If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have parents or grandparents living abroad that you’d like to have visit you, then it’s important that you understand how the Canada Super Visa works.
From eligibility requirements to how to apply for one, this post will walk you through everything you need to know about this unique type of visa.
What is the Canada Super Visa?
To travel to Canada, you need either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This is required for flying or transiting through a Canadian airport as well.
There are numerous types of visas you can apply for, with the type you need to apply for depending on the kind of travel document you are traveling with, the country that issued it, your nationality, and how you plan to travel to Canada.
Without these documents, you can be stopped from boarding a flight or delayed in the process. Not every visitor will need a super visa – some countries, like the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, etc., enjoy limited travel visa exemptions – but the super visa has some advantages over the regular visitor visa: it lasts longer (up to ten years depending on passport expiry); and it allows you to stay up to two years without having to leave Canada (or apply to extend a visa again and again).
Many family members who are visiting Canada will apply for a regular visitor visa. A regular visitor visa is a low-cost visa that will allow you to stay for up to six months in Canada.
But what if you need to stay longer and don’t want to have to constantly renew your visa? That’s where the Canada Super Visa is the better option.
The Canada Super Visa is a unique type of visa that is similar to a regular visa. However, it is designed specifically for the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
It makes it possible for these visitors to come to Canada for up to two consecutive years without having to renew their status. A multi-entry visa, it allows for additional multiple entries for up to ten years.
Who is Eligible for a Super Visa?
You need to be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to be eligible for a super visa.
Other members of your family may be able to get a visitor visa if they are eligible.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for a Super Visa?
There are a few requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for a super visa.
You’ll need a signed letter from your child or grandchild that is inviting you to Canada. This letter has to include certain information, such as:
- A promise to provide financial support for the full length of your visit upon your arrival
- The list and number of people currently in the supporting person’s household
- A copy of the supporting person’s citizenship or permanent resident document
To apply for a super visa, you’ll also need to have super visa media insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least 12 months from the date of entry and that provides a $100,000 (or more) worth of coverage. There has to be proof that the policy has been paid for (quotes only are not acceptable), and when it will be in effect.
Finally, you will need to apply for this document outside of Canada and be legally allowed to enter Canada. An immigration medical exam is required as well. As of 2022, all travelers from a foreign country are now required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before entering Canada as well.
There are all sorts of other factors that the authorities will consider when your application is being reviewed, too. They’ll look at the ties you have to your current home country, your reasons for visiting Canada, your family and financial situation, and the political and economic stability of your home country.
The ultimate goal of a Canada Super Visa is to make it easier for you to visit close family members in Canada – not to provide a permanent respite from your home country. It is for genuine visitors who will leave by choice at the end of the visit.
What Support Documents Do You Need for a Super Visa?
Gather your support documents prior to submitting your application for a super visa, as the process can be lengthy and you don’t want it to be delayed in any way.
There are four main documents you need to apply for a super visa, as detailed below.
Letter of Invitation
The letter of invitation is the most important part of the super visa application puzzle, but luckily, it’s the easiest to obtain.,
This letter should be written by your child or grandchild and include the following:
- A copy of the child or grandchild’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document
- A list of the names and numbers of people in the household
- A commitment to provide financial support for the entire visit
Evidence of Financial Support
The next support document you will need is a commitment to provide the minimum necessary income. This varies depending on household size, ranging from $25,921 for one person all the way up to $68,598 for seven persons. More details can be found here.
Evidence can be provided in the form of:
- Pay stubs;
- An employment hiring letter that includes the start date and salary amount;
- Employment insurance stubs;
- A Notice of Assessment for the most recent tax year;
- Bank statements.
One note here – even if you have financial support, getting travel insurance for your trip is not a bad idea!
Proof Of Medical Insurance
You will also need to provide proof that you have paid for emergency medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company.
This should be valid for a minimum of one year from the date of entry and worth at least $100,000 in coverage.
Immigration Medical Exam Documentation
Last but not least, you will need a note from a doctor confirming that you completed an immigration medical exam (which is much like a regular physical) or have a medical exemption.
How Much Does a Super Visa Cost?
When you apply for a super visa, you will need to pay the biometrics fee when you submit it. Otherwise, you could experience delays. If you apply online, you can use a credit or debit card.
The application fee is $100 for all individuals plus the aforementioned biometrics fee, which is $85 per person. You’ll also need to pay for an eTA, which is $7 per person.
How Long Does a Super Visa Take to Get Approved?
It usually takes just a few weeks (around 20 to 30 days) for a super visa to be approved and for you to receive a final decision from the federal government.
In some cases, you may need to provide more detailed information in order to convince government officials that you should be eligible for a super visa.
How Do I Apply for a Super Visa?
You must apply for a super visa from outside of Canada. The application can be completed online or on paper with all travellers needing to complete their own forms. The closest visa application center near you should be able to help you complete your forms if you make an appointment as well.
There are lots of benefits to applying online, since the applications are processed more quickly and the application is received immediately. If you need to submit more documents, you can easily do so online, and you don’t have to worry about providing your passport until it is actually needed.
You’ll also be able to get real-time updates on the application states in your online account.
When you apply online, you can use a camera or a scanner to create electronic copies of your documents. Read the application guide carefully so that you know exactly what you must do to have your application processed and everything you need to do in order to avoid delays.
Can a Super Visa Be Rejected?
Unfortunately, a super visa can be rejected, and it’s something that happens more often than you might think.
Some of the most common reasons for refusals include:
- Lack of travel history
- A lack of employment prospects in the home country (indicating that the super visa might turn into a longer stay in Canada)
- An indication that the visitor wants to stay longer than two years
- Lack of family ties in Canada
- Personal assets that make you high risk
- Documents that don’t appear authentic
- Illegal status in the country of residence
If You Are in Canada on a Super Visa, Are You Allowed to Work?
You can work while you are in Canada on a super visa, but you will need to obtain a permit to do so. You can apply for this permit from your home country or from Canada. This can be done by work or by mail.
There are a few jobs that don’t require a work permit. For example, if you are working as an athlete, emergency service provider, news reporter, performing artist, or public speaker (among other jobs on the eligibility list), you will not need to provide a work permit.
Applying for a Canada super visa is a great way to visit family in Canada, and fortunately, applying for one is relatively easy.
Whether you’re helping a family member visit you from their home country abroad or you’re the one applying for this document yourself, hopefully, this information has been helpful in telling you everything you need to know.