Super Visa for parents and grandparents

Like many foreign-born Canadians, you may have parents or grandparents still living in your home country, whom you miss dearly. You likely want to introduce them to their grandkids or your spouse, show them your home, or proudly show off your adopted country. But does Canada allow these visits, and how long can parents and grandparents stay?

Happily, the federal government does allow Canadian citizens with qualifying parents and grandparents to visit for an extended period — six months or more — and provides an application process by which to obtain a “super visa” to get them here. The big difference from a regular visitor visa? With a super visa, your visitor can stay up to two years in a single visit, and travel back and forth for 10 years.

If your parents or grandparents visit for less than six months, then they can apply for a regular visitor’s visa instead.

Start the super visa application process today!

The application process with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada can be lengthy, and you have to provide the government with a number of documents and assurances. These include:

Official letter of invitation: Issued to the parent or grandparent, including citizenship documents, birth certificates, proof of your relationship and assurances of financial support during the visit.

Medical exam: This is done by a specially designated physician, and includes a comprehensive exam, chest x-rays and lab tests.

Travel insurance: You must also obtain travel insurance for your parent or grandparent, lasting at least one year and with a minimum of $100,000 coverage. The policy must be bought from a Canadian insurance company, and you need to submit proof of purchase.

For more specifics, and to start the application process, visit the Immigration and Citizenship section at the Government of Canada website. Or visit an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office near you.

And when it’s time to evaluate travel insurance to satisfy super visa requirements, don’t forget trip interruption insurance, and examine the various deductibles that can lower your costs.

Yes, the process can be long and does take a lot of paperwork. But, on the bright side, you can look forward to a long and satisfying visit.