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The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on a wide variety of legal issues in the Province of Alberta. This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.
This topic discusses ordinary visitor visas for any visitor and Super-Visas for parents or grandparents of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident residing outside Canada. In this topic we provide general information as to how and what the requirements are for those who are interested to apply for one for their love ones.
Visitor Visa Requirements
A visitor visa is a permit granted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to citizens of most countries to visit Canada. Citizens of some countries, however, do not require a visa to visit Canada, just a current passport. The usual period of visit, is always subject to change by an immigration officer at the port of entry, is six months. An extension of time is possible by application in Canada upon payment of a new fee.
Visitor visas are not granted as a matter of right and there is no appeal for a refusal. The only option is to make a new application. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada website under “Visit” sets out what visa officers consider in visitor visa applications:
Your ties to your home country,
The purpose of your visit,
Your family and finances,
The overall economic and political stability of your home country, and
An invitation from a Canadian host.
The “Super-Visa” is a 10 year multiple entry visa is available for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The Super-Visa allows the visitor to stay for up to two years at a time without having to apply for an extension. For this reason, even parents and grandparents from visa exempt countries may consider applying for a Super-Visa.
Super-Visa Requirements are:
1. Usual requirements as those previously discussed under “Visitor Visa Requirements”
2. Proof of family relationship.
3. The visitor must prove there is a child or grandchild in Canada.
4. The visitor must provide a written promise of financial support from the child or grandchild in Canada.
5. The visitor must prove private health insurance coverage in Canada for a one year minimum.
6. Citizens of most countries will require an immigration medical examination to apply for a visitor visa. This is an examination by a medical doctor approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. For more information, see the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website “Visit” “Parents and Grandparents” “Immigration Medical Examination” to find out whether you will require an immigration medical examination and how to locate approved doctors in your country.
7. The Super-Visa requires the Canadian child or grandchild to meet minimum income thresholds, the idea being that the Canadian child or grandchild must be able to pay all the expenses of the visitor.
The income limits are calculated on the basis of a table found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website currently under “Visit Canada” “Parents and Grandparents”. If your family size is mother, father and one child and you wish to invite the child’s grandmother, the family size is four people. In 2014, the minimum income threshold for four people is $43,942.00. If your family is mother, father and two children and you wish to invite the mother’s parents; the family size is five people. In 2014, the minimum income threshold for five people is $49,839.00.
Super-visas are useful for long visits in Canada of parents and grandchildren. They are multi-entry, long-term visitor visas and have some added requirements not required for an ordinary visitor visa, such as minimum income for the Canadian child or grandchild, a written promise of financial support, proof of family in Canada, immigration medical examination and private health insurance.