Over 100,000 people tried to access this visa application form in January when Canadian immigration services made updates to their services.
What visa application form are we talking about? If you live abroad and have children or grandchildren that live in Canada, then it might feel hard to be apart from your loved ones.
Sometimes, a six-month tourist visa just isn’t enough to feel close to your family. Lucky for you, there’s a thing called a super visa that you can apply for in a situation exactly like this!
Interested in learning how you can move to Canada to be with your children or grandchildren? Here’s how to go about getting a Canadian super visa.
What is a Super Visa?
A Canada super visa is a special visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Once immigration approves your visa, you can stay in Canada for up to two years at a time, with an additional extension of a year available as long as you apply within a certain timeframe.
The Canadian government first introduced this visa in 2011 as a way to ensure that families could stay together.
The government found that by allowing parents and grandparents to travel to Canada in order to help take care of smaller children, working-age immigrants can participate more in the labor force.
However, it gets even better. If you are the parent or grandparent of a working-aged Canadian citizen or resident, you can obviously apply for the super visa.
Your spouse or common-law partner can also apply for the visa so that they can come with you, too.
It’s worth noting here that if you don’t plan on visiting your family members in Canada for more than six months, it might make more sense to apply for a tourist visa.
The visa for parents in Canada is better for people who want to stay longer than a tourist visa would allow them to stay. But, there are different requirements.
What Are the Canadian Super Visa Requirements?
Okay, so now we’re getting into the specifics of the actual super visa application.
To be eligible for this visa, you must prove that:
- You are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- You have a signed letter from your family member who is inviting you to Canada
- You have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company
Sounds pretty simple, right? It actually is, but there are a few more specifics.
In the invitation letter for a super visa, your child or grandchild will need to include:
- A statement saying that they promise to provide you with financial support during the entire length of your stay in Canada
- A list of the people staying in the household of the person who is inviting you
- A copy of the person’s Canadian documents (either a citizenship card, passport, or permanent resident document)
There are plenty of super visa invitation letter examples online. It’s best to follow an outline of someone else’s letter who has been successful in applying.
Make sure you include all of the details listed and even more when you can. The more information you provide, the less likely it is that they’ll reject you. When it comes time to show proof of finances, here’s what you need to know.
Financial Requirements for Canada Super Visa
When your child or grandchild invites you to Canada and writes your invitation letter, they’re going to have to show that they meet the minimum necessary income.
This minimum income amount depends on the size of the family (which is why they require you to list the family members in the household in your letter).
For one person, for example, the minimum income that they require you to have is currently just under CAD $25,000.
To show proof of income or financial means, your child or grandchild can submit a variety of documents. They can be:
- A Notice of Assessment (NOA) or T4/T1 for the last tax year
- Employment payment stubs
- A letter from their employer stating their salary and their hiring date
- Bank statements
Immigration officials also note that, along with these financial requirements, they also analyze things such as your purpose of visit, your own family and finances, and the overall political and economic stability of your home country.
On top of this, you’ll also need to ensure that you’re allowed to enter Canada, which means that you don’t have a criminal record. You need to take an immigration medical exam and meet other various conditions.
Remember the medical insurance we mentioned above? Don’t think we forgot about that. There are specific requirements that you need to meet regarding premiums and coverage. Here’s what you need to know.
Canadian Super Visa Insurance Requirements
To apply for the super visa for parents, you’ll need to get medical insurance. This medical insurance must be from a Canadian insurance company!
If you try to get insurance from your home country, they will deny your application.
When contacting a Canadian insurance company, it’s best to tell them that you’re looking for insurance that specifically meets the requirements for the super visa.
If they’re not familiar with what that entails, then tell them you need coverage that is:
- Valid for at least one year from the date of entry
- Provides you with at least $100,000 in coverage
When applying for your visa, you’ll also need to show proof that you have paid in full for the insurance. Immigration won’t accept it if you’re still paying installments or owe anything to the insurance company.
Aside from those requirements, however, you can take out any kind of Canadian travel insurance you’d like!
If you plan on staying the full two years in Canada, ask your current insurance company if your policy covers you while you’re abroad.
If it doesn’t, or if it only does in part, then you can take out additional coverage to complement what you already have.
Consider a policy that covers traditional travel medical needs and issues such as:
- Lost or stolen luggage
- Delayed trip coverage
- Hospital visits
- Winter sports injury coverage
- Unexpected death or dismemberment
- Repatriation to your home country
There are, of course, other things that you can add to any kind of Canada travel insurance policy, but it really depends on your needs.
If you are a grandparent and know that you are going to need to make regular doctor visits for checkups or prescriptions, then it’s best to get full medical coverage.
Applying for a Super Visa
Are you eligible for the super visa? Do you have all of your documents, letters, and forms in order? Do you have medical insurance?
Great! Now you’re ready to apply.
You can apply for the visa online. If you’d rather send the application in the mail, you can also do that too. The only requirement is that you apply for the visa outside of Canada.
This means that you can’t apply for the super visa if you’re currently in Canada.
Before sending in your application or submitting it online, however, you’ll want to check and then double check that you have everything you need. If you’re missing one document then they could reject the application altogether.
Once you send the application off, immigration services in Canada might ask you to take part in an interview. This is normal! It’s not always a part of the process, but it could happen.
Regarding the super visa processing time, it really depends on the time of year and what country your parents are grandparents are coming from.
The immigration website provides you with a really handy processing time calculator. You simply enter the details and select which country your family members are applying from and it will give you an estimate of the processing time.
If you’re still not sure about the whole process, it’s worth speaking to an immigration lawyer or company that deals specifically with super visas.
Online forums are also great, and you can join many social media groups of other families who’ve completed the process successfully.
Enjoying a Safe Stay in Canada
Assuming that everything went smoothly with your visa application, you’re all set to come to Canada to visit your family!
The super visa is a great way for families in different countries to reconnect and spend time together in Canada. It's also pretty straightforward and easier than other long-term visas.
If you’re not quite sure if you meet all of the requirements, ask your family member in Canada to take a look at this for you and see if they meet the income requirements and are willing to sponsor you during your stay.
Regarding the medical insurance requirement, you’ll need to get that from a Canadian insurance company. To get the lowest quotes in Canada, contact us for a free quote today.
Be sure to mention the visa you’re applying for so we can help cater your quote and policy specifically to your needs!