Being far away from your loved ones is one of the hardest things about moving to a new country. Thankfully, the Canadian government recognizes the challenges of being separated from your family. This is why Canada has immigration options for those hoping to bring their families together. One of the most popular programs for family reunification is the Super Visa program for parents and grandparents.
With a Canadian Super Visa, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents can travel to Canada and stay with their relatives for up to two years at a time. Also called the parents and grandparents visa, this program enables multiple entries for up to 10 years, giving you and your family plenty of time together. Want to spend Christmas together in Santa’s country of residence? Or have a stellar Chinese New Year on a ski slope? Or share heaps of turkey and pumpkin pie in a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner? If so, the Super Visa is for you.
In order to be eligible, children or grandchildren must provide a letter of invitation and meet minimum income requirements. Parents and grandparents then submit this letter along with proof they have obtained Canadian medical insurance. Super Visa insurance also has to meet minimum requirements and must cover at least one year from the date of entry to Canada.
What are the minimum required levels of coverage for Super Visa insurance?
You must purchase Super Visa insurance from a Canadian insurance company. It should cover health care, repatriation, and hospitalization. It must have a minimum coverage level of CAD $100,000 and be valid for each time the parent or grandparent enters Canada. Upon entry, the parent or grandparent must be able to present proof of their Canadian Super Visa insurance to an officer at the port of entry.
How much does Super Visa medical insurance cost?
You can compare costs for Super Visa insurance using Insurance Hotline’s comparison tool. According to InsuranceHotline.com research, the average cost of Super Visa insurance is CAD $1,660 per year per traveller.
Costs and coverage options vary depending upon your province or territory. You can get Super Visa insurance for one parent or grandparent, or a couple. A couple travelling together may save some money over purchasing single Super Visa insurance policies individually. InsuranceHotline.com’s surveys found that the average annual policy premium for a couple was CAD $2,839 for one year, providing each person the required $100,000 coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
Are there alternatives to Super Visa Insurance?
Super Visa insurance is designed to cover parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents (PR) who are travelling to Canada and plan to stay for one to two years. If you or your relative don’t fit the qualifications for a Super Visa, you have other options for travel visas and insurance for travellers. Many people travel to Canada for temporary stays of less than six months using visitor visas or simply using their passports if they come from a visa-exempt country. Relatives who have a 10-year multiple entry visa which allows them to stay for no longer than six months may be eligible for insurance for visitors to Canada.
How many people have used the Super Visa program for parents and grandparents?
Canada’s Super Visa program for parents and grandparents began in 2011. As of 2017, the program had admitted over 89,000 people to Canada and the program is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
Super Visa insurance cost is a necessary expense to allow your parent or grandparent to stay with you in Canada for up to two years. India, China, and Pakistan were the top countries for Super Visas between 2012 and 2017, but relatives from countries including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Iran, and Russia have also popularly used the Super Visa. The Super Visa has been a successful program for families who want to stay close to their loved ones without permanently living in or immigrating to Canada.
Those interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents to live in Canada permanently may also be interested in the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP). This program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to become Canadian permanent residents. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) opened 20,000 new sponsorship applications in 2019, four times more than were available in 2015.
Canada has a clear commitment to keeping families together. Whether you want to spend a holiday together as a family, or whether your parents want to be close by to watch their grandchildren grow up, Canada’s super visa program could be the solution you’ve been looking for.