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What is a Super Visa? What You Need to Know

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Multi Generation Family PortraitIf you live in one country while your adult children or grandchildren live in Canada, you may not be able to visit them regularly. And when you do visit, the usual six-month stay granted with a visitor’s visa might not seem long enough. It could be that you’re missing special family time.

Fortunately, there is another option specifically targeted to parents and grandparents. It’s called a Super Visa and this program allows qualifying parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time.

What Is a Super Visa in Canada?

A Super Visa is given only to the parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Visitors who hold a Super Visa can remain in Canada for up to two years at a time without having to renew their status. Holders also have the ability to leave and re-enter the country while their SuperVisa is valid.

For many parents or grandparents who have been living in separate countries, the Super Visa is a very attractive option to consider. But simply being parents or grandparents of adults who live in Canada doesn’t automatically make people eligible for a Super Visa. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has very specific requirements for Super Visas.

Criteria for a Super Visa

IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) considers many factors before granting Super Visas. Like with all visas, IRCC wants reassurance that the visitor will return to his or her country when the visa expires. To prove that, applicants must establish legitimate ties to their home, which includes stating their financial situation and listing family members living in that country. Visa officers may even look at the stability of the government in the home country. The logic is that people with strong connections to their own country are more likely to leave Canada when their visas expire.

In addition, applicants need to establish the purpose of their visit to Canada. A letter of invitation from the adult child or grandchild who invites you is an important part of the Super Visa application. The letter has specific information it must provide—the relationship between the person issuing the invitation and the invitee, information establishing the identities of both, the reason for the trip and the number of people living together in the house. In particular, IRCC wants evidence that the Canadian citizen or permanent resident has the financial means to support the visitors during their stay.

Super Visa applicants must also provide a medical exam and provide proof of medical insurance coverage while in Canada.

Applying for a Super Visa

The application forms for a Super Visa can be completed online. You can also fill in a paper form of the application and send it to the correct office (depending on your country of residence), including all the necessary documentation. If pieces are missing, the application could be rejected. A visa officer may ask to interview you as part of the process.

It is possible to complete the application on your own. But with the strict requirements IRCC has, you might be better served seeking the assistance of an immigration professional for your Super Visa application. Immigration professionals have knowledge of Canada’s immigration system that can help your case be successful. They can answer your questions about the process and let you know realistic timelines. Most importantly, a good immigration professional will ensure your application includes all the relevant information IRCC needs.

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