When a Canadian citizen or permanent resident wishes to be reunited with their parent or grandparent who is a foreign national, they have two options:
The first option is to submit an application under the Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program which would allow the foreign national parent/grandparents to gain permanent residency in Canada;
The second option is to submit an application under the Super Visa program which would allow the foreign national parent/grandparent to enter Canada and stay temporarily for up to a maximum period of two years from the date of entry.
The Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program
The Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program currently operates on an “invitation to apply” basis, which means that unlike the spousal sponsorship process, an invitation cannot be submitted “as of right”. Eligible individuals enter into a pool by submitting an interest to sponsor form and then await an invitation to sponsor being issued.
Eligibility Under The Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program
To be eligible under the Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program, a sponsor must be
- a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act;
- 18 years of age or older;
- residing in Canada (potential applicants will need to provide proof of status during the Interest to Sponsor phase);
- exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program (if married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both the sponsor and spouse can be included);
- willing to sign an undertaking
- to financially support the sponsored parent or grandparent for 20 years;
- to repay any social assistance benefits paid to the sponsored family members for a period of 20 years.
Who May Not Be Eligible To Sponsor A Parent Or Grandparent?
Individuals may not be eligible to sponsor a parent and grandparent if they:
- are in jail, prison, or penitentiary;
- did not pay back an immigration loan; a performance bond or court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support;
- did not give the financial support they agreed to when signing a sponsorship agreement to sponsor a relative in the past;
- declared bankruptcy and are not discharged;
- receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability;
- were convicted of a violent criminal offence, and any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada;
- cannot legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because they received a Removal Order.
Super-Visa Program For Parents & Grandparents
The Super Visa Program allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long-term visitors on a multi-entry visa that remains valid for up to 10 years. Unlike standard visitor visas, a Super Visa allows holders to remain in Canada for up to two years following initial entry to Canada.
Who Is Eligible For A Super Visa?
To be eligible, parents and grandparents must meet standard visitor visa requirements, and additionally must:
- Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada;
- Show that the sponsor in Canada meets minimum income requirements;
- Prove they have purchased Canadian health insurance for at least one year; and
- Complete an immigration medical examination.
Depending on their nationality, parents/grandparents may require a Temporary Resident Visa in addition to the Super Visa.