Dear Ms. Powell
I read your article regarding the super visa, but wanted to share my experience. My in-laws have been visiting us for the past several years on temporary resident visas (TRV). We finally applied for a super visa this year. Knowing that this is a multiple entry and 10-year visa, and that it would save us the hassle of applying for a TRV every year, I purchased medical insurance which cost us approximately CA$3,000. My mother-in-law received a three-year visa instead of a 10-year. My father-in-law got a three-month, multiple-entry visa. I have heard some other horror stories and have come to the conclusion that the super visa is a fraud and a total sham only to make money. I urge everyone to voice their concerns, especially people like you who are in the position to raise these concerns louder than most of us.
I am sorry that you have such a terrible opinion of the super visa as I know of several successful applicants. I'm not defending Citizenship and Immigration Canada ( CIC) and their policies, however, I am going to try to assist you and other readers to understand the basics.
Paying for a multiple entry temporary resident visa or a super visa does not guarantee that you will automatically be granted the maximum length of stay. The issuance of a super visa is at the discretion of the visa officer. You must convince the visa officer that you qualify for the extended visa. I have already discussed what those requirements are in previous articles, which are available online at my blog and on The Gleaner's website.
The visa officer will evaluate each individual based on his own personal circumstances. This includes age, medical condition, security factors, social and economic ties to Jamaica. I do not know the details of your in laws so I can't say the reason for the difference in the length of time that was granted.
The most common reason for rejection of applications is due to incomplete or inaccurate information. A common error is, when forms are completed online, applicants select the incorrect option on the electronic form when applying for a TRV, as they assume the visa office will ascertain, from the age of the applicant and stated purpose, that they are indeed applying for a super visa. So you must be careful and clear when submitting your application.
Although there is no formal process of appealing a decision, if the an applicant wishes to challenge the decision, you are within your right to do so by sending an email to email@example.com.
You will need to ensure that your grounds of appeal are clearly stated and that you submit all relevant supporting documents.
Another important factor to note is that CIC does not sell or issue medical insurance. There is no direct financaial benefit to them. There are several private companies on the market that sell medical insurance to persons who are applying for super visas. The more reputable and experienced agents and companies usually advise their clients to only pay a deposit towards the total premium, pending the approval of their application by CIC. A policy confirmation is then issued which is sufficient to satisfy CIC's requirements. The total premium would later be pro-rated and payable on a monthly basis. So the up-front premium outlay is reduced substantially until you have been granted permission to enter Canada. If the visa is refused, you can request a refund, less the usual administrative or non-refundable fee.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration.