Effective 05 November 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has temporarily stopped accepting new applications for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents. Only applications to sponsor parents and grandparents received before 05 November 2011 will be processed. This temporary pause in accepting new applications will continue until further notice. As a result of this temporary pause, applications received on or after 05 November 2011 will be returned and its supporting documents.
However, although Canadian citizens and permanent residents may not apply to sponsor their parent or grandparent for immigration to Canada during this temporary pause, a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa will be available to parent or grandparent who qualify.
What is this Parent and Grandparent Super Visa?
This Super Visa is available only to parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. The parent or grandparent cannot include dependents in this application, only the spouse or common-law partner of the parent or grandparent is eligible to accompany him or her under this Super Visa.
To apply, the Parent and Grandparent must:
- be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
- be found admissible to Canada; and
- meet certain other conditions.
Visa officers consider several factors before deciding if a person is admissible. The parent or grandparent must be a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of the visit. Among the things that could be considered are:
- the person’s ties to the home country;
- the purpose of the visit;
- the person’s family and financial situation;
- the overall economic and political stability of the home country; and
- an invitation from a Canadian host.
In addition to being found admissible to Canada, the parent or grandparent must also:
- provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold;
- prove that they have bought Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year; and
- complete an Immigration Medical Examination.
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident wishing to apply a Parent or Grandparent Super Visa for your parent or grandparent, you also need to provide:
- Evidence of the parent or grandparent relationship (e.g., birth certificate, baptismal certificate or other official document);
- A letter of invitation from you that includes arrangements for care and support;
- Proof that you meet the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO); and
- Proof of private medical insurance for the parent or grandparent valid for a minimum of one year from a Canadian insurance company and that:
- Covers health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
- Provides a minimum coverage of $100,000; and
- is valid for each entry to Canada and available for review by a port of entry officer.
What makes the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa different from what is available now as a visitor visa?
Currently, visitors to Canada usually may only visit for six months at a time. Most visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for an extension, and pay a new fee, every six months. With the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, eligible parents and grandparents will pay fewer fees and have some certainty that they will be able to enjoy the company of their families in Canada for a longer period of time.
CIC will be able to issue the visas, on average, within eight weeks of the application. This means that instead of waiting for eight years, a parent or a grandparent can come to Canada within eight weeks.
Is the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa a multi-entry visa? What’s the difference between the Super Visa and the 10-year multiple entry visa?
Yes, the Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that will provide multiple entries for a period up to ten years. The key difference is that the Super Visa will have status periods for each entry that last up to two years, while the 10-year multiple entry visa status period for each entry is six months.
The Super Visa is also available as a single-entry visa, if that is the applicant’s preference.
If parents and grandparents are already in Canada and their visa will be expiring soon, what should they do? Will they be eligible to renew their status from in Canada?
The visa itself is valid for up to 10 years and allows holders to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time. Renewals must be done from outside Canada at a visa office. However, parents and grandparents who hold a valid visa can apply for an extension of their status for up to two years by submitting an application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta, as long as they meet all the criteria. These applications will be examined on a case by case basis.
For ICAN (Canada Immigration)
By Eman Galang