The Super Visa was initiated by the conservative government on December 1, 2011 for parents and grandparents of immigrants and Canadian citizens. This plan was initiated with a motive of clearing the vast backlog of about 165,000 parents and grandparents who are trying to join family in Canada. There are various objectives behind this initiative and it has got a mixed response from the citizens and permanent residents. The various advantages seen from government, some Canadian residents and from the Parents and grandparents aspiring to visit their loved ones in Canada are:
- It is as per the Canadian immigration objective of reunification of families,
- Reducing the processing time for visa,
- Less burden on tax payers of Canada for health and pension of elderly people. As this super visa don’t allow them for free medical coverage.
By this Super Visa process the parents and grandparents are granted a 10 years multiple entry visa which has to be renewed after a period of 2 years. The main concern of the children or grandchildren is that:
- they have to purchase a private Canadian health insurance, a basic plan that covers each parent up to $100,000 during their stay in Canada.
- The individuals sponsoring their parent or grandparent will have to show they can support their visiting relatives.
The advantage of this Super Visa is that the parents and grandparents can be in Canada with their loved ones for maximum two years at a stretch. And unlike visitor visa this Super Visa is a 10 years multiple entry visa instead of maximum six month in case of visitor visa. The extension of this visa is also simpler and the applicant has to shell out a fewer fee for this.
The another advantage is time period for processing of application, which has reduced drastically from average 8 years to 8 months and the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have been found admissible to Canada and meet some other conditions are eligible for the Super Visa.
Visa officers consider several factors before deciding if the person is admissible. This means they are a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of their visit. Among the things that could be considered are:
- the person’s ties to the home country,
- the purpose of the visit,
- the person’s family and financial situation,
- the overall economic and political stability of the home country, and
- invitations from Canadian hosts.
In addition to being found admissible to Canada, the parent/grandparent must also:
- provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold,
- prove that they have bought Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the period of time that they will be in Canada, and
- complete an Immigration Medical Examination (IME).
Since this Super Visa has got mixed reaction from the people and this is being used as an political advantage by the liberals in the elections. Keeping this in mind the conservatives, through its minister Kenney has started consultations to discuss the challenges faced in this program and he seek feedback on possible options for modernizing it.
Redesign options are being explored by the government to address a number of questions like addressing the economic impact of parents and grandparents on the sponsored and clearing applications based on exceptional cases like widowed or with exceptional needs.
But overall if we see that this move and step of government is well thought of and praise worthy. No doubt there is always a scope for improvement and based on the feedback of the Canadians the procedure can be made more simpler, transparent and efficient.