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A path for foreign nationals to visit their Canadian (grand)children

The decision to immigrate can be life changing. It can bring about dramatic benefits – but also some challenges. Maybe you married a Canadian citizen, or perhaps you moved to Canada for work. While you may love the new life you’ve established here, the sense of loss you feel for your loved ones in your home country is very real.

Fortunately, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers a special visa – known as a super visa – that can enable your parents or grandparents to visit you in Canada. This visa is not subject to the same rules and restrictions as a standard visitor visa.

Super visa and visitor visa at a glance

The Canadian visitor visa is good for six months. Visitors can also apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa, which is good for 10 years. However, visitors on this visa can only stay in Canada for a maximum of six months each time.

The super visa, by comparison, is also valid for 10 years. The main advantage of this option is that it is essentially a temporary residence permit. Visa holders may stay in Canada for up to two years at a time.

Sponsor eligibility

If you want to sponsor your parent or grandparent for a super visa, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The family member you sponsor will not be allowed to work in Canada during their stay. Therefore, you will need to demonstrate that you are financially stable enough to support them.

Your minimum necessary gross income will depend on the size of your family unit in Canada. For example, if you are single (have no spouse or children), then your minimum annual income for this visa in 2020 is $25,921. This figure increases by about $7,000 for each additional family member.

You will also need to write and sign a letter formally inviting your parent or grandparent to Canada.

(Grand)parent eligibility

In order for your parent or grandparent to apply for the super visa, they must apply from outside of Canada. There must also not be any reason – criminal, medical, security-related or otherwise – that prevents them from being allowed into the country.

Your parent or grandparent will also need to pass a medical evaluation to ensure they are in good health. They must also have purchased Canadian medical insurance for at least one year and for at least $100,000 in coverage.

While the super visa offers great benefits to Canadian residents and their families, the application is also lengthy and complex. Mistakes or incomplete information are common causes of application rejection.

Having an immigration lawyer handle your application for you can greatly increase your chances of acceptance. They can also provide foreign language assistance for applicants who do not speak English natively.

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