Enhancements to the Super Visa
for parents and grandparents
by Michael Scott
The sponsorship of parents and grandparents has been a frustrating experience for many Canadian sponsors. The lottery left many out, as did the submission by time with the window closing in minutes. The only solution was to try again when the sponsorship reopened. However, the 2021 sponsorship program did not open until the autumn of that year and then it was limited to persons who had submitted an expression of interest in 2020 but were not selected. The backlog was so great that IRCC did not solicit new submissions. It is now the sixth month of 2022 and the sponsorship of parents and grandparents for 2022 is still closed. The alternative for sponsors is to invite your parents or grandparents to come to Canada as visitors under the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application and some Canadians who qualify can invite them under the Super Visa version of the TRV. This option becomes more attractive as the chances of sponsoring parents and grandparents remains in limbo in many cases and unclear at best. IRCC has, however, moved to enhance the Super Visa option as an attractive alternative to full sponsorship, which remains a challenging option for the immigration brain trusts in Ottawa.
On June 7, 2022, IRCC announced enhancements to the Super Visa program for parents and grandparents that would help reunited families more easily and for a longer period of time. The changes that are scheduled to come into place on July 4, 2022, will: increase the length of stay for Super Visa holders to five (5) years per entry from the current two years. The Super Visa holders will also have an option to remain a further two years inside Canada. Parents or grandparents who will come under the enhanced Super Visa could possibly remain inside the country for up to seven years if they come for five years and extend a further two years.
An additional change to the Super Visa option is that international medical insurance companies will also be eligible to provide the required insurance coverage for visa applicants in the future. Information about designated medical insurance companies outside Canada will appear on IRCC’s website at a later date. The costs for the Super Visa have and will probably continue to be a factor in whether or not families choose the Super Visa but for this time, the increased time and flexibility of insurance coverage represent a considerable change from the past.
The minister of immigration considers the changes as a way to support Canada’s objective to reunify families in the country, if only for a longer stay.
“Families are at the heart of Canadian society. The enhancements to the Super Visa program will allow family members to reunite for longer in Canada, which helps everyday Canadian citizens and permanent residents succeed and contribute to society, while affording their parents and grandparents invaluable opportunities to spend more time with their families in Canada.”
The Super Visa option has been popular for over a decade. Each year, IRCC issues approximately 17,000 Super Visa. The host Canadian families must meet minimum income requirements. Hosts must ensure that their yearly income meets the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) numbers based on family size and including the invitee parent or grandparent. It is important to note that the applicants for a Super Visa must have a medical examination and provide proof of private health insurance. At this time the applicant must have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance provider for at least one year from the date of entry with at least $100,000 coverage with proof of payment.
You should consider the Super Visa because you can always try to sponsor your parents or grandparents from inside the country when it opens. It is more convenient if the applicants are in the country because we never know what the sponsorship program will look like. For now, the super visa is a good option, but you must ensure that you meet the financial and other requirements in order to qualify. For those who qualify, consider the super visa. It is a better option than the regular TRV and a stop gap measure for those who want to sponsor their family members when the parent and grandparent sponsorship reopens.
Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.