If you wish to come to Canada but cannot get sponsored by your children, or you just wish visit your children or grandchildren in Canada for longer than 6 months and up to 2 years, then you should consider a Super Visa. If your visit will be for less than 6 months, then you should just apply for a regular visitor visa.
Eligibility for Super Visas
To be eligible for a Super Visa you must meet the following conditions:
Super Visa Applicants with a Child or Grandchild in Canada
You must be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada.
You must have a letter signed by your child or grandchild that:
- Invites you to visit them in Canada
- Promises to support you financially for your entire stay
- Includes a copy of your child or grandchild’s Canadian citizenship document (citizenship certificate/card or birth certificate) or Permanent Residence Card.
Proof of Canadian Medical Insurance for Super Visas
You must have taken out medical insurance with a CANADIAN insurance company which:
- Is valid for 1 year or longer from your date of entry into Canada
- Has minimum coverage of at least CAD$100,000
- Includes proof that this insurance policy is pre-paid (a quote from a Canadian insurance company is not proof of payment).
Admissibility to Canada for Super Visas
You must be allowed to enter Canada – in other words, you must not have a criminal record or be considered a security risk or have certain contagious diseases or have anything else that might render you ineligible to enter the country.
You must take a medical immigration exam. You must use what is called a Panel Physician – a doctor approved by Canadian immigration authorities to perform medical exams – from a list of available in your country of residence. Go here to find a panel physician.
You must NOT include any other dependents in your application for a Super Visa. The Super Visa is only for you and your spouse – only the direct grandparents or parents of children/grandchildren living in Canada are eligible for a Super Visa
The Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) for Sponsors for Super Visas
Ensure that your children or grandchildren with whom you will be visiting meet the minimum necessary income levels. It is also called the Low Income Cut-off (LICO). Here are the income levels valid for 2018:
|Size of Family Unit||Minimum Income Necessary (CAD$) in 2018|
|1 person (i.e. the child or grandchild)||$24,949|
|2 persons (i.e. 1 child and 1 parent or grandparent)||$31,061|
|3 persons (i.e. the child and their spouse plus one parent or grandparent)||$38,185|
|More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add||$6,723|
To prove that your child or grandchild meets the income requirements listed in the above table, any one of the following documentation is acceptable:
- Notice of Assessment (NOA) which is issued by Canada Revenue Agency after taxes have been filed in the most recent tax year
- T4 slips which are official records of your child or grandchild’s income and which their employer files with Canada Revenue Agency
- T1 slips which are official records of total income from all sources filed with Canada Revenue Agency
- Employment Insurance stubs which are records of employment insurance benefits received
- Pay stubs which are records from your employer of salary received
- Bank statements or Investment statements.
Prove Your Visit to Canada is Temporary – Super Visa Applications
Finally, you must convince Canadian immigration authorities that the purpose of your visit is to see your children or grandchildren and not to move permanently to Canada. Immigration authorities will consider:
- Your ties to your home country to ensure that you will return at the end of your visit
- Your family ties and your financial situation
- The economic and political stability of your home country
- The purpose of your visit.
Once you are confident you are eligible, you can then apply online or by paper.
How to Apply for Your Canadian Super Visa in 6 Steps
Super Visa Application Step 1: Get the Forms
Download your visitor visa application package and gather your document as you would for a regular visitor visa. This includes getting any document not in English or French translated by a certified translator who will provide a certified translation and certified copies of the original documents, before you submit them with your application.
Super Visa Application Step 2: Complete the Application
Complete the application form using the Instruction Guide form (IMM 5256).
Super Visa Step 3: Provide Biometrics (If Necessary)
Find out if you are required to give biometrics. Go here and choose your country of residence or citizenship from the drop-down menu and see if you have to provide biometric information. Follow the instructions in the email you will receive in your MyCIC account after your application has been received. You will have a digital photograph taken of your face and you will have your fingerprints recorded by placing your hands on a glass screen of a device that will record your them. Please note that from July 31 onward, anyone from Europe, the Middle East, or Africa will have to provide biometric information. More about biometrics.
Super Visa Application Step 4: Pay Your Fees
Pay your fees. There is an application processing fee and a biometric fee, if you have to provide biometrics. You will need:
- A valid email address
- Access to a printer
- A valid credit card or a Canadian debit card.
Go here for further instructions on how to pay your fees. Remember to print your receipt before exiting the online payment form. If you are applying on paper, a receipt will be emailed to you. Print the receipt and include it with your paper application.
Super Visa Application Step 5: Submit Your Super Visa Application
- If you are applying on paper, you may submit your application at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) serving your location. Go here for a list of VAC’s around the world.
- If you are applying online, you will have to create an account (MyCIC) that will serve as to connect you with Canadian immigration authorities and were you can monitor the progress of your application. You can use two options to create your account and to log in to your account:
- Use Sign-In Partner: This is your online banking login, if you bank with a Canadian financial institution.
- Use GCKey: This is an electronic credentials service by the Government of Canada.
Super Visa Application Step 6: Receive Your Decision and Come to Canada
Your application will be reviewed in detail and if your application is approved your original documents will be returned to you including your passport which will include your Super Visa. If your application is refused your original documents will also be returned to you along with an explanation of why your application was refused.
Riley Haas has been a leading expert since 2011 on immigration matters, with hundreds of publications online. Published author of three books about political philosophy, the Beatles and the Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively. BA from Bishop’s University, MA from McMaster University. You follow Riley on Substack https://rileyhaas.substack.com.