Super Visas for Parents, Grandparents to Canada is Back!

The program was a victim of its own success. Because more than 15,000 Super Visas were issued since the program was started in November 2011 - and the long wait that applicants faced - the reopened program has set a yearly limit and imposed minimum necessary income from sponsors.

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Super Visas for Parents, Grandparents to Canada is Back!
Posted on January 24, 2014 | Canada

Super Visa for Parent and Grandparents is Back!

After being suspended in November 5, 2011, the Super Visas for Parents and Grandparents of Canadian permanent residents and citizens is back.

The Super Visa program’s success was its own kryptonite with the Canadian government playing the part of Luthor by temporarily suspending the program because there were more than 15,000 parent and grandparent visas issued and thousands more facing years of waiting.

While the program reopened 2nd January 2014, only 5,000 Super Visas are allocated. In addition, sons, daughters and grandchildren sponsors must exceed the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for the program for three consecutive years out of respect for Canadian taxpayers and the limited resources for health and social programs.”

The MNI varies depending on the number of family members being supported in Canada, the location of the sponsor in Canada, and the number of family members being sponsored. ?See the charts below (first is for parents and grandparents being sponsored outside Quebec) and the other for sponsored family members in Quebec.

Outside Quebec MNI

Size of Family Unit







2 persons




3 persons




4 persons




5 persons




6 persons




7 persons




More than 7 persons, for each additional person add





Sponsors living in the Province of Quebec must meet different MNI figures. They are as follows:

Size of Family Unit


1 person


2 persons


3 persons


4 persons


5 persons


More than 5 persons, for each additional person add



By limiting the total number of Super Visas issued in 2014 and beyond,  the Canadian government expects to reduce wait times, avoid the creation of a new backlog  while increasing the sustainability of the program.

The revised program aims to reduce wait times, avoid the creation of a new backlog, and increase the fiscal sustainability of the program. To achieve these objectives, application intake thresholds have been implemented and financial eligibility criteria for sponsors made more onerous.

To qualify as sponsor their relatives, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must meet, in addition to the general requirements for sponsorship, the following enhanced criteria:

•   Demonstrate, for a period of 3 consecutive years prior to sponsorship, income greater than the annual Minimum Necessary Income published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada;

•   Sign an undertaking to financially support the parent or grandparent, and reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the relative, for a period of 20 years from the date of permanent residence;

Income requirements of sponsors must be independently verifiable through official documents.  Hence

§  Only official documents issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be accepted to demonstrate income for the three years prior to submission;

§  If a co-signer is included in the sponsorship application, the combined income of the co-signer and the sponsor will be considered;

§  Any amounts from the following sources will be deducted from the sponsor and co-signer's income for the purposes of financial eligibility.


•         Provincial allowances received for a program of instruction or training;

•         Social assistance received from a province;

•         Financial assistance received from the Government of Canada under a resettlement program;

•         Amounts received under the Employment Insurance Act, other than special benefits

•         Monthly guaranteed income supplement received under the Old Age Security Act;

•         Canada child tax benefit received under the Income Tax Act;

That’s good news for Canadian PRs and citizens already in Canada for three years. For those just issued their visas or landed in Canada, they have to wait for three years to file the Super Visa.


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