On June 7th, 2022 the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they are improving the Super Visa program and are making it easier for Canadians to be reunited with their parents and grandparents for a longer period of time.
This, in order to prioritize family reunification so that Canada can “attract, retain and integrate immigrants who contribute to the success of our country.” The news is a great enhancement to the already popular super visa program that was launched in 2011 to help reunite immigrants who meet a certain income level with their parents and grandparents from their countries of origin. It has been offered as an alternative to the sponsorship program for over a decade because the PGP is too sought-after and there are not enough spots available. Currently, the IRCC does not accept any sponsorship applications at all.
Super visas are usually valid for up to 10 years and can be used for multiple entries. The Government of Canada issues approximately 17,000 super visas annually and it is currently the best alternative to the regular visa, which allows one to remain in Canada up to 6 months, before needing to extend the visa. Previously, visiting parents and grandparents were only permitted to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time and had to leave the country before they could come back again.
New Changes to Super Visa Program:
The new changes, which come into force on July 4, 2022, will increase the length of the stay for Super Visa holders from two to five years per entry into Canada.
In addition, parents and grandparents who already hold the super visa will now have the option to request to extend their stay by up to 2 years at a time while remaining in Canada, which means they can visit for up to 7 years at a time.
This new enhancement is a welcoming relief for many Canadian families wishing to keep their loved ones closer for longer and not needing to spend money and go through the added stress of their parents traveling back home every two years. As the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said, “Families are at the heart of Canadian society” and it seems as though the Canadian Government is determined to ease family reunification for Canadians who have parents and grandparents abroad.
What about insurance?
In order to apply for the super visa, the applicant has to be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. They also have to provide a signed letter from their child or grandchild with the promise of financial support for the length of their stay.
In addition, parents and grandparents applying for the super visa have to provide proof of private health insurance from an approved insurance provider. This is to make sure that the Canadian taxpayers are not liable for the high costs of emergency health care for those Super Visa holders. The insurance has to be for a minimum of one year and has to have coverage of at least $100,000.
Previously, the IRCC required the applicants to be insured by a Canadian insurance company but with the new enhancement they announced that they will be allowing some international companies to offer the super visa insurance as well. While this is potentially good news for some, we still highly recommend looking for policies from a Canadian company for a few important reasons.
- If a person has a medical emergency in Canada, it would be a lot easier to deal with claims and sudden issues locally, especially with the help of an insurance broker who can contact the company on your behalf.
- There are plenty of Canadian insurance companies that offer these plans and therefore there is a vast variety of plans available on the market for the client to choose from. The Government will only allow a limited number of international companies to offer these plans, thus not leaving much room for selection. Having a lot of options could save you a lot of money and reduce the stress of dealing with large companies abroad.
- If you purchase the insurance with an insurance broker, like us, you get the benefit of the personalized service and the expertise of the agent, as well as recommendation of the most appropriate plan for your needs and budget. Arbetov Insurance is here if you have any questions or need help selecting a plan for the Super Visa, visitors to Canada and many other insurance products.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Arbetov Insurance Team
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