IRCC allows Super Visa applicants to pay for medical insurance in monthly instalments

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to how Super Visa applicants can pay for their medical insurance.

In order to be eligible for the Super Visa, the applicant must have private medical insurance that meets all the following criteria:

  • It covers the applicant for health care, hospitalization, and repatriation;
  • It provides a minimum of $100,000 emergency coverage; and
  • It is valid for a minimum of 1 year from the date of entry into Canada and is available upon review by a border services officer upon request during re-entry into Canada.

While applicants have previously been allowed to pay for insurance in monthly instalments, IRCC announced in August that it would require annual up-front payments. These payments average at $1,500 for a 65-year-old and can be higher for older individuals.

This change in policy received backlash by people arguing that it was financially burdensome to require payment upfront for an entire year. In addition, many thought it was punitive towards families who were seeking to be reunited but could not afford to pay for the medical coverage upfront, causing fewer Super Visa applications to be given to deserving families.

In December, IRCC announced that it was reversing the policy and applicants would be once again able to pay for the insurance in monthly instalments. An IRCC spokesperson said that the new rule was reversed to recognize the importance Canada places on reuniting families.

What is the Super Visa?

The Super Visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their foreign parents and grandparents to Canada for up to five consecutive years without having to renew their visitor status. Super Visa holders can enter Canada multiple times for up to 10 years.

The Super Visa is an alternative to the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), which grants permanent residence to its applicants. Although the PGP is very popular, there are limited amounts of spots available. In addition, IRCC holds lotteries to determine who will be able to apply for the program.

In comparison, there is no lottery system for the Super Visa, offering greater certainty to people who want to sponsor their parent or grandparent to come to Canada. Further, Super Visa processing usually takes a few months, while PGP processing can take years.

Are you eligible for the Super Visa?

In order to be eligible for the Super Visa, you must

  • Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Have a signed letter from your child or grandchild inviting you to Canada;
  • Provide documents that can prove the child or grandchild meets the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) minimum;
  • Have proof of parental relationship with child and grandchild, such as a birth certificate; and
  • Have proof of medical insurance coverage.

An applicant may not be eligible if they are inadmissible to Canada based on criminality or medical issues.

How to apply for the Super Visa

Once you have all the required documentation, the application is processed at the Canadian visa office in the applicant’s place of residence outside Canada. Some visa offices may require additional documentation.

The application is then assessed based on numerous factors such as the purpose of the visit to Canada and whether the family member has sufficient ties to their home country.

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