Immigration Corner: How do I get a 'Super visa'?
Dear Ms Powell,
I heard that I can get a Super Visa to go and stay in Canada for up to five years without going back and forth every six months. Can you tell me how to apply for a Super Visa?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a category called the Super Visa that is usually granted for a maximum of five to ten years. Qualified individuals will be authorised to stay longer than the usual six months - from the date of entry, up to a maximum of two years - without paying a fee to apply to extend the time authorised to remain in Canada. However, this visa is only open to parents or grandparents of permanent residents and citizens of Canada, who are able to satisfy certain requirements.
The main requirement is that you must be a genuine visitor and do not intend to work without a permit during your visit. You must also leave at the end of the time granted to stay within Canada.
If you are a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and able to demonstrate that you are eligible and admissible, you may submit an application to the nearest Canadian visa application centre.
It is a two-step application process, so both you and your child or grandchild must meet the requirements in order to be granted the visa.
LOW INCOME CUT-OFF
The first step is to ensure that your child or grandchild meets the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) threshold as established by Statistics Canada. This is a formula which is used to estimate how much the average family is expected to devote to its basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. This is used to ensure that your relative will be able to provide for the family and that your visit will not be an economic burden on him or her.
The LICO is updated annually. Currently, if your relative is single, he or she will need to provide proof of income for two (including you). Therefore, income will need to be in excess of approximately CDN$30,300; a family of three - CDN$37,300; family of four - CDN$45,300, and so on. This table is available on Statistics Canada or the CIC website.
Your relative will need to submit a notice of assessment and/or T1/T4 for the most recent tax returns, job letter and proof of other assets and income.
You will also need to submit the usual qualifying documents to show that you are financially capable of maintaining yourself and that you have ties to your home country that will prompt you to return at the end of the time granted. CIC also looks at the economic stability of your home country as a part of the evaluation process.
Additionally, you will need to do a parent-grandparent medical examination, as well as provide proof of private medical insurance that covers hospitalisation and medical expense for a minimum of one year. You will not have free access to medical facilities in Canada if you become ill while visiting.
The parent and grandparent visa is a unique visa and is usually utilised by individuals who choose not to go through the sponsorship application process to become permanent residents. Usually, a parent and grandparent visit to assist their relatives in a time of need for an extended period of time and then return to their home country.
If you intend to stay longer than two years and have a child or grandchild who is a citizen or permanent resident, then now is the time to submit an application for sponsorship before the cap is reached.
If you do not have a child or grandchild who is a citizen or permanent resident, then you should apply for a 10-year multiple-entry visa. However, bear in mind that if you intend to stay longer than six months, you must submit an application to extend the time before the six months expires. You will be required to pay the requisite application fee and provide valid reason for the application for extension.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Immigration Fax: 613.695.8778