Wed | May 24, 2017

I want my mom with me in Canada

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I am Jamaican born and I recently got permanent residence in Canada. My mother is now alone in Jamaica and I want her to come to live with me. I heard that I can apply for a 'super visa' for her to come and stay with me for up to five years at a time. Can she work when she comes? How do I apply for the super visa for my mom?

- OM

Dear OM,

Parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents or citizens can apply for a super visa to visit their children and grandchildren for a period in excess of six months at a time provided that both the applicant and the sponsor are able to satisfy the requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Under this programme, the applicant will be expected to be a visitor only and not work without a valid work permit during the time that he is visiting. If your mother would like to work, she will need to apply for a work permit and satisfy the work permit requirements. A super visa does not grant you permission to work in Canada. A separate application would need to be made for a work permit or an application for permanent residence under the Parent and Grandparent Programme (PGP), which is different from the super visa application.

 

How to qualify for a super visa

 

The application process for a super visa is similar to the application for a regular temporary resident visa except that there are a few additional requirements. The key issue will be that your mother will need to first establish that she is a genuine visitor and that she will not work while visiting you and that she will return to her country voluntarily at the end of the time granted.

The key will be to show that she has greater ties in Jamaica than in Canada, which would warrant her returning to Jamaica. Such ties would include a job, ownership of property, savings, investments, a motor vehicle, community involvement, and other dependents or family members.

Your mother would also need to undergo medical and security checks to ensure that she is not a threat to other Canadians and will not become a burden to you or the Canadian government. She will need to present her biometric information, which means giving her fingerprints and photograph, at the visa application office. She will also be required to do a medical examination.

Your mother will need to submit proof that she has purchased Canadian medical insurance, which is valid for a minimum of one year and has a minimum coverage of CAD$100,000. It should cover health care, hospitalisation, and expenses associated with her emergency return to her country if necessary.

You will also need to satisfy the immigration officer that you have the means and the ability to accommodate your mom for an extended period of time. If you are living alone, you will need to show a minimum income of approximately CAD$23,000; a family of two - income of CAD$28,000; and family of three - income of approximately CAD$35,000. These figures change on an annual basis, so you should always check the CIC website for the updated information when you are ready to apply.

You will also need to provide your mother with an invitation letter that details your relationship, proof of your income, and information about the accommodation you are willing and able to provide. You should include a copy of your birth certificate, a job letter, your most recent tax returns, and if you own a home, you should include a copy of your deed. If you are renting a home, you should enclose a copy of your rental agreement or lease.

These documents should be submitted with the completed application forms and the required fee. Your mother can visit the nearest visa application centre (VAC) for additional information and also to provide the biometric information. The forms must be completed accurately in order to avoid delays or rejection.

You should also note that CIC reopened the Parents and Grandparents Programme a few years ago, but they have limited the number of applications that they will accept to 5,000 per year. If you are interested in sponsoring your mother on a permanent basis so that she has the freedom to work, you should examine the requirements and have your applications ready to submit immediately when they reopen this programme.

The programme is usually reopened in January. In the past, the cap was reached within a matter of days. So if this is the route that you would like to take, I suggest that you start getting your documents ready in order to be able to apply promptly before the cap is reached.

• Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com.