Canada Immigration

What’s The Difference – Visitor Visa vs. Super Visa

Although the Canadian Super Visa falls into the tourist visa category, it is designed entirely for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The main distinction between the two visas is the length of authorized stay in Canada. A tourist visa allows a maximum stay of 6 months at a time. With a super visa, eligible parents and grandparents can stay in Canada and visit family for 5 years at a time.

What is the visitor visa?

Most travelers need a tourist visa to travel to Canada. You may also need one if you are transiting through a Canadian airport en route to your final destination.

A tourist visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that the Canadian government will place in your passport, proving that you meet the requirements needed to travel to Canada.

Most travelers or visitors to Canada can stay up to 6 months. Upon entry, the border services officer may allow you to stay less or more than 6 months. In this case, the date you need to leave will be written on your passport. They can also give you a document, called a visitor log, which will indicate the date you need to leave.

If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you enter Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

You may require a tourist visa or electronic travel authorization (ETA). The required entry document depends on:

  • The type of travel document you plan to travel with
  • The country that issued your travel document
  • Your nationality
  • Your mode of travel in Canada for this trip

What is the Super Visa?

The super visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit family for up to five consecutive years without renewing visitor status. Super visa holders can enter Canada multiple times for a maximum period of 10 years.

The Super Visa is a great alternative to the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), as there is no lottery for the Super Visa, so it provides greater certainty for families hoping to sponsor family members.

What are the Super Visa eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the super visa, the applicant must be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The applicant’s spouse or domestic partner may be included in an application, but dependents may not be included.

Furthermore, the applicant must not be inadmissible to Canada for criminal or health reasons. To prove this, super visa applicants will have to pass a medical examination.

The purpose of the applicant’s visit to Canada will be assessed: the applicant must be able to maintain sufficient ties with their country of origin.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) ensures that parents and grandparents receive adequate support during their stay in Canada. To demonstrate such support, the applicant’s child or grandchild must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the income requirements, identified by the Low Income Limit (LICO).

The purpose of the income requirement is to ensure the child or grandchild’s ability to financially support their family members, as it may be a responsibility for an elderly family member to provide for their family.

Proof of financial standing can be provided in the form of the following documents:

  • Notice of Assessment (AC) or T4/T1 for the most recent tax year
  • Employment insurance heels
  • A letter of employment including salary and date of hire
  • Pay slips
  • Bank statements

The applicant must also provide a letter signed by their child or grandchild inviting them to Canada, which includes:

  • A promise of financial support for the duration of your visit
  • The list and number of people in this person’s household
  • A copy of that person’s Canadian citizenship or permanent residency document
  • The applicant must also hold medical insurance with a Canadian insurance company that is:
  • Valid for at least 1 year from the date of entry
  • At least $100,000 in emergency coverage
  • Have proof that health insurance has been paid in full

Once the applicant has determined that he or she is eligible and has all required documents, the application must be processed at the Canadian Visa Office responsible for the application’s place of residence outside of Canada.

Get a Free Super Visa Telephone Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

About author


Daniyal is an accomplished travel blogger boasting two years of extensive experience. Proficient in captivating narratives, Daniyal unveils the allure of undiscovered destinations and divulges insights into everything regarding traveling. Beyond the prose, he serves as the editorial architect, seamlessly incorporating editing finesse, SEO mastery, and strategic content deployment to ensure a sophisticated and enriching online travel experience.
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