Apr 20, 2012 @ 04:51 pm by Patricia Wells

As of late 2011, your parents and grandparents overseas have the option of applying for a “supervisa” to come and stay with you in Canada. They also have the option of applying for a regular visa, just as they always have.

Which visa is best? It depends …

The SUPERVISA might be best if:

  • you wanted to sponsor your parents or grandparents, but now you can’t because of the 2-year “pause” in sponsorships imposed in late 2011
  • you meet the Low Income Cut Off for sponsoring your parents or grandparents (minimum income needed to sponsor, amount depending on your family’s size)
  • your parents or grandparents are in good health
  • your parents or grandparents want to come and live in Canada eventually

The REGULAR VISA might be best if:

  • your parents or grandparents only want to visit Canada and do not want to live here
  • you do not earn enough money to sponsor your parents or grandparents
  • you want to invite another relative, such as a brother or sister, and not a parent or grandparent – supervisas are ONLY for parents or grandparents

A SUPERVISA will allow your parent or grandparent to travel to Canada during the next 5 or 10 years, and it will allow your parent or grandparent to stay in Canada for up to 2 years each time.

A REGULAR visa may also be valid for up to 5 years. How long your guest may stay in Canada depends on the border or airport official who admits them into Canada.  Any visitor to Canada may also apply to extend their visit in Canada once they are here.

How to apply for a SUPERVISA or REGULAR visa

Your parents or grandparents must submit an application to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate outside Canada where they live or are staying, whether it is for a SUPERVISA or a REGULAR visa.

The cost is the same for a supervisa or a regular visa – $75 per person for a single-entry visa or $150 per person for a multiple-entry visa.

For a regular visa or a supervisa, your parents or grandparents will need to show they (or you) have enough money to make the trip to Canada and for their stay in Canada, and that they will leave Canada at the end of their stay, or otherwise obey the law.

Parents or grandparents who apply for the SUPERVISA must ALSO:

  • pass medical examinations
  • show they have health insurance for at least a year in Canada, with $100,000 coverage
  • show that their child or grandchild in Canada has enough income to sponsor them – documents will be required

To find out what exact documents you need to send with the application for a visa – whether SUPERVISA or REGULAR visa –  it is important to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy or Consulate where your parents or grandparents will be sending their application.  Every Embassy or Consulate has specific instructions. Find the appropriate Embassy or Consulate by visiting the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada at  and following the links.

Talk to an immigration lawyer if you have questions. about this or any other topic.

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