Every year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) receives applications for sponsorship of nearly 38,000 parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. According to CIC, more than 165,000 parents and grandparents who have applied to become permanent residents of Canada are still waiting for a final decision.
Wait times for Family Class sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents now exceed seven years, and without taking action, those times will continue to grow, and that is unacceptable, said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Action must be taken to cut the backlog, reduce the wait times, and ensure that the parents and grandparents program is sustainable over the long run.
In a bid to deal with the large backlog, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is introducing a new "Parent and Grandparent Super Visa", in tandem with other measures, to ensure faster family reunification.
The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa has come into effect on December 1, 2011, and will be valid for up to 10 years. The multiple-entry visa will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. According to CIC, visas will be issued, on average, within eight weeks of the application. This means that instead of waiting for eight years, a parent or a grandparent can come to Canada within eight weeks.
Who is eligible for Parent Super visa or Grandparent Super Visa?
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have been found admissible to Canada and meet some other conditions are eligible for the Super Visa.
Super Visa applicants are expected to leave Canada at the end of their visit. The visa officer could consider other factors such as:
- the person’s ties to the home country,
the purpose of the visit,
the person’s family and financial situation,
the overall economic and political stability of the home country, and
Invitation from Canadian hosts.
In addition to being found admissible to Canada, the parent/grandparent must also:
Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold,
Prove that they have bought Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the period of time that they will be in Canada, and
Complete an Immigration Medical Examination (IME).
Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health-care insurance for their stay in Canada. The government has cleverly shifted the financial burden on to immigrant families while making the family reunification quick and convenient for those wanting to bring family members from their home nations. Most immigrants will be happy that they can get their family members to come quickly without long delays and frustration with CIC.