Effective December 1, 2011, foreign parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for a Parents and Grandparents Extended Stay Visa. Dubbed the “Super Visa” by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the new form of temporary resident visa (TRV) will be valid for up to 10 years and will permit the holder to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time.
According to CIC’s instructions to visa officers, in order to be eligible for a Super Visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Provide proof of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Undergo a medical examination and be admissible on health grounds;
- Provide 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
- Provide 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 (as set out in CIC’s Manual for Processing Applications to Sponsor Members of the Family Class) for the total number of persons, including the visiting parent(s) or grandparent(s).
CIC has indicated that it expects visa officers to issue Super Visas within eight weeks of applications.
The new Super Visa is part of CIC’s so-called “Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification” announced on November 4, 2011 which includes an increase in 2012 in the number of admissions of sponsored parents and grandparents but also a temporary moratorium (effective since November 5, 2011) of up to two years on the acceptance of new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.
For further information on the eligibility criteria for the new Super Visa or on the process and requirements generally for sponsoring a member of the family class, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.