Immigration Corner | I want my mom to visit
Dear Ms Powell,
My mom is in Jamaica and she is healthy and strong. I want her to come and spend some time with me in Canada as I'm scheduled to have a baby soon.
She says she doesn't want me to file for her as she doesn't want to live here, but that she would come and spend a year with me to help my husband and I with our new baby.
Is there a way to apply for her to stay longer than six months? Would I need to apply for a work permit for her?
It is not uncommon for parents and grandparents to visit their family members and spend an extended period of time, especially to assist with the birth of a child, celebrate marriage, assist with a loved one who is ill or help a bereaved family member.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the department of government that handles these applications. As long as you are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you may apply for a 'supervisa' for your parents and/or grandparents to visit for a period in excess of six months at a time. Your application could be successful if both you (the sponsor) and your mother (the applicant) are able to satisfy the requirements.
Under this programme, the applicant will be expected to be coming to Canada only as a visitor and not work without a valid work permit during the time that they are visiting. If your mother would like to work and receive compensation as a nanny with you or to accept work from a third party, she will need to apply for a work permit and satisfy the work permit requirements.
A supervisa 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, which is different from the supervisa application.
The application process for a supervisa is similar to that for a regular temporary resident or visitor's visa, except that there are a few additional requirements.
1. Provide proof of Canadian medical insurance that is valid for a minimum of one year with a minimum coverage of CDN$100,000. The medical insurance should cover health care, hospitalisation and expenses associated with emergency return to her country, if necessary;
2. Do an upfront medical check with an approved medical doctor, who will send the report directly to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). This medical includes, but is not limited to, checking of blood pressure and various blood tests;
3. Provide a recent police record to ensure that there are no security concerns;
4. IRCC will also check their own system to ensure that your mother is not deemed ineligible due to past breeches of IRCC rules;
5. Present her biometric information, which means attending the VAC to deliver her fingerprints and photograph;
6. Well drafted invitation which provides proof of your ability to support your mother and provide accommodations;
7. Pay the required fees and provide other supporting documents.
Your mother will need to first establish that she is a genuine visitor and that she will be providing emotional and physical support for you and your family. This is different from coming to Canada as an employee and working for monetary value equivalent to that which you would normally pay a nurse, nanny or caregiver. She will also need to show strong ties to her home country that would warrant her voluntary return at the end of the time granted.
Essentially, her ties to Jamaica will need to be greater than her ties to Canada. Such ties could include a job, from which she is taking a valid leave or leave of absence; ownership of property, savings, investments, motor vehicle, community involvement, and other dependents or family members.
You, as the sponsor, will also need to satisfy the immigration officer that you have the means and ability to accommodate your mom for an extended period of time. You will need to submit a job letter and notice of assessments/tax returns statements.
If you are living alone, you will need to show a minimum income of approximately CDN$25,000; a family of two, income of CDN$31,000; or a family of three, income of approximately CDN$38,000. These figures change on an annually, so you should always check the IRCC's website for the updated information.
These documents should be submitted with the completed application forms and the required fee.
You should note that there is a limit to the number of supervisa applications that are accepted annually, so you will need to check if they are accepting applications at the time that you plan to apply. The application process can take up to two months, so you should plan for that.
If your mother is planning to go to Canada as an employee, she must apply for a work permit. This would require you to have a labour market impact assessment report. For more information, you should consult with an immigration lawyer directly.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public in Jamaica and Canada. Submit your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration. Visit her website or call 613-695-8777 for more information about her services.