Super Visas: Why They’re Not Living Up To The Hype


Bringing parents or grandparents to Canada for a visit is a heartfelt desire for many, and the Super Visa appears to be the ideal solution. However, a closer look reveals that the Super Visa may not be as “super” as its name suggests. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what a Super Visa is, the application process, and the reasons why it might not be the best choice for everyone.

Understanding the Super Visa

The Super Visa is a multiple-entry visa designed to allow applicants to visit their family in Canada for an extended period, now up to 5 years. While it may seem like a convenient option at first glance, there are important aspects to consider before choosing this route.

Application Process

To be eligible for a Super Visa, one must be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The application process involves providing a signed invitation letter from the Canadian family member, promising financial support. Additionally, applicants are required to obtain medical insurance from a Canadian provider, which can be costly, and meet all other regular visitor visa requirements. The processing fee is $100, and the processing time varies based on the applicant’s country of origin.

Why the Super Visa may not be so “Super”

1. High Cost of Medical Insurance: The mandatory requirement for medical insurance can be a significant financial burden, especially for older applicants. Insurance premiums, influenced by factors like age and health, can range from $2,000 to $5,000 for one year of coverage.

2. Variable Length of Stay: Despite the 5-year validity, the actual length of stay is determined by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the border. This lack of certainty can be a drawback for those seeking a stable and predictable arrangement.

3. Financial Responsibility: Inviting parents or grandparents on a Super Visa means taking on financial responsibility for their well-being in Canada. This involves proving that the sponsor meets specific financial obligations, which may not be a requirement for other visa options, leaving less room for contextual considerations.

Exploring Alternatives

Given the drawbacks of the Super Visa, exploring alternatives becomes essential. The Regular Visitor Visa (TRV) emerges as a viable option, allowing a stay of up to six months at a time. While it doesn’t offer the extended duration of the Super Visa, the TRV process is more straightforward, less expensive, and offers the flexibility to extend the stay inland through a Visitor Record application.

To qualify for a TRV, the parents or grandparents must agree to leave Canada after their authorized stay, demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves, and prove admissibility to Canada. Unlike the Super Visa, the TRV is not limited to parents or grandparents, providing the option for other family members to apply and accompany the family together.


In conclusion, while the Super Visa may seem enticing at first glance, its high cost, uncertain length of stay, financial responsibilities, and eligibility requirements make it less appealing and, in some cases, impractical. Considering alternatives like the Regular Visitor Visa (TRV) can provide a more straightforward and cost-effective solution for achieving the goal of bringing parents or grandparents to Canada.

By exploring all available options and understanding the intricacies of each, families can make informed decisions that align with their financial capabilities and desired outcomes. Bringing loved ones to Canada is undoubtedly a significant endeavor, and choosing the right visa option is a crucial step in making the process smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

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