family member in Canada. As you will see below, you must prove you have the minimum income required for the size of your family. You also need to purchase private medical insurance from for the duration of their stay and your parents will require a medical exam and police clearances as part of their application process.
Differences between Super Visa and Permanent Residency
The Super Visa is also different than Permanent Residency – it is not a PR status. Those who enter Canada with a Super Visa have the temporary status of a visitor and cannot work in Canada, cannot vote in elections, cannot access public health care and cannot remain indefinitely. They are simply permitted to remain legally inside Canada for 5 years at a time, while using their own financial resources or the financial support of their family member. Parents and grandparents are only eligible to apply for Permanent resident status in Canada if their child or grandchild is invited to participate in the annual sponsorship lottery.
How Long is a Super Visa Valid for?
A super visa will be issued for a maximum of ten years, or until the expiry of the applicant’s passport – whichever date comes first. It is always recommended that you obtain a passport with a long validity period before applying for a Super Visa, so that your visa can be issued for the maximum possible timeframe.
Who is Eligible for a Super Visa Canada?
Only the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible for super visas. If you have siblings living with your parents abroad, the siblings are not eligible and cannot be included on the super visa application. Siblings can apply for a regular TRV if they wish to visit Canada (or an eTA, depending on their home country).
How much Financial Support is Required for Super Visa?
One of the main super visa requirements is that the Canadian or Permanent Resident family member must show they can provide financial support. You must prove a minimum household income as part of a super visa application.
The minimum income requires for a parent or grandparent super visa changes each year and is shown on the table below, which is kept updated on the IRCC website.
You must prove your income meets the minimum level, depending on the number of family members. A family member for this purpose means those in Canada (you, your spouse or common law and dependent children), plus the number of visitors coming.
The documents showing proof of financial support are a combination of your Notice of Assessment, a recent T4 slip or a letter from your employer.
Your income may be combined with your spouse or common-law partner’s income if you don’t meet the required level on your own. In that situation, ensure that you also include documents to prove your relationship with your partner, and demonstrate their income.
INCOME TABLE JANUARY – DECEMBER 2020
|No. Family Members||Funds Required||No. Family Members||Funds Required|
Private Medical Insurance for Super Visa
When applying for a super visa, you also need to purchase an insurance policy for medical coverage for your parents or grandparents during their stay in Canada. The minimum required coverage is $100,000 per person and the policy must be valid for 1 year from the date of entry to Canada. You must purchase the initial policy and include it as one of the documents in your application; you can’t just submit a quote.
After your parents or grandparents arrive, you need to notify the insurance company and they will adjust the policy to start once your parents or grandparents arrive in Canada. You should be able to receive a pro-rated refund if they leave Canada before the first year is over. Otherwise, you will need to extend the coverage if your family members wish to stay longer in Canada. Each time they enter Canada using the super visa, they must prove to the border officer they have valid, private medical insurance for at least one year.
Why Super Visa Insurance is Required
When developing the Super Visa program, Canada was looking for a way to enable families to spend an extended period of time together while also minimizing the risks to Canada. One of the issues with having older family members inside Canada for an extended period of time is that there is a higher than average chance that medical issues may require attention. Canada’s public health care system cannot cope with providing care to large numbers of older foreign nationals, who have never paid taxes in Canada. The requirement to have private medical insurance helps to ensure that families can spend time together, but Canada’s health care system is protected.
What is Covered by Super Visa Medical Insurance
Super Visa medical insurance is required to cover a minimum of $100,000 in emergency medical expenses per applicant. It is a travel insurance policy intended to cover unexpected situations like being injured in an accident, breaking bones and needing surgery or having a heart attack or stroke in Canada. It does not cover routine medical care like a regular check up at the doctor, prescription medications or lab tests to monitor a chronic medical condition like diabetes. If you require routine medical monitoring while in Canada, you should plan to pay for those services out of pocket.
What are the Required Documents for Super Visa?
Those applying for super visas also need to pass an immigration medical exam and provide police clearances showing they are admissible to Canada.
They will also need an appointment for biometrics (fingerprints and photo), unless they are American citizens. Once the biometrics have been submitted, they will be considered valid for ten years.
Super Visa Privileges Inside Canada
Parents and grandparents who enter Canada on a super visa after July 4, 2022 are allowed to remain inside Canada for up to five years. Other than an extended period of temporary immigration status, they don’t have any special privileges while in Canada. They are not eligible for Provincial health care, hence the requirement for private medical insurance. They cannot work unless they obtain a work permit through another immigration channel. They can, however, provide care for their own grandchildren. Being relatives, Canada’s immigration policies do not prohibit parents or grandparents from caring for children that are related to them (no work permit is required).
How to Extend Super Visa Inside Canada?
Beginning in July 2022, parents and grandparents inside Canada, who entered with a Super Visa, can apply for a 2 year extension of temporary status without having to leave Canada. This means if you have stayed in Canada for nearly 5 years, you can apply for 2 more years as long as you apply for the extension before the 5 year anniversary date of your entry to Canada passes. When making an application for a Super Visa extension, you will need to provide many of the same documents that you submitted with your original application, including an updated letter of invitation from your family member, updated proof of income for your family member, and current private medical insurance.
Applying for Super Visa Within Canada
It is important to note that applying to extend your stay inside Canada is different than applying for a new Super Visa. Applying to extend your stay means that you are not planning to travel – you will remain inside Canada and simply need to stay longer. If you are planning to travel outside of Canada and need a new Super Visa in order to return, this application needs to be submitted as an outside of Canada application to the visa post for your country of origin.
Can I Convert from Super Visa to Work Permit in Canada?
You are not permitted to work on a super visa in Canada. However, it is possible to change your status from a visitor to a worker in Canada if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian company. Depending on your nationality and the type of position you have been offered, the Canadian company may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment or submit an e-job offer before you can apply for a work permit. During the COVID pandemic and in the months following, Canada enacted a special policy that allows visitors to apply for a work permit from inside Canada – and this includes those in Canada with a Super Visa.