Temporary Pause on Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Applications and Introduction of a Super Visa
Reuniting families is an important part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration program. CIC will significantly increase the number of admissions for sponsored parents and grandparents in 2012. At the same time, effective November 5, 2011, there has been a temporary pause of up to two years on the acceptance of new applications for this category. The increase in admissions paired with the pause will allow the department to reduce the backlog in this category.
To offset the potential impacts of the pause, effective December 1, 2011, CIC is introducing a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, for foreign nationals seeking to visit their Canadian or permanent resident child or grandchild in Canada to apply for an extended stay of up to 24 months. Currently, visitors can usually stay for six months at a time. If they wish to stay longer, they must apply for an extension and pay new fees. With the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, eligible parents and grandparents will pay fewer fees and be able to enjoy the company of their families in Canada for a longer period of time without having to renew their status.
The Super Visa is a multiple entry visa, which will be valid for up to ten years. An applicant is eligible for a Super Visa if they have:
- provided proof of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- undergone a medical examination and are admissible on health grounds;
- provided satisfactory evidence of private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company, valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of entry which:
- covers the applicant for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
- provides a minimum of $100,000 coverage; and
- is valid for each entry to Canada and available for review by the examining officer upon request; and
- provided a written and signed promise of financial support, e.g. a letter of invitation, from the host child or grandchild for the entire duration the applicant intends to stay in Canada. The letter must be accompanied by evidence of their means of providing such support. This will normally mean details of the number of persons in the host’s household and proof of income at a level meeting or exceeding the Low-income Cut-off for the total number of persons, including the visiting parent(s) or grandparent(s).
To apply for a Super Visa, you must submit an Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada (IMM 5257). You have to contact the responsible Canadian visa office to see if you need to fill out any additional forms or provide any additional documents.
If you are from a country whose citizens are visa exempt, you must submit an Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada (IMM 5257) with no fees.
If you are already in Canada on a temporary resident status, you may apply for a two year extended stay by submitting an Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada (IMM 1249), along with the appropriate fees.