One might ask, what is the difference between a Visitor Visa and a Super Visa? Is the super visa superior to the visitor visa, and if so, in what way? In fact, a super visa is not superior to the visitor visa as they both have the same purpose. The visitor visa is intended for any individual, of any age, to enter Canada temporarily. On the other hand, the super visa is intended for visitors in Canada with an eligible parent or grandparent that can visit family in Canada for up to two years without the need to renew their status. This gives the family of citizens or permanent residents in Canada the opportunity to visit and explore the wonders that Canada has to offer!
The Super Visa is intended to be a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period of up to 10 years. This can be extremely beneficial for family members who wish to stay with their family for a longer period of time than just a couple of years. The key difference compared to a Visitor Visa is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry Visitor Visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.
Note that a single-entry super visa is also available as an option for your travels. However, this remains at the discretion of a visa officer.
You must either be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Keep in mind, you cannot include your dependent children in this application. You may only include your spouse or common-law partner to accompany you under this provision.
In order to obtain a super visa, you will need to apply at a visa office or use a representative, such as Akrami & Associates, and provide:
A letter of invitation from your child or grandchild residing in Canada
Include your host child or host grandchild’s family composition (dependents, including spouse, children, or other relatives that are financially dependent on your host child or host grandchild).
One of the following documents to prove that your child or grandchild meets the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) minimum:
- Most recent copy of the Notice of Assessment (Taxes)
- Most recent copy of the T4 or T1
- Original letter from employer stating title, job description and salary
- Employment insurance pay stubs
- If self-employed, a letter from an accountant confirming annual income
- Proof of other sources of income (pension statement, investments, etc)
Evidence of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident you wish to visit (e.g. birth certificate, baptismal certificate or other official documents naming you as a parent or grandparent)
Proof that you have private medical insurance valid for a minimum of one year from a Canadian insurance company and that:
- Covers health care, hospitalization, and repatriation
- Provides a minimum coverage of $100, 000 and,
- Is valid for each entry to Canada and be available for review by a port of entry officer.
Along with these specific requirements, you may also be required to have your biometric fingerprints and photo (biometric information) taken in person at a biometric collection service point. Additionally, you will be required to undergo a medical examination.
The decision-making process behind your application is entirely in the hands of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, specifically immigration officers. These immigration officers consider a multitude of factors before they decide whether or not you can come to Canada. To ensure that you are in fact visiting, you must be a real visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of your visit.
An officer will look at these factors when you apply:
Your ties to your home country
The purpose of your visit
Your family and finances
The overall economic and political stability of your home country, and
An invitation from a Canadian host
There are different procedures for where you apply for super visa as well as how you enter Canada. Specifically, when the super visa applications are being assessed, the immigration officers, who are satisfied and confident that the applicants meet the eligibility criteria listed above and are otherwise admissible to Canada, will use the following procedures.
Visa Offices Abroad
Visa offices abroad, not in Canada, will issue a:
Multiple-entry Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for the duration of the validity period of the applicant’s passport less one month, up to a maximum duration of 10 years, unless there is a reason to have a shorter validity period (e.g. Visa Information Telex countries);
Letter of introduction for visa-exempt nationals who have submitted an IMM 5257 application form (TRV form) with no fees for the requested extended stay of up to two years on their initial entry or until the expiry of the applicant’s passport, whichever occurs first.
Port of Entry
Initially, parents or grandparents that are issued a super visa have the possibility of visiting Canada for up to two years for their first stay. Moreover, once super visa holders’ initial status expires and they exit Canada and seek to re-enter, boarder services officers will assess the super visa holders as regular visitors, pursuant to section 183 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V)
All super visa holders that may want to extend their temporary resident status in Canada beyond the initial period granted for their stay must submit an Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada form. Additional fees will apply and must be paid to the CPC-V. They also have the option of applying online. It is important to remember to apply before their status expires and must have complied with the conditions that were imposed on them upon entry to Canada.
It is essential that you have a family member, specifically a child or grandchild, in Canada that is a citizen or permanent resident before applying for a Super Visa. Visitor visa applications are one of the most difficult applications to fill and the same goes for super visa; it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain a temporary resident visa and super visa in Canada. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!