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CANADA: Parent and Grandparent Super Visas—How Super is this Visa?

Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, whether visa exempt or not, can apply for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa to visit their children and grandchildren in Canada.

The benefit of applying for this visa is that it is valid for up to 10 years and allows an applicant to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need to renew their status. The process for getting a Super Visa is not simple, however. Applicants must provide proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income level, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance (which can cost $20,000), and undergo immigration medical examinations. Moreover, extensive background, residence, travel, and security information is required.

Although the government is issuing more than 1,000 Super Visas monthly, this new application process has created an extraordinarily expensive mandatory medical insurance requirement for parents and grandparents who are not visa exempt or, if visa exempt, for parents or grandparents wishing to remain in Canada for more than six months. It has created a lucrative new insurance market for Canadian insurance companies. The new Super Visa has also resulted in high refusal levels for traditional visa applications as well as visitor record renewals.

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