On June 7, 2022, Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced enhancements to the Super Visa program effective July 4, 2022. According to IRR, enhancing the Super Visa program is to “make it even easier for Canadians to reunite with their parents and grandparents, and this time, for longer.”
The two-fold enhancement will allow parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to five years with the ability to extend their stay for another two years. In addition, IRCC will now allow Super Visa applicants to obtain the mandatory private medical insurance from an international company on IRCC’s yet-to-be-released designated list.
Super Visa applicants who plan to arrive in Canada after July 4 may be granted a five-year authorized stay at the Port of Entry. Border service officers have the discretion over entry decisions and the length of stay.
However, Super Visa holders already in Canada cannot stay beyond the length of stay approved at the Port of Entry by the Border Services Officer when they entered Canada. To benefit from a longer stay, they have to leave Canada before their authorized stay ends and re-enter the country after July 4. Alternatively, they may apply for an extension of their temporary resident status under the normal application process for visitors in Canada.
Super Visa applicants must be physically outside Canada. Therefore, if someone is already in Canada on a regular visitor visa or has an electronic travel authorization (eTA), they must leave the country before applying for a Super Visa.
Since the Super Visa facilitates significantly longer stays than a regular temporary resident visa, applicants must meet additional financial and medical conditions, including a medical examination; private emergency medical insurance from a Canadian or other designated company; and financial support from a child or grandchild who must meet the low income cut-off minimum. IRCC says these additional requirements “ensure Super Visa holders are adequately supported during their stay in Canada”.
The average processing time for Super Visa shown on IRCC’s website is 156 days, depending on the country of residence of the applicant. However, the department explains that “the time it takes to process an application varies according to a number of factors, including the type of application, how well and how quickly applicants respond to requests from IRCC to provide additional information, how easily IRCC can verify the information provided, and the complexity of the application.”