Canada promotes the concept of uniting families. To establish the same, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents and grandparents to the maple leaf country through one of its two popular immigration programs – Family Class Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program and Super Visa program.
Please note: The applications under Family Class Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program will be accepted as of January 04, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. EST. There is a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted and any applications received before this date shall not be accepted.
Parents and grandparents wanting to joint their children and grandchildren in Canada must apply under the Family Class Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program or Super Visa program. Successful applicants will receive permanent residence in Canada and become eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship four years thereafter.
In order to be eligible for Family Class Parental and Grandparental sponsorship visa, a Canadian sponsor must meet the below mentioned requirements:
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada,
- Be 18 years of age or above;
- Must exceed the minimum necessary income level (LICO- Low income cut off as per family size) set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for this program. If you are in a common-law relationship or married, the income of both the partners (Co-signer)can be included,
- The sponsored relative and sponsor must get into a written and duly signed sponsorship agreement that commits the sponsor to provide financial support to the sponsored relative. The agreement also states that the sponsored person on becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support himself/herself. Residents of Quebec must sign an “undertaking” with the province — a contract binding the sponsorship,
- The sponsor must commit to provide financial assistance to the sponsored relative for a period of 20 years. The time period shall begin on the date the sponsored relative gains permanent residency in Canada.
Canadian sponsors must prove that they meet the minimum income requirements and submit notices of assessment which is issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to support their sponsorship. They must also showcase that they have met the minimum necessary income level for past three consecutive years (LICO- Low income cut off as per family size).
Super Visa Program
Apart from the Family Class Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program, citizens and permanent residents of Canada can also bring their parents/grandparents to the Canadian state through Super Visa program. While this program does not guarantee permanent residence but certainly it allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada for a prolonged period as long-term visitors. Successful Super Visa applicants shall receive multiple-entry visitor visas which are valid for a period up to 10 years.
Unlike the standard Canadian visitor visas, that must be renewed every six months, this program comes with a validity of two years at a time.
In order to be eligible under this category, parents and grandparents must meet the standard requirements. Additionally, they must:
- furnish a written commitment of financial assistance from their children or grandchild residing in Canada,
- have a sponsor in Canada who successfully meets the minimum income requirements,
- prove that they have bought a Canadian health insurance for minimum one year, and
- complete a mandatory immigration medical exam.
Depending on the nationality, parents and/or grandparents may require a Temporary Resident Visa along with a Super Visa.
One of the main advantages of applying under a Family Class Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program and Super Visa program is that they have a short processing time of approximately 8-10 weeks. However, processing times are subject to extensions in case of incomplete form submission or longer verification times and such circumstances. For those planning to apply under Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship program must apply at least 10 weeks prior to their intended date of travel.