How to apply for a Super Visa to Canada

Last updated on May 12, 2023

Super Visa is a type of visa that allows your grandparents and parents to stay in Canada for an extended period of time. Unlike a regular tourist visa, the super visa, which is usually restricted to a maximum six months of stay, the super visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian PRs and citizens to stay up to five years at a time. Super Visas are valid for 10 years, which is another advantage as they therefore do not have to be renewed as frequently as the regular visa. 

Who needs a Super Visa to Canada

  • If you are a citizen of a non-visa exempt country, you will be required to have a visa to travel to Canada. Check the list of visa exempt countries on the Immigration Canada website
  • If you are a parent or a grandparent of a Canadian Permanent Resident or a Canadian Citizen
  • If you want to stay in Canada longer than 6 months, without renewing your status for 5 years

How do I know which type of Visa is right for me?

The choice between a Super Visa and a regular visitor visa depends on the intended duration of stay, the relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and the purpose of the visit to Canada.

Am I eligible to receive the visa?

  • Unlike the regular tourist visa application, the Super Visa has some very specific requirements that apply both to the visa applicant and the family member in Canada:
    • Proof of relationship: official documents such as passports and birth certificates are typically used to demonstrate family relationships. The sponsor also needs to provide proof of their status in Canada
    • Medical insurance: Super Visa applicants must obtain private medical insurance coverage from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least one year and covers healthcare, hospitalization, and repatriation
    • Letter of Invitation: Super Visas are specifically designed for family reunification purposes, allowing parents and grandparents to spend an extended time with their Canadian family
    • Financial Support: the sponsor of the applicant (the Canadian or PR relative who is inviting a parent or a grandparent) has to demonstrate that they meet the LICO threshold which is set by the Canadian government and dependent on the family size. Specific LICO requirements can be found here
    • Medical examination: You have to undergo an upfront medical assessment with an approved physician before applying

Is there an application guide?

Yes, IRCC has put together a detailed guide on what goes into this visa application and how an immigration officer makes their decision on your application.

Can I do it myself?

Yes, most of the temporary resident visa applications could be done on your own.

However, you might want to consider legal help in the following situations (this is not the complete list):

  • You have a very limited travel history, or if your travel history is mostly to the nearby countries
  • You are not well established in your country, whether you were born there or moved there
  • Your grand/child in Canada has limited financial resources
  • You are coming from a country with weak economy, problematic security situation, or that is in an international conflict
  • You have been sponsored before and refused (aka “Grand/Parent Sponsorship refusal”)
  • You have been previously refused a visa to Canada or any other country

How can lawyers help?

  • Sometimes it can be confusing to know what documents to gather and whether what you have gathered is sufficient. An experienced lawyer can help you with advice
  • If you have any admissibility issues, it is a good idea to work with a lawyer who will know how seriously this could impact your application and may be able to help you overcome the issues
  • We do this all the time so we can save you a lot of time with document gathering and submission process
  • Most importantly, an experienced lawyer would also identify the weak points in your application and suggest how to improve it

(The above should not be treated as legal advice)

Still unsure? We can help you make sense of your situation and suggest what you might need to do next.

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