Last month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that it would no longer accept family class sponsorships for parents and grandparents for at least 2 years. To compensate for the freeze on applications, a “Super Visa” was announced.
The title “Super Visa” makes it seem like this visa will be able to overcome anything – much like the comic book hero Superman. However, a closer look at the Super Visa makes it look closer to the socially awkward and clumsy Clark Kent, as portrayed by Christopher Reeve in the old Superman movies.
The Super Visa requires Canadian families to provide a written and signed promise of financial support
The Super Visa requires visa officers to obtain a written and signed promise of financial support by the family in Canada indicating that the family in Canada will support the parent or grandparent for the stay. Because Super Visas may be granted for up to two years, this will require the family in Canada to prove that they have enough funds to support their parents and grandparents (along with the rest of their own family in Canada) for two years.
Canadian families must make a minimum income to bring their parents or grandparents
In order to calculate how much money you need to make to bring a parent or grandparent to Canada, individuals looking to bring their parents or grandparents under the a Super Visa must add the number of members of their immediate family to the number of parents or grandparents who are coming. The number of family members is then compared to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s minimum necessary income figures. The current figures (which may change in January) are as follows:
1 person $22,229
2 people $27,674
3 people $34,022
4 people $41,307
5 people $46,850
6 people $52,838
7 people $58,827
Each additional person $5,989
What this means is that a married couple with 2 dependent children who are looking to bring one set of parents (2 people) would have a family size of 6. The minimum necessary income for this family is $52,838.
The Super Visa cannot be used if the parent or grandparent is medically inadmissible
Another restriction of the Super Visa is that parents and grandparents must undergo and pass a medical examination done by an approved doctor of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
If a parent or grandparent has a health condition that does not allow entry under immigration law, that parent or grandparent will not be allowed to get a Super Visa. In addition, they will have also already paid for their immigration medical.
The Super Visa requires the purchase of private medical insurance
Under the Super Visa, parents or grandparents must provide satisfactory evidence of private medical insurance from Canadian insurance company. The insurance must be valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of entry. At a minimum, the insurance must:
1. cover the parent or grandparent for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
2. provide a minimum of $100,000 coverage; and
3. must be valid for each entry to Canada.
It is important to know that the insurance must come from a Canadian company. As a result, parents and grandparents will have to pay Canadian insurance premiums. While it may be cheaper to get health insurance abroad, this will not be allowed unless it is from a Canadian insurance company.
Super Visa insurance is expensive
Some immigration lawyers have looked into the cost of emergency medical insurance for Super Visas. A quote that one immigration lawyer received from an insurance company was as follows:
Parents or Grandparents ages 41-60: $148.20 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 61-64: $154.80 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 65-69: $183.00 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 70-74: $236.40 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 75-79: $273.60 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 80-84: $358.20 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 85-89: $625.50 per month
Parents or Grandparents ages 90 and above: No coverage available.
On the basis of these rates, a person looking to bring two sets of parents (4 people in total) who are 85 years of age would have to pay over $30,000 in insurance premiums over 2 years.
Families should know that immigration premiums can go higher depending on the individual’s age, health history, and the duration the individual will be in Canada. Also, if insurance is not available (such as for parents and grandparents older than 90 and parents and grandparents who have health conditions and cannot be insured), no Super Visa would be issued.
The Super Visa still requires parents and grandparents to meet “all legislative requirements for a temporary resident visa”
Under the Super Visa, parents and grandparents who may have criminal records, may have violated Canadian immigration laws in the past, or may be otherwise inadmissible will not be granted Super Visas.
As well, parents and grandparents looking to eventually move here must also still be able to establish “dual intent”. As a result, if the parent or grandparent cannot show that he or she would be willing to return to their home country after the expiry of their Super Visa, the Super Visa can be refused.
Even with a Super Visa, visa officers will still look at:
· the parent and grandparent’s ties to the home country,
· the purpose of the visit,
· the person’s family and financial situation, and
· the overall economic and political stability of the home country.
The Super Visa cannot be used for children
Another restriction of the Super Visa is that it is only offered to parents and grandparents. As a result, if you are looking to bring your parents but also have younger brothers or sisters abroad, the younger brothers and sisters could not come to Canada under the Super Visa and would have to be left behind unless they qualify for their own visa.
This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.
Reis is a lawyer with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at www.aikins.com, follow Reis on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/reispagtakhan