Families in Canada with parents and grandparents abroad will soon be able to reunite more easily and for a longer period of time.
The federal government on June 7 announced enhancements to the super visa program as part of its objective to attract and retain immigrants.
The changes include increasing the length of stay for super visa holders from the current time of two years to a new length of five years per entry into Canada.
Also, parents and grandparents with a super visa will have the option to request to extend their stay by up to two years at a time while in Canada.
This means that a super visa holder can stay in the country for seven consecutive years.
Another change involves allowing the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to designate international medical insurance companies to provide coverage to super visa applicants in the future.
Currently, only Canadian insurance companies can provide the necessary medical coverage that super visa applicants are required to have.
These changes will come into force on July 4, 2022.
In an official media release on June 7, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said that the enhancements will make it easier for Canadians to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada.
“Families are at the heart of Canadian society. The enhancements to the super visa program allow family members to reunite for longer in Canada, which helps everyday Canadian citizens and permanent residents succeed and contribute to society while affording their parents and grandparents invaluable opportunities to spend time with their family in Canada,” Fraser said.
The super visa program has been helping Canadian citizens and permanent residents reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada for extended periods of time since 2011.
The multiple-entry visa is valid for up to 10 years.
Previously, the visa has allowed parents and grandparents to remain in Canada for two years at a time.
The super visa is more beneficial than a regular multiple-entry visitor visa, under which the length of stay is usually six months or less.
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, said in the same media release that reuniting families is a “priority for our Government and contributes to our success and strength as a country—particularly, as we work to recover from the pandemic and reconnect with our loved ones”.
“I want to thank the Canada Border Services Agency employees who are working with partners to help unite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their families, while keeping our borders safe and secure,” Mendicino said.
Each year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issues around 17,000 super visas.
The host child or grandchild must meet minimum income requirements under the program.
Parents and grandparents applying for a super visa must have a medical examination and provide proof of private health insurance from an approved insurance provider.