Unfortunately, the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program is very competitive and only a limited number of applications are allowed to be submitted per year. For example, in 2017, approximately 100,000 Expressions of Interest were submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada), and only 10,000 people were invited to submit applications. As the program is limited, it is strongly encouraged that one also considers the Super Visa program.
The Super Visa is different than the traditional visitor visa as it allows a parent or grandparent to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time (instead of the usual 6 months under a visitor visa).
In order to be eligible under the Super Visa program, a foreign national must demonstrate that their child or grandchild in Canada:
- Meets minimum income requirements; and
- Has provided a letter of invitation from their child or grandchild, which indicates that they will be providing financial support.
In addition, the foreign national must:
- Provide evidence of valid medical insurance for at least one year, to cover their stay in Canada;
- Complete an immigration medical examination; and
- Demonstrate that they will return to their home country at the end of their stay in Canada. An Officer will review a foreign national’s ties to their home country, the purpose of their visit to Canada, their family ties and finances and the overall economic and stability of their home country.
Individuals who are Visa-Exempt
Foreign nationals who are visa exempt can still apply for a Super Visa. They are encouraged to submit a complete application either online or by paper to the responsible visa office. If Immigration Canada issues a positive decision, the foreign national will be provided with a letter to present at the port of entry. The letter will facilitate the issuance of a two year visitor record.